Campbell River Cricket Club travelled down island over the Labour Day weekend for two fixtures. The CRCC Masters team were hosted at their picturesque ground by Cowichan Cricket Club Masters team on Saturday, the CRCC First XI played Metchosin Cricket Club, from Victoria, at the same venue on Sunday.
CRCC Masters made a strong start to their match, with openers Eiko Jones scoring 26 and Josh Taylor retiring after scoring 31 runs (retirement being mandatory in this game when a player exceeded 30 runs). Jonathon Shead, playing in his first game in over 30 years, played a stubborn inning, not letting anything past him until he looked to accelerate the scoring and was eventually bowled for 13 runs after facing 53 balls.
Other notable innings included Simon Deller and Jimmy Andrews both scoring over 30 runs before being retired, and Adam Panziera crashing his maximum 32 runs from only 18 balls, including three consecutive sixes. Luke Downs of Arrowsmith Cricket Club and Guy Drake of Cowichan Cricket Club helped CRCC fill their squad and both contributed to a competitive total of 251 runs from 40 overs. Best of the Cowichan bowlers was Gurmit Sandhu, with figures of one wicket for only 26 runs from his eight over spell.
Cowichan also got off to a bright start with their opening pair Sandhu and George Dunning quickly reaching 60 runs off the first 10 overs. When Sandhu was bowled for 29 by John Jepson, a tight spell of bowling by both Jepson and Jimmy Andrews ensured that only 37 runs were scored off the next 10 overs putting the pressure back on Cowichan to chase down CRCC’s total. New batsmen Brian Mclean and Steve Mayall brought the run rate right up again and Cowichan were on target to catch CRCC.
When this pair retired, however, after both scoring their maximum 30 runs, good bowling from Ruwan Heenatigala, Jepson and Simon Deller restricted the hosts to a total of 224 from their 40 overs, giving the visitors a winning margin of only 27 runs in a closely fought contest. Other notable events in this innings was CRCC’s regular wicket keeper Josh Taylor taking a break from behind the wicket, bowling five good overs and taking a valuable wicket, and Adam Panziera standing behind the stumps for Taylor getting his first stumping in competitive cricket.
Many thanks to CRCCs hosts Cowichan Cricket and Sports Club who laid on an energy rich snack package between innings and a super tea served with appropriate social distancing from the barbecue at the end of the match, and as ever the Cowichan ground was in tip-top condition .
Like Saturday, Sunday morning dawned bright and hot, with CRCC’s First team looking forward to having their mettle tested by taking on Metchosin Cricket Club, a strong team playing in the Victoria District league.
CRCC’s opening batsmen, skipper Aaron O’Shannessy and Guri Baidwan both played watchful innings against some good opening bowling by Amit Solanki and Noel Sequeira. Baidwan fell for 11 runs in the fourth over with the score on 25, bringing out Param Singh to partner O’Shannessy, and this pair kept the run rate ticking at a quick nine runs per over before O’Shannessy fell for 27 in the 11th over.
Ben George then joined Singh, and this pair brought the score up to 183 at the halfway point. A change of bowlers and a new ball at 20 overs however saw Singh fall for a big score of 88 runs followed shortly by George for 41 runs. Another partnership developed between Gabby Mason and Vipul Singh, runs still coming freely, with Mason scoring 23, and Singh 45 runs. Adam Panziera, who had played the previous day with the Masters team found himself up against some higher calibre bowling in this match, but remained unfazed and had a couple more sixes for an undefeated score of 23 with Nikhil Panesar also hitting two sixes on his way to 28 not out.
The only CRCC player who will have been disappointed with his batting would have been Sijo Jose who was bowled by a fantastic delivery from Izak Brussow without scoring, but Jose’s time was to come when CRCC took to the field to bowl. CRCC finished with 313 runs for the loss of 7 wickets, a very difficult score to chase. Pick of the Metchosin bowlers was Brussow who finished with figures of 2 wickets for 29 runs off seven overs, including two “wicket maidens” (overs in which a wicket is taken, and zero runs are conceded.)
CRCC opening bowlers Jose and Navreet Uppal started with a couple of overs to loosen up, but then within the space of the first eleven overs had Metchosin reeling at seven wickets down with only 61 runs on the scoreboard. Uppal took two wickets for 30 runs in his five over spell, and Jose finished with remarkable figures of five wickets for 36 runs in six overs. Taking five wickets in one match is known colloquially as a “five-fer” and the bowler traditionally keeps the match ball as a souvenir of the achievement. Doug de la Mare, Kieran Parley and Amit Solanki all batted well to bring the score into the middle hundreds, but the early wickets had proved costly and Metchosin were bowled out in the 27th over for a total of 151 runs.
This match was an exhibition match with no league position or trophy on the line, and Metchosin had kindly offered to bring up a team for this match despite having just completed a long hard VDCA league season. The game was played in excellent spirit as a friendly match, and under different circumstances the result may well have been different. CRCC players however can rightly celebrate a good win, and we are looking forward to a regular reciprocal fixture against Metchosin and other VDCA sides in 2021.
CRCC’s next game will be at home at Carihi School this Saturday, Sept. 12 against Fulham Cricket Club before heading back down-Island for a match Sunday against Cowichan’s First XI.