Riviera CC vs Entrecasteaux CC – Sunday 30th June 2013

A warm and bright day brought Entrecasteaux to Riviera’s  attractive ground above Grasse in St Vallier de Thiey where the altitude cools the air in comparison to the sweaty coastal plains. Entrecasteaux fielded an almost complete eleven which, due to the British Grand Prix on the same day, had been given late notice of the unavailability of one who often is to be found behind the stumps – is he called Mr Reliable?

Entrecasteaux were to bat and Glen Burrell (19) and Andy Fife (9) opened with the intention of making a big partnership. Fife was suffering with a back strain, caused by we know not what and it was not long before he holed out to a catch at cover point. Captain Cliff Gregory (3) entered the affray in an all too lofty a position and it was not long before he followed his opener to the pavilion.

After his dismissal last week for a golden duck confidence in Shalana Karunarathnage’s run scoring ability was low, both in his own mind and in his team mates’, however he set out to prove us all wrong. In belligerent fashion he pulled and cut the bad balls, scoring no fewer than 3 sixes, and when Burrell was caught he was joined by Fergus Harrington (15) and together they compiled a 57 run partnership before Karunarathnage was bowled by Freeman when he had hoped to send the ball into the next county.

Robbie Lange (23) now joined Harrington in a partnership that was worth 27 runs but with the 30th over underway in this 35 over match the pressure to score runs was growing. Harrington was bowled and then Lange, but not before he had scored some useful runs including one magnificent six over the midwicket boundary.

Cannes Lions loan stars Kavi(6) and Kalith(11) made  valuable contributions. Yannick Perera was unfortunately out for a duck so bringing Maldo(1 not out) (Cannes Lions) and Maurice Mitchem (not out) to see out the overs with the Entrecasteaux innings closing on 146 runs for 9 wickets.

This was a total that was always going to be difficult to defend and with limited bowling resources at his disposal Gregory (5.3-1-13-1) opened the bowling with Burrell (7-2-31-2). With 16 runs on the board and 3 wickets lost they should have been pleased. Kanal (0) had edged a sharp ball from Burrell to Gregory at first slip and Natoli (5) had been returned to the pavilion off the bowling of Gregory to a ball which kept low and hit him on the pads, and Bloom’s (2)stumps had been broken in Burrell’s fourth over.

But then the wheels rather came off. Gregory had given way to Robbie Lange (5-0-33-0) and Burrell’s last 3 overs cost 25 runs so ruining what would otherwise have been an excellent return. In truth they came up against a strong partnership in Freeman (30) and Bacon (52) – Bacon, strong and authoritative from the start smashed his way to his 50 in 52 minutes including 2 sixes and 8 fours with Freeman, the perfect foil as he drove and cut, coming together in a partnership that lasted an hour and one minute and yielding 92 runs.

What a beautiful game this is – with only 22 overs gone and 108 on the scoreboard Riviera were cruising; but then an inspired double change in the bowling, bringing Kalith (6-0-20-2) and Kavi (4-1-17-2) into the attack left Riviera on 110 with 7 wickets lost. In the space of 2 overs 4 wickets had been lost for the addition of just 2 runs – the balance had shifted.

Freeman was the first casualty, being bowled by Kavi, shortly followed by Bacon from the bowling of Kalith. Anura failed to score, Kaleem (1) was run out and Charlie (7) was likewise bowled by Kalith. This left Gorski(jnr)(9) and Gorski (snr) at the crease for the first time ever and all seemed to be going well until the junior in the partnership called for a suicidal second run, perhaps not trusting senior’s prowess with the bat, and in doing so left his father stranded at the wrong end of the wicket. History does not relate what the outcome to this foolish action was but it would have not been surprising to hear that junior had been dropped at the gates of the maison d’arret which you pass on your way down from St Vallier to Grasse. Tut, tut young man – have more faith in the old man!

Riviera had reached only 128 and so Entrecasteaux won by 18 runs which had seemed unlikely at one time. Very many thanks to Riviera CC for entertaining us and a big shout of thanks also goes out to Brian Ranger and Mike Howarth for umpiring the match.

Entrecasteaux: Gregory, Burrell, Karunarathnage, Hamilton,Lange, Kavi, Kalith, Perera.Y, Maldo, Mitchem, Fife.

Umpires: Brian Ranger, Mike Howarth

9 juillet 2013Permalink