The Napa Valley Cricket Club hosted BACA (Bay Area Cricket Alliance) league leaders the Thunderbolts Cricket Club in an enthralling high scoring encounter last Saturday at the Fairgrounds in Calistoga. NVCC were hoping to repeat their 2013 win over league opposition when they beat Berkeley CC of the NCCA league and while they made a valiant effort they fell short in the end.
The Thunderbolts arrived at the Fairgrounds after a night spent in Wine Country eager to get going and opted to bat first. A quick-fire opening partnership of 60 runs from the opening batsmen, Mali and Babar, in just 8.5 overs set a solid foundation for the Thunderbolts. Even after NVCC captain Mackenzie had Mali trapped LBW (leg before wicket) the strong run rate continued but NVCC bowlers New Zealander Bernie Peacock and Irishman Andrew Healy had other ideas. Both Peacock and Healy bagged 3 wickets each for NVCC on the day either side of drinks. They were supported in the field with some great catches particularly from wicket-keeper Jeff Keene who had a strong game with the gloves including a stumping off Healy. NVCC welcomed their first celebrity sub fielder of the season in the shape of Calistoga Mayor, Chris Canning, who showed a great arm and ability to be part of the on-field chatter!
The Thunderbolts batsmen showed Peacock, NVCC’s top wicket taker of the season, little respect sending his first ball of the day sailing out of the ground for a maximum six. In the end his five overs cost 49 runs but counted amongst them were those three valuable wickets. As the Thunderbolts headed towards the drink break Healy’s first wicket took the wind from their sails but they had still amassed 138 runs from 17 overs. Healy’s two further wickets in the 20th over helped slow the Thunderbolts somewhat and wickets from New Zealander Bill Nancarrow, South African Dale Moorehouse and Mackenzie aided the NVCC cause with the Thunderbolts being bowled out in 32 overs for a formidable 243 runs.
After lunch provided by club sponsors Calistoga Roastery Mackenzie had some decisions to make. With such a big total to chase he went out with his big run makers from the off. It was to be a similar tale with each of the NVCC top order as they all got great starts (to their Innings) but were unable to convert any of them into a serious total. Three run-outs didn’t aid the NVCC cause as Moorehouse (19 runs off 23 balls) went in the eight over, Nancarrow (0 off 3) and Australian Michael Rule (22 off 33) all losing their wickets that way. NVCC President Phil Bourke (14 off 15) fell to ball that clipped the top of his off-stump while Keene lost his wicket to a good ball that saw him clean bowled. A solid knock from Bijoy Ojha saw him post a score of 27 runs from 29 balls but once he fell, it was the beginning of the end for the NVCC. A final stand flurry from Australian Pete Carson (19 off 21) wasn’t enough to bring it home for Napa Valley and they ended up all out for 177 with four overs of their allotted 35 remaining.
“We all had a fantastic day at the Fairgrounds playing a great bunch of guys in the very talented Thunderbolts team” said NVCC Club Captain Mackenzie. “After a fast start from their batsmen we fought back well to get them all out despite some dropped catches. The top of our batting order looked good today but a series of silly run outs, and the lack of a single stand out innings cost us the chance of an epic victory. Nevertheless we had a fun day pitting ourselves against a strong league team and enjoyed the challenge, making the result less of an issue.”
The traditional Clos du Val “Man of the Match” Award was presented to by NVCC Club Captain Mackenzie to Monty Bijlani for his all-round performance.
Next Game – Saturday 23rd August 2014 from 10:00am at The Fairgrounds in Calistoga vs. Sonoma Gullies for the second game in the 2014 season series of three games.
Score Summary – Full scorecard
Napa Valley CC vs. Thunderbolts CC – 9th August 2014
Napa Valley CC 177 all out lost to Thunderbolts CC 243 all out by 66 runs. (35 over game / 11 batting)
Napa Valley CC Batting – Bijoy Ojha 27 runs off 29 balls (4 x 4), Michael Rule 22 off 33 (4 x 4), Jeff Keene 20 off 31 (1 x 4, 1 x 6).
Napa Valley CC Bowling – Andrew Healy 3 wickets for 29 runs off 4 overs, Bernie Peacock 3 for 49 off 5, Martin Mackenzie 2 for 36 off 5.
Sponsors – The Napa Valley Cricket Club wishes to acknowledge the assistance of the following sponsors – Clos du Val, Cork Supply USA, Tonnellerie Saint Martin, Biagi Bros., Oracle, go vino, 3 rock marketing, Domain Chandon, Napa Point Brewing, Joseph Cellars, Cornerstone Cellars, Ciatti & Co., Rebel Dog Hot Dogs, Napa Gourmet Foods, Treasury Wine Estates, Lyve Systems Inc., Calistoga Roastery, IPC Hospitalist Group, Taltarni, 707 Embroidery Zone and TricorBraun WinePak.