The 4th XI Grand Final wrap

March 23, 2011 No Comments

Elwood 88 lost to Omega 102

Captain Dave May lost the toss. Well, he actually won it but he forgot to flip the coin (it was more of a pancake flip than a toss) and the coin had to be re-tossed. Unfortunately Omega called correctly and chose to bat.

But that didn’t bother the boys. They were fired up. The camaraderie (as it has been all season) is strong in the 4th XI. They were up for the challenge.

Chris “Bear” Forster and Luke Stanley opened the bowling. Luke got the early breakthrough and Omega were 1 for 17. Elwood could taste blood. Bear and Nath Turner tried their guts out but couldn’t get the next wicket. The skipper, Dave May, threw the ball to his talisman (and Elwood cult hero) Hardik Desai. Hardik went on to bowl 22 straight overs, taking an impressive 4/28.

His bowling was simply brilliant.

The Elwood boys, sitting on the concrete stands, cold drinks in hands, sun beating down, chanted “Hardik” Hardik” as the great Indian found himself on a hat trick. Unfortunately the umpire disagreed with the laws of the game that the third bowl was plumb LBW.

Hardik’s bowling inspired the boys. Luke had another spell, claiming another wicket and finishing the match with 2/23 off 11. Nath cleaned up the tail taking 2/15. Scott Leach bowled tidily and without luck in his four overs. The skipper got a crucial wicket in his miserly 7 overs for only 10 runs.

The fielding was outstanding. The usual suspects in 12th man David Robertson  and Steve Murphy setting the bar high. Luke and Hardik combined for a run out. Legendary wicketkeeper Ian “Reg” Grundy was awesome behind the stumps, taking three catches. The job was done. They need 103 runs on Sunday to claim the flag.

It was all before the boys. Openers Ryan Bagust and Steve Murphy had a glint of steel in their eyes. Ryan got off the mark — got Elwood off the mark — to the applause of the crowd. He then played a shot he hasn’t played all season and was caught behind for 2. John Phillips came in, clipped a couple of his pads for two, and then was given out LBW. Elwood were 2/10.

Nathan Turner — whose season with bat and ball has been sensational — strode to the crease. When he was on 4 he defended a ball to gully. He left his crease to inspect the crease believing the ball to be dead. The fieldsman threw down the stumps and the umpire had to give Elwood’s most dangerous batsmen out. Elwood were now 3/10.

Murph, who was looking solid, drove to straight to cover when on 8. Then, Hardik was run out for 4. Elwood was 5/27 and in trouble.

Scott Leach came to the crease and Joined Zac Leiser-Moore. Scoot played like there wasn’t any pressure. He smashed a boundary and then was caught at slip on 15. Elwood was 6/46. Reg — the legend — joined Zac. Reg looked unfazed. He was looking good until he clipped a catch to mid wicket. Elwood were now 7/56. Luke Stanley and Chris Forster came and went and Elwood found themselves at 9/57 — with the youngest player in the team in Zac at the crease with its number 11 and captain Dave May.

Now they could have folded. But they didn’t.

Zac then produced a fine knock — if Elwood have got up — it would have been legendary. Knowing that singles and twos were unlikely to win the game at nine down, Zac launched into a barrage of 4s and 6s — three sixes in total.  The crowd cam alive. Elwood were a chance. Dave May was valiantly defending his wicket (albeit with the occasional awkward misplayed cut shot). Zac got Elwood within 14 runs but his heroics fell short, and he holed out to the deep mid wicket.

The boys were shattered. But after a few hours in the change rooms they reappeared, realising that despite the heart wrenching loss, they still had a great year. They cracked some champagne, and shared a few cold beers with each other. After all, besides winning grand finals, isn’t this what it’s all about?

So watch out CMCA — the 4ths (and indeed all of Elwood) — are coming for you next season.

I’ll see you all of the 16th of April at Presentation night!

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