The cricket season in the Napa Valley starts every year with the annual Napa Valley World Series of Cricket match, which puts club members against each other based on their country of birth. As the club continues to grow bigger each year there is a lot of pride at stake in this annual game and having being well beaten in 2015 the Rest of the World (ROW) team were looking to avenge that loss to the Australia / America (AA) team. The ROW team eventually ran out winners by 5 wickets in a low scoring game that see-sawed back and forth all day and almost ended with a cliff hanger finish!
The toss was to be key in the game with heavy rain having fallen less than 48 hours from the start of the game making the ground soft and the grass lush. Barry Manogaran from Milpitas, a Nor Cal league umpire, officiated the toss and the game. As trophy holders AA captain Rob Bolch got to call the toss, his call of tails was good and he choose to bat first. He was soon possibly regretting his call as his three top order batmen – himself, Jared Thatcher, and Phil Bourke – were back on the side after only six overs and with only seven runs on the board. That early collapse brought Australians John Leake and James Revie together at the crease for the AA team with an initial task of stemming the flow of wickets. The pair stayed together to the drinks break, and beyond, with each of them playing a watchful and measured innings.
AA captain Kiranpreet Singh had a rich and deep bowling line up and he used it well by mixing up his bowlers and never allowing the AA batsmen to settle. He moved regularly between pace – Moe Maqsood, Bernie Peacock, Martin Mackenzie, Adersh Maqsood – and spin – Amritpal Bhatal, Andrew Healy and himself – and kept the batsmen guessing as to what was coming next. Mackenzie broke the solid partnership between Revie and Leake having Revie caught well by Moe Maqsood close to the boundary for a solid score of 24 in the 19th over. Not long after Leake fell to a slower ball from Maqsood that was smartly taken by AA wicker-keeper Bill Nancarrow behind the stumps. A cameo knock of 17 runs off 32 balls from Tim Kay helped lift the AA team over 100 and a final flurry with the bat from Scott Curwood and Peter Sander got the AA team to a reasonable score of 120 runs.
After lunch from club sponsor Compadres Rio Grille a short ANZAC Day remembrance service was held at the side of the field to commemorate the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps
With a target of 121 runs to win it appeared that the ROW team would chase it down handily. But as is often the way with low targets they made hard work of it. The ROW team opened with Abhijit “Doc” Adhye and Dale Moorhouse but Moorhouse was soon back on the bench clean bowled by a ripper from Revie. Bijoy Ojha fresh from a score of 41 in Scottsdale the previous weekend started watchfully but was eventually dismissed for only two runs from the 21 balls that he faced, caught by Pete Cameron off the bowling of Tim Kay. Bhatal was next up and went big ,early, with two 4’s in his short innings before going for one to many and holing out to Pete Carson at deep square leg.
Another short knock from Moe Maqsood of four runs meant that with only 31 on the board and 12 overs in the ROW were starting to wobble. Nancarrow came to the middle and with Adhye spent 13 overs building a partnership of 54 runs and taking the ROW to within sight of the AA score. Nancarrow scored a solid 31 runs which included 5 boundaries (four 4’s and one 6) but eventually fell to the bowling of Leake just as he and Adhye looked like bringing the game home. With Adhye falling 9 balls later the pendulum swung back in favor of the AA team with two new batmen in the middle. New Zealander Martin Mackenzie fell for a quick fire five runs and that brought AA captain Singh to the middle and with Jeff Keene the two of them managed to sneak over the winning line with 5 wickets and three overs to spare.
The traditional Clos du Val “Man of the Match” Award went to Bill Nancarrow of the ROW team for his solid performances with the bat and sharp work behind the stumps as the ROW wicket-keeper.
During the day the drinks breaks in each innings provided an opportunity for spectators and kids to venture to the middle of the field for a demonstration of batting and bowling, part of the clubs community efforts. Activities for the children included a jumpy house, potato sack races, three legged races, relays, soccer, t-ball, and an Arts and Crafts area and of course kids cricket!
Commentary and explanations of the game were provided by Dennis DeVilbiss of Radio Calistoga who was joined by 8-year-old Conor Cleland and visiting Munich based Englishman Jonathon Deverill on the mic.
“Firstly, it was fantastic day, regardless of the result. Everyone puts in so much work to make these days a reality and we want to thank everyone for their hard work in preparation, during the day and at the end packing up.” said AA captain Rob Bolch after the match ”And thanks to the great support from people on the sidelines. When you’re out in the middle, it really helps when you see people cheering and supporting us. From a match point of view, ROW were the much better side on the day, and they deserved to win. We knew coming into the match that they team was stacked full of talent – in both the bowling and batting departments. We knew we had to be at our absolute best if we were to take the game to them and be competitive.
While we didn’t post a big score, only 120, the field was playing slow and it was hard to make runs. As it turned out, our 120 wasn’t an easy total for ROW to get. We really pushed them hard and there was a time in the 20 to 30 overs period where we were in with a real chance thanks to great bowling and fielding pressure from the our guys. The AA boys really bowled well. They had such a strong bowling line up and all of them were very hard to make runs against. They also had some key players with the bat through Doc, Bill and Jeff. From the AA team, I want to call out John Leake, James Revie and Tim Kay who all had great games with both the bat and the ball.”
“It was a good toss to lose as we had wanted to bowl first” said winning ROW captain Kiranpreet Singh “and Bernie and Adersh really started well for us getting rid of the openers cheaply. After that we kept really tight with Moe, AP, Martin and I giving nothing away as their best batting pair John and James tried to build a solid partnership and I thought our guys stuck to the plan and took wickets at just the right times to prevent them from scoring big.” continued Singh “I thought it would be an easy chase for us but credit goes to Rob and the AA team for making a game out of it. They bowled and fielded really well. The pressure was on us with 30 runs on the board and 4 wickets down. Bill and Doc kept the score ticking along. But then we had our second collapse of the innings and I was nervous about which way it would go. Jeff and I finally brought it home with three overs to spare but not before we almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.”
“It’s been yet another great day for the club” said NVCC President Phil Bourke “as we open our fifth season with another great day of cricket and family fun. A lot of people did a lot of work to put the day on today and I want to express my thanks to them. That includes some of our sponsors who contributed products or services on the day – Clos du Val, Domaine Chandon, Anchor Steam Brewery, and Compadres Rio Grille. Without them the day wouldn’t be nearly as successful as it is. We have a great season of games lined up for 2016 with visiting teams from the Bay Area and Sacramento and a team from Twitter coming to play us again this year. Folks can find all of the details for these games on the calendar page of our website, NapaCricket.com (http://napacricket.com/calendar)”
Rest of the World Team
Kiranpreet Singh (c)
Bill Nancarrow (wk)
Australia / America Team
Rob Bolch (c)
Phil Bourke (wk)
NVCC Rest of the World 121 beat NVCC Australia / America 120 by 5 wickets. (35 over game / 12 batting)
NVCC AA Batting – John Leake 37 runs off 51 balls (3 x 4, 1 x 6), James Revie 24 off 24 (2 x 4), Tim Kay 17 off 32. NVCC ROW Bowling – Bernie Peacock 2 wickets for 13 runs off 6 overs(incl. 1 maiden), Martin Mackenzie 2 for 18 off 6, Amritpal Bhatal 2 for 19 off 6.
NVCC ROW Batting – Bill Nancarrow 31 runs off 40 balls (4 x 4, 1 x 6), Abhijit Adhye 24 off 76 (1 x 4), Jeff Keene 12 off 25 (2 x 4). NVCC AA Bowling – John Leake 3 wickets for 16 runs off 6 overs (incl. 2 maidens), Tim Kay 2 for 32 off 6 incl. 1, Rob Bolch 1 for 8 off 6 incl. 3.
Saturday 7th May AWAY to Marin Socials at Piper Park, Larkspur from 11:00am