11 Dec 2014

Thursday 11 December 2014

In pursuit of 242 runs in a rain shortened 37 overs, King's College run chase faltered at the beginning when both openers departed with only 16 runs on the board.

Mitchell Murray and Tristan Payle took the score to 59 before Tristan Payle gifted his wicket, bringing Charles Bevin in to accompany the skipper who was quietly nearing his half century amidst very clever and tight bowling from a well drilled Hutt International Boys' School (HIBS) outfit. When Charles Bevin and Mitchell Nash departed in quick succession at 88, the flag in the King's College supporters camp was flying at half mast. At this stage, some of the players were losing hope but the orc-like, battle-scarred general summoned up the support of trooper William St John and took on whatever the highly confident, bloodlusting enemy fired at them.

Mitchell Murray reached his century in the company of the gutsy William St John and together they reached 159 for 6 before the latter bravely succumbed - a valuable 71 run partnership which righted the floundering vessel. The belief in the King's College camp was back and small but oh so valuable partnerships were being formulated, first in the company of the veteran soldier Scott Johnston - 28 runs and finally the ever-reliable warrior Toby Baker 58 precious runs. The skipper continued to bring up milestones and fittingly broke the tournament record which belonged to another King's legend, Simon Hickey. The new Gillette Cup top score is now 171 and belongs to the big rig Mitchell Murray.

This was an exceptional chase in all facets of the game, especially as the highly confident HIBS men had a strangle-hold on the game for such long periods and bowled intelligently, menacingly and to a well-planned formula. This would be the best attack that our team faced all year and it took a coruscating innings to thwart them.

Earlier on this miserable, cold, cloudy and windy day, HIBS were asked to bat after captain fantastic won the toss and piled on a breathtaking innings of calm, composed and at times ruthless batting to sacrifice only 6 wickets in compiling an impressive target. Good balls were dispatched with disdain on this small ground and the margin of error was tiny.

All the bowlers, apart from Scott Johnston (bowler of the day) conceded more than 5 runs per over. The King's bowlers were being bossed around and in the last 20 overs HIBS picked up the pace with sheer class. Their hero was their captain Toby Johnson who piled on a massive century in fine style. Amidst the turmoil, Scott Johnston stood out mightily like a beacon. The batsmen survived 8 torrid overs of blistering pace from the King's College spearhead and only a miserly 8 runs were conceded. With an economy rate of just one run per over, he was sheer class and will need to carry this into the 'tournament decider' against the rampant local boys, Christchurch Boys' High School.