After a long winter, the Cavs finally started the 2018 season with the first T20 against Gymkhana at Mark Twain Oval. Expectations were high, with many of the starting XI excited at the prospect of some warm, toasty spring weather……only to be bitterly disappointed as players were greeted with an arctic gale and a max temp of 4 degrees Celsius (yes people, we will be conforming to the rest of the world and using ⁰C in these reports). Never the less, new T20 skipper James Watt won his second toss of the morning and elected to bat.
Paul Woolf set the tone early with a big 6 and Baber Sami was looking comfortable as they brought up the 50 run partnership by the end of the 7th over. Paul reached his 50 (42 balls) before being dismissed in the 12th over, and by that stage Baber didn’t want to be without his opening partner so he decided to get bowled in the same over for a run a ball 28, leaving the score at 2/87 after 12. Skipper Watt and Kushal Reddy kept the score moving at a great rate, before James was dismissed in the 18th over for a well-made 39 (26) and Kushal followed 5 balls later for 21 (16), leaving the score at 4/154 off 18.4 overs. This bought the big hitters to the crease with Bevan Main 11* (5), Dan Salman 5 (4) and Alan Dixon 0*(0) carrying the team to a competitive 5/166 off our 20 overs. (Notably, for the first time ever in Cavs history all batsman had a strike rate greater than 100!).
Our opening bowlers Cal McKern and newbie Toqeer Abbasi had the openers jumping around early before Toq was too quick and grabbed a top edge that flew down to J.Watt at deep 3rd man for the first wicket. (Yes those eagle eyed readers that follow the WMCB website with the game scorecard, Captain Watt has officially burned Toqeer of his first ever Cavs wicket as the scorecard has the bowler down as C.McKern- apparently this can’t be changed now!)
Other first gamers Johan De Wet and Chris Kearns took their first wickets for the club, ably supported by our stalwart leg spinner Kushal who took a few poles himself to have Gymkhana 6/144 after 17.4 overs. It was down to the wire at this stage and after tight second spells by Cal and Chris, it was all down to Johan to hold strong, as they needed 12 off the last over to win. The first 3 balls of the final over went 4,0,6 and all looked lost with only 3 needed off the last 3 balls, however excellent team fielding and great bowling from Johan saw the final 3 balls go 0,0,1LB and the Cavs held on for a 1 run win with Gymkhana finishing on 6/165 after 20 overs. Needless to say the skipper was relieved to notch up his first win.
Man of the match went to Paul for his excellent quick fire 50, which set us up for a great score. An exciting match and a fantastic team effort that sets up a great start to the season!