Sunday 26 January 2020

[Report by Mark Winstanley]

Given the last six or so months in Hong Kong you may  think of several obstacles to getting a game of cricket going over Chinese New Year, the one you may not have considered was Phil McDuell bringing the winter weather with him from the UK.  Cold temperatures and rain featured in the lead up to the fixture, however, the sun broke through late morning and it was all systems go.

As per usual, I lost the coin toss and HKCC elected to bat, into the field go the Stragglers of Asia.  Decisions on who to bowl were made on the basis of height, so Clive Duddy and Mark Sinclair (both over 6 foot 3) opened up.  Mark decided in his first over that spikes would be useful, I made my one contribution for the day by swapping boots.  A maiden then a wicket maiden followed.

A decent partnership of 60 was broken by the next tallest bowler, El Rigby, although he could have been bowling to lower order players if he caught the couple of chances offered to him in the field.

They key bowling change was the introduction of Phil McDuell, nine overs on the bounce he bowled and took 3 for 18.  The openers returned and wrapped up the innings.  The bowling analysis at the end, Duddy 2 for 66, Sinclair 3 for 30 and Rigby 1 for 27, constant pressure on the batsmen meant regular wickets and total of 172 for us to chase.

Andy Macintosh and Eddie Middleton opened the innings, some nice shots saw us ease to 30 in no time despite some good bowling from the 6 foot 6, 15 year old (should have been on our side).  Macintosh perished first, with Middleton and Hale following soon after.  Evergreen Martin Sabine played as he has for so long in HK, 35 easy runs before falling to a diving catch on the boundary (these young, athletic fielders are a curse).  Craig “Boots” Davies (who keeps in a helmet but bats in cap) was part of a 50 run stand with Martin then ran McDuell out by hitting one straight back to the bowler, off foot onto stumps, Phil backing up and walking off.  El Rigby continued his entertainment of the crowd before being run out.  Mark Sinclair joined Boots – between them they hit two 6s and three 4s to race from 149 to 175 and victory by four wickets.  Boots a terrific 63 not out and Mark 18 not out capped by a six over cover for the winning runs.

A great day at HKCC, the game played in great spirit, skipper Luke Voyce giving an opportunity to all the youthful HKCC squad, our thanks to Ian Cochrane for umpiring and congrats to all on a fine with for the Stragglers of Asia.  On to KCC next then.

Thanks for taking the time to read this,
Mark Winstanley