The first match of 2022 VDCA season took place over the weekend and a loss of fingernails were had. The Metchosin Cricket Club hosted the newly minted Langford Cricket Club. A formidable squad with the likes of classy Gaurav Kumar and captain Satinder Bamrah. The match was delayed by rain, but both squads were eager to get going and settled on 35 overs each. The toss was had (the skip opting to give the opposition the choice), and the first ball was delivered around 115pm with Chris Duke & Kieren Parfey hoping to set the Cougars a platform for the days play.
With the ball losing its swing due to the rain, and the renovated pitch showing some slowness, the batters began to work the score. With 60 runs on the board, Satinder managed to sneak one past KPs bat and find the off stump for 30 runs.
2021 highest run scorer Himanshu Bhardwaj, aka Chewy, was in next and lifted the strike rate for the home side. Dukey not to be left in Chewy’s dust, began to find a few boundaries in the slow and rather large outfield. Another 50 odd run partnership was ended as Dukey tried to get to his fifty with mistimed drive over long on and picked out the fielder to end on a very impressive 45.
Enter the ever-composed Rob White to partner up with Chewy and add yet another 50-run partnership. Runs were hard to come by as the ball began to suck every bit of moisture it could find. Some audacious shots by Chewy brought the 150+ score up, and his first fifty of the season. Himanshu would then find another safe pair of hands and find his way back to the dressing room to allow Tanzil Rehman a few overs. The return of TST’s wrists was an unwelcomed site for the new Langford club, as Rob & T quickly got the score past the 200 mark with a final score of 216 off 35 overs.
A quick banana and some chips had the Cougars back on the field with Izak & Tanzil to start the defense. The Cougars had to say goodbye to 2021 wicketkeeper batsmen Dilip as he found work on the mainland, so this saw the captain attempt to fill the void.
Fortunately for the match, the weather improved. However, this allowed the away side a slightly easier go of the chase. At the same time though, it did allow for some classic Izak swing bowling which found the edge of the Langford opener, and Chewy’s very safe hands at second slip.
The kookaburra ball seems to sponge the wetness of Vancouver Island, and any chance of swing was quickly diminished by the third or fourth over. The two-star Langford batters, Gaurav & Satinder, then made light work of the chase as they began to find the boundaries at ease with the pace of Izak, T & Chewy.
A quick shift in pace to Will & Rob shunted the Langford chase, with Willy T finding his first wicket of the match as the ball snuck its way past Satinder rolling into the stumps as the keeper did everything in his might to not get in its way.
Gaurav was showing his class as he passed the fifty mark and bring the Langford further into danger territory. With wickets falling at the other end and some sharp fielding by the Cougars making it harder and harder to get runs, the master blaster began to tire.
With a more seasoned wicketkeeper, the homeside might have strolled to victory sooner, as the smooth left arm spin of KP brought about several chances in the air and two stumpings, all of which went begging.
A return to Rob brought about the end to Gaurav’s innings (84 runs) and with 15 or so needed of the last couple of overs, the chase finally died with Chewy finding the top of the wickets on the final ball of the match to end it at 201-9. Special mention to Cole who took his first Metchosin wicket and could’ve had a few more on another day. A special thanks to the umpires for braving the weather (Norrish & Aswin) and to Mike Smith who was unable to play due to a soccer game, but still managed to get the pitch ready for the first match of the season.
The scorecard can be found here:
The Cougars will be back at the MCG to take on the Islanders Cricket Club on Saturday May 7th.