Reuben & Charlie's Trip to Oz - Jan '19
As the Christmas break continued into the New Year, Reuben and I went to watch Australia get ruined by India at the SCG, with Pujara making 193 at a Denton-esque snail’s pace, from a million balls.
Shortly after the Test Match we met up with Matthew Goring, who was in Sydney to see girlfriend Elease over the New Year, at a cafe in Bondi. We were also joined by the second wave of the invasion from Chilt, which came in the iconic shape of Big Jason himself. Over the next few days we took Jase around the main touristy parts of Sydney before the first round of the New Year commenced.
The first game of 2019 was a one dayer against North West Sydney, who were in a similar position to Roseville in the table. I arrived at Nor-West’s ground, which was a chilly 38 degrees, to find that unfortunately the home side’s covers had holes in them, meaning that the pitch was wet, on one of the hottest days of the summer so far! A five hour wait ensued along with yet more leaf blowers to attempt to dry the pitch, which similarly to the match against Pennant Hills did next to nothing.
Eventually a toss was completed which we promptly lost and were sent in to field in what was now a 25 over a side match due to the rain. Fortunately, we were not required to be in the field for long as the Nor-West batsmen offered little resistance to what was a strong Roseville bowling attack. The home side were eventually bowled out for 87 after 21 overs. Unfortunately, I was unable to pick up a wicket but managed to bowl tightly, ending with figures of 0-14 from my 5 overs. We were therefore set a total of 88 to win from 25 overs. However in a weird turn of events, both of Roseville’s opening batsmen, as well as one of the umpires had to retire hurt due to the heat. Despite losing both openers to dehydration we managed to knock off the runs 1 down with relative ease, meaning that Roseville sat at a respectable 9th in the table, needing to climb 3 places in order to make the finals in the middle of March.
First grade were at home to North West Sydney and after winning the toss we chose to bowl first and skittled the opposition for 71 in 22 overs. I was not required to bowl, but took three catches. When our top order went out to bat they knocked off the runs in 17 overs for the loss of two wickets meaning I wasn't required with the bat either. Thankfully the catches meant I avoided a TFC.
The following day our Under 24 campaign continued in the Frank Gray Shield, against Macquarie Uni. This was again a must win for Roseville in order to have a chance of progressing to the knock-out stage of the competition. Losing the toss we were put into bat, with Reubs batting at his usual number 4 and myself at number 7. Things began slowly as we looked to not lose wickets early. However wickets began to fall as Reuben fell, unfortunately only managing to score 9. This meant that we fell to 127-5 with 17 overs remaining. I then was able to bat for the remainder of the innings, ending on 44* as we reached a respectable 227-8 from our 50 overs.
This gave us a good chance of continuing our winning run, but we knew we had to bowl well as Macquarie’s English overseas plays in the Liverpool premier league back home, meaning that he was a key man to get out early. During the second innings both myself and Reuben bowled well as we eventually bowled the opposition out for 164 in the 46th over. I managed to bag 2-47 from 10 and Reuben 2-33 from 6. This left Roseville in third position, needing rivals Warringah to lose another match with two matches remaining in order for us to qualify for the knockout stage.
During the week myself, Jase and Reubs flew up to Cairns for three days. We went chasing waterfalls and exploring the rainforest on our first day. On the second day of the trip we went scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, which was an unbelievable experience and definitely one of the highlights of the trip so far.
The following Saturday First Grade were away to Mounties, the furthest team out west and also top of the league. The pitch was one of the more interesting ones I’ve seen whilst being here, but it’s the same for both sides.
We lost the toss and went out to bowl. Although we took early wickets the Mounties batsmen kept coming and managed to build a few partnerships. I got my first bowl in first grade and bowled eight overs with figures of 1-25. We eventually bowled them out in the 50th over for 157 which was considered a good score on that pitch. We then went in to bat and a last minute promotion saw me up to number three and I was in after the first ball of the match. After scratching around for a while I was bowled for five and our batting capitulated to 88 all out, 35 of which were from our number five who remained not out. This now means that first grade will need to win the rest of our games to be in with a shot of finals.
In second grade we were at home against top six side Mounties in another one day match. This was set to be a difficult game. However our side was strong so we knew we had a good chance. Winning the toss we batted first, posting a respectable 220 from our 50 overs. I was batting down at 8 and managed to score 6 at the end before being run out. In the second innings we bowled extremely well, eventually bowling Mounties out for 112, meaning that we took a finals spot with four rounds remaining. I managed to bowl well picking up 2-24 from 8 overs.
The following day was the penultimate Frank Gray (U24’s) game of the season, a must win match against Lane Cove. We lost the toss and were inserted on a ‘green top’ and we soon lost early wickets. No scores of any significance from the top six including myself with just 5. However, a respectable partnership of 61 was put on for the seventh wicket by Charlie and our number nine. After falling away towards the end Roseville finished on 126 all out, Charlie top scoring with 35 in front of Mr Davies Snr. We then went out to field knowing we needed to defend this total to stand a chance of making finals. After taking a wicket in the first over, things were looking good, but a steady partnership from the top order Lane Cove batsmen meant we never really got that close and they chased down our total for the loss of just four wickets from 46 overs. I finished with figures of 6-0-20-0 and Charlie 10-3-30-1. Unfortunately this meant we were out of contention for finals, but still a big game the following Sunday against the old rivals Lindfield.
After the match it was a quick dash to the SCG to watch the Sydney Sixers take on the Brisbane Heat in the BBL. Sydney won the toss and chose to bat and posted a good score of around 180. Brisbane then went in to bat, but after losing the early wickets of McCullum and Lynn never really looked like chasing the total. This win for the Sixers increased the likelihood of a home semi-final at the SCG in February.
We started December with another two day match against last year's champions Burwood, meaning that this was a game that first grade were not expected to win. Bowling first we managed to bowl the away side out for 244 on the first day, with myself picking up 1 wicket. Due to one of our openers sustaining a dislocated finger while fielding, I was sent in to open as a night watchman and was able to see out the day on 3*, whereas my opening partner unfortunately kicked the ball onto his own stumps, a far from ideal start, leaving Roseville 24-1 after day one. After the first day's play, the second club event of the season took place. This was a Sneans night which consisted of wearing the worst shirt, jeans and trainers combo you could find. Myself and Reuben took part with great enthusiasm....
The following weekend we returned to Roseville knowing that we needed to score 220 runs to win, which should have been straight forward. However as we began to bat, wickets fell with our batsmen offering up little resistance to Burwood's fairly average bowling attack. This meant that Roseville slumped to 181 all out with our number 11 second top scoring with 37, meaning that our losing streak continued.
The last round before Christmas saw a visit from George’s River, who have previously provided Hugh Warmisham’s old club, Burgess Hill, with overseas players. Second grade were at home and there had been a heavy amount of rain during the week. I rocked up to the ground to find a wicket which was far more like Amberlords than the usual roads we had become accustomed to playing on over the last couple of months. However, despite the greenness along with the sogginess from the rain, we won the toss and choose to bat first. Two hours later we found ourselves 70-9 as rain meant that the days play was stopped early. Hilariously day two was washed out the following week meaning that both teams came away with a draw and therefore 0 points, much to the annoyance of the opposition captain.
Our final game of 2018 rounded off a personal total of 36 games in a calendar year in Australia and England combined, which was still 15 shy of Luckos mammoth effort of 51 games in 2018. We were hunting for our first win in the Under 24s competition and I was hopng for my first win in almost two and a half months. The opponents this week were fellow strugglers Pennant Hills, so this was a prime opportunity to end this drought. However the day did not start well as we arrived at the Roseville Chase to see that someone had broken into the ground and peeled back the covers in the rain. This meant that the pitch was soaked and, to add insult to injury, they had also performed doughnuts on the outfield.
This prompted a big effort to get the ground playable and there were several conspiracy stories flying around. Many left-field techniques were used in an attempt to dry the pitch. including the use of leaf blowers as massive wicket hair dryers. Eventually the pitch was dry enough for play to commence in a shortened 48 over aside match. Losing the toss we were put in to bat, with Reuben batting at number 4 and myself down at 8. After a couple of early wickets the innings was steadied as Reuben arrived at the crease. He batted superbly to reach 92, only to be robbed of his first century in Australia. He believed he had inside edged the ball onto his pad but was given out LBW. I had a short stay at the crease, only managing to score 8. However this did mean that Reubs and I had collectively scored a century in Australia. This left Roseville on 263-7 from our 48 overs, our highest score in the competition so far. After some tea, or ‘DIY Sambos’ as they're known as in Sydney, we took to the field confident that we could defend the score we had posted. Fortunately we were proved right as the Pennant Hills' innings faltered from the start, losing regular wickets, resulting in them being bowled out for 104 after 28 overs. I managed to pick up figures of 1-5 off of three overs and Reuben was unfortunately not needed to bowl. This meant a first win in the competition and an end to my two and a half month winless streak. Following the game a rendition of Roseville's club song was belted out in the changing room which is customary for the winning team to do in Australia. It's definitely something which needs to be implemented next season at Chilt; County League Div. 3 won’t know what’s hit it!
So a positive end to the year was followed by the first wave of the invasion from England, with Reuben’s Dad Jon, along with brother Toby and sister Hannah, arriving for Christmas. Christmas was a rather strange affair as the day was spent body boarding on Dee Why beach instead of the usual sitting in front of the fire, stuffed full of pigs in blankets.
On Boxing Day we took a trip to the Blue Mountains which boasted some incredible views as well as our first snake sighting of the trip.
Reuben... Round 4 was a one day match in which Roseville were up against Epping. In second grade we had a pretty lacklustre start to the day with players arriving in dribs and drabs and after a brief warm up the captains tossed up and we won and chose to bat first. The wicket looked very good for batting and a lightening outfield meant 250 was looking about par for the day. After a good start from our openers we lost our first wicket and i went in to bat. My innings lasted three balls before being caught at second slip for a duck. Luckily the middle order bolstered most of the innings but a collapse at the end of the innings including the last three wickets for four runs meant second grade finished 188 all out from 47 overs. We knew we were well below par with 188, but after a tight start from the opening bowlers it looked like all was not lost. A number of bowlers were used and wickets fell steadily throughout the innings. I was brought on to bowl near the end of the innings and took two wickets from my eight overs. With Epping 133-7 the game was still well within reach. However, we put down some easy chances meaning Epping ended up chasing down our total seven down with only four balls to go. I finished the game with a duck and figures of 8-0-20-1. This result left second grade around mid-table going into round five against Macquarie University.
So, round five and we were up against Macquarie University labelled one of the weaker teams in the league and therefore a must win game. We won the toss and put Macquarie in to bat on a pretty wet and rather English looking wicket. It proved a difficult wicket for batting on and at 68-8 it was looking like we'd bowl them out before tea. However, the Macquarie captain had other ideas scoring 13 runs off of 127 balls before eventually being run out! A couple of other contributions from the tail saw Macquarie to 96 all out with two of our leg spinners taking eight wickets between them and therefore i was not required with the ball. We then went into bat and lost several quick wickets including myself for a second ball duck. However, the middle order stuck got stuck in and saw us to 61-5 at the end of the first days play. When we came back the next week we knocked off the next 35 runs within the first ten overs of the day to get the win and then continued to bat in an attempt to win outright. Our innings came to an end just before tea as we were all out for 187 which meant we had just over 50 overs to bowl Macquarie out again in order to get the win outright. I opened the bowling and took a wicket just before tea leaving Macquarie 20-1 at the break. After tea the Macquarie batsmen showed very little intent on scoring any runs and so after 50 painstakingly boring overs the captains agreed to call it with Macquarie finishing 85-5 in their second innings. I finished the game with a two ball duck and figures of 14-6-24-1 in the second innings. The win meant we took six points from the game and moved up to sixth in the league and into the finals positions.
First grade were also up against Epping, and were looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss in the last round. Roseville bowled first on a wicket which is historically a road, managing to restrict Epping to only 240 from their 50 overs, which although seems a good effort on our part, bad bowling and fielding meant that we probably conceded 40 runs more than we should have. In the chase fairly regular wickets and good bowling from Epping meant that Roseville were behind the run rate from the get go. Eventually score board pressure took its toll and we found ourselves fall around 20 short of the required total, meaning we suffered a second consecutive loss and yet another game which we felt we’d thrown away.
We moved on to round 5 which was an away 2 day match at Macquarie University. When I arrived at the ground I found out that the facilities were pretty poor, as the changing rooms were no more than two portacabins, neither of which had toilets. Macquarie uni were billed as one of the weakest teams in the competition so this match was a must win. However with our recent form being so poor meant this round was set to be a rather tense affair.
On the first Saturday we lost the toss and batted first on a rather green wicket which proved to be difficult to score on. Despite this we finished the days play on 288-8 with myself finishing on 1*. So overall a good score on a pitch which actually did a bit, unlike most other pitches I’ve played on so far in Sydney.
We returned the second week needing to take the ten wickets we needed to win the match. However when we turned up, the green wicket we had batted on the previous week had mysteriously changed into what would be more likened to the A27. This meant that taking the ten wickets we needed was near impossible, with the home side chasing the total only four wickets down. I managed to bowl better than the weeks before, ending up with just one wicket. This match was particularly frustrating as Macquarrie uni were meant to be one of the weaker teams in the competition.
On the Sunday we played our first under 24s match against Warringah, who had won the competition last year. We batted first with Reuben batting at number 3, and myself at number 5. However the batting did not go as planned, with both of us out for less than 10. We eventually finished on 189 which we felt was well below par off of our 50 overs.
In Waringah’s innings we bowled and fielded extremely well to put pressure on the opposition batsmen. However a few poor overs and one or two dropped catches ultimately cost us, as Waringah reached our score on the last ball of the game. Both myself and Reuben bowled well, with Reuben being unlucky not to take a wicket, ending up with 0-19 off of his 9 overs, and I ended up with figures of 4-21 off of my 10 overs.
Next month we have clubs events to report on as well as the last couple of fixtures before Christmas and the English invasion from various members of Chilt.
Charlie....After our good starts in round 1 against Pennant Hills, two weeks of solid rain and thunder storms set in, meaning that the round 1 fixtures were all drawn, giving Roseville 0 points. This was a disappointing result especially as we looked set to win in both of mine and Reuben’s matches. The rain also meant that the first day of round 3 against rivals Lindfield was also called off, turning the game into a one day match the following week. In my game we arrived at a very wet and muddy Lindfield Oval, winning the toss and putting Lindfield in to bat. The slow wicket proved hard to bat on for the opposition, meaning that Roseville took regular wickets, eventually bowling Lindfield out for 98, with me finishing with figures of 2-23 off of my 7 overs. In the Roseville innings, we polished off the runs only 3 down in a fairly straightforward chase. This left Roseville in 4th position in the table with 7 points.
Reuben...Second grade were at home for round 2's one day game. I was told to arrive at the ground at 6am to help get the pitch ready after all the heavy rain we'd had, but ended up spending most of my time removing flares from the outfield. Roseville won the toss and we elected to field. Two wickets were taken in the first over and it looked like it was going to be a short day. However, a substantial partnership between two of Lindfield's middle order batsman and some pinch hitting at the end saw them reach 213 before being bowled out in the 49th over. Roseville got off to a good start in the run chase, but after losing the two openers in quick succession the runs slowed up. Soon the run rate was over a run-a-ball so this meant some quick runs were needed. After some lusty blows I was caught on the boundary for 68. The wickets then tumbled and Roseville ended up on 187-8 before being brought off for thunder and lightning. This meant we lost the game by 10 runs on D/L leaving us with no points and 8th in the league.
Later on that following night was the Roseville Cricket Club 100th year dinner which me and Charlie eventually got to after wandering aimlessly round Darling harbour in the rain. There were roughly 170 people in attendance and it certainly was a pretty special occasion. The night was MC'd by the Grade Cricketer who didn't disappoint and included Ed Cowan as the guest of honour. A team of the century was also announced which included the current first grade captain. Fireworks were set off from a barge in the centre of the harbour and once the unlimited alcohol stopped being served we headed downstairs to the clubs and bars on the waterfront where we spent the rest of the night.
During the week I managed to get a job at a cricket shop in a neighbouring suburb called Artarmon, and Reuben did his first and last days at a call centre, as he decided 7 hours a day of being sworn at by people he had just cold called was probably not for him.
As you can see, we've also visited some fairly average beaches like Manly and Bondi. However, we'd obviously rather be in a cold, wet England at the moment.
Reuben ....Round three saw the return of two-day games and second grade were play Lane Cove away at Tantallon Oval. We lost the toss and to our surprise were asked to bat on one of the flattest pitches I have ever come across. Therefore, batting was pretty straight forward and most of the team got off to good starts but only one went on to score 50+ meaning after 74 overs we were all out for 216. Five overs of fielding followed and after losing an early wicket Lane Cove had two night watchmen at the crease by the end of the days play.
Day two, and the two night watchmen proved difficult to remove at first, one of which scored a rapid 4 runs off 55 balls. A couple of wickets fell in quick succession down to some favourable umpiring decisions and at 38-5 it was looking like a short day of cricket. However, Lane Cove managed a couple of decent partnerships in the middle order and it was looking like the game was going to be a bit closer than we first thought. After 80 overs we eventually dismissed Lane Cove for 169 meaning a win by 47 runs and six points which meant we maintained our position of 8th in the league. I finished the match with 21 runs, figures of 10-3-21-1 and two catches.
Charlie....in my game at home we also lost the toss and Lane Cove sent us into bat. We batted well through the day, and with around 20 overs left in the day and after 8 weeks of being in the country, it was finally my turn to bat in a competitive match. I ended up being caught behind for 27, and shortly after Roseville declared on 306-9, mainly helped by the 123 scored by our number 5 batsman Ron. The declaration left us with around 6 overs left in the day to bowl at the opposition openers who somehow managed to survive despite giving away a couple of chances, meaning that Lane Cove ended the day on 25-0, requiring 281 to win the following week.
So the following week we turned up to the ground knowing what we had to do, take 10 wickets in 80 overs. We started well, dismissing one of the Lane Cove openers early, Lane Cove's captain joined their pomey overseas at the crease. After the overseas was dismissed, the pressure was placed firmly on the captain, especially due to the shakiness of the Lane Cove middle order. I then managed to bowl the Lane Cove number 4 around his legs which would prove to be my only wicket of the day. Then after drinks Roseville's opening bowler Rob took 4 wickets in 2 overs, leaving Lane Cove with around 150 runs still to get with only three wickets in hand. However we were to only take one more wicket as the Lane Cove skipper saw them home with a very well timed hundred, along with their number ten (whose top score in the last three years was 10) who somehow managed to village his way to 62. Overall a very disappointing result especially because of the position Roseville were in at points during the game. This result left the first grade side in 5th position after round 3, with the top 6 sides reaching the finals once all 13 rounds are completed.
Next month we will have more cricket club events to report on as well as the next three rounds, against clubs called Epping, Macquarie University and Burwood and the commencement of the U24s competition.
After months of planning, the big day finally arrived. As we woke up the feelings of nerves and excitement shifted into a feeling of realisation that we were genuinely travelling half way around the world for the next six months. We arrived at Heathrow with more kit than even Iain Haggart would manage to bring and the advice of anyone and everyone who had even heard of Sydney ringing in our ears (including some highly illegal and frankly immoral advice involving kangaroos from club coach van Noort).
However, before we could get the chance to follow any of this advice we were faced with the prospect of a massive 33 hour flight to Sydney via Houston, Texas. This was particularly daunting for us as, although Reubs had flown 10 hours to America, I had never flown for longer than 3 hours in my life.
Three days and 13,467 miles later, we finally touched down in Sydney. After a short delay due to Reuben’s trainers apparently being too unsanitary to enter the country, we were greeted by Rob, whom we’d be staying with until next April. Rob quickly made us feel at home by giving us a tour of the city, eventually arriving at his house in the leafy North Sydney suburb of Killara.
A few extremely jet lagged days later and we were faced with our first match, a one day trial match against local rivals Lindfield (a name that made us feel right at home). We arrived at Lindfield’s ground not knowing what to expect, especially as we had been told that the groundsman last year had managed to mark a wicket 22 metres long as opposed to the usual 22 yards for one match, which was only noticed as one player was unsurprisingly run out. Roseville lost the toss and were put into bat, with Reubs batting at number 4 and me at 7. We finished on 170-2 from our 50 overs, me and Reubs making 18 n/o and 20 retired out (to give more players a hit) respectively. During the second innings Roseville were in control the whole way taking regular wickets throughout, bowling Lindfield out in the 43rd over, around 30 short of what they needed. We both bowled well, Reuben taking 1 wicket after bowling very consistently for his 7 overs and myself ending up with 2 for not many after 7 overs. A good introduction to cricket in Australia for us and we couldn’t wait to get going next week as the league matches commenced.
During the week we went to the North Sydney Oval, a beautiful old ground in the city to watch New South Wales take on Tasmania in the JLT Cup, as well as a trip into the centre of Sydney to see the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.
On Saturday the league season kicked off against a team called Pennant Hills. We quickly learned that matches are very different here than they are back home. Games are played over two consecutive Saturdays during which there are 80 overs in a day with teams needing to bowl the other out in order to win (obtaining 6 points). However, there is the possibility to win outright, where if one team has already bowled the other out they can choose to bat again and then try and bowl the opposition out for a second time meaning that the winner would get 10 points instead of the usual 6.
In both of our games we won the toss and bowled first. In Reuben’s game Roseville 2nd grade bowled out Pennant Hills for 207 with Reuben bowling extremely tightly picking up 1 wicket for 31 from his 14 overs. In reply Roseville were well placed on 30-0 at the close of play, with Reuben batting at number 4. In my game Pennant Hills lost wickets fairly regularly with the wickets shared between each of the bowlers. I managed to pick up an extremely jammy wicket with my first ball, as the Pennant Hills batman managed to sweep the ball onto his own stumps. However it was reported on Twitter that I’d bowled him round his legs, so I’ll take it. I ended up with figures of 12-4-35-2 as Pennant Hills were bowled out for 182. At the close of play Roseville finished on 70-1, meaning that both me and Reuben were well placed to win our first games the following Saturday.
After the days play finished the first social event of the season started which was called lock in. For $50 we had access to free beer all night, beer Olympics as well as other ‘entertainment’. Although the beer Olympics almost killed us, it was a great night and something we should definitely try and replicate at Chilt.
Next month the league will continue with the second half of round 1 as well as rounds 2 and 3. There is also Roseville’s 100 year dinner in the centre of the city to look forward to and we’ll try to keep everyone updated as to how we get on.