Playing Marin CC on a sunny September afternoon at Piper Park in Larkspur for the series decider, Napa Valley Cricket Club was left to regret numerous dropped and missed catches that were to ultimately cost them the game.
Napa won the toss and put Marin in to bat. Rob Bolch, bowling, and Phil Bourke, wicket keeping, combined to send both of Marin’s opening batsmen back to the sidelines caught behind. With Inderjeet Singh bowling Marin captain Raj Thiagaraj for 27 with his first ball, despite popping out his non-bowling shoulder at the same time, Marin wer looking a little shaky at 44 runs for 3 wickets.
The dangerous Minesh Govenji was run-out from a ball relayed first from Bijoy Ojha at mid-off into Singh and then onto Bourke who removed the bails with both batsmen standing at the other end. Singh and Bolch chipped in with two more wickets in the 19th and 20th overs respectively to have NNCC on top at the end of the first session, with Marin on 110 runs for the loss of 6 wickets.
Returning from the drinks break the wheels fell off the NVCC fielding effort. Over the next ten overs the Marin pair of Kanishka Pothuka and Zane Stephens put on exactly 100 runs as Napa dropped or missed 10 catches. The pair took the score to 210 runs with Pothuka in particular making NVCC suffer for their mistakes taking his own tally to 93 before, ironically, being caught by possibly the best catch of the season by Singh off the bowling of Ojha. Singh, fielding at long on, ran about 30 yards before sliding and catching the ball with a single outstretched hand.
With Pothuka’s dismissal Napa once again got on top of the batsmen restricting Marin to just 55 runs off the last ten overs while taking the remaining four wickets. The damage had been done though by Pothuka and Stephens’ hundred run partnership and Marin finished at a very challenging 265 off its 40 overs. Bernie Peacock and Bolch were the best of the Napa bowlers with three wickets apiece while Singh was economical with two wickets for 33 off his ten overs, in addition to his great catch. Bourke was the pick of the fielders with two catches and a stumping behind the crease with just one “bye” let go.
After the lunch break NVCC took the crease to chase down the formidable Marin target. New Zealand pair, Martin Mackenzie and Jeff Keene opened the batting and started slowly but solidly, determined to build a solid foundation. They took the score to 32 before Keene was bowled and Mackenzie followed shortly afterwards run-out to leave NVCC in trouble but still in the game at 41 for 2. Ojha and Clive Richardson came to the crease but neither was able to get established and Napa slipped to 52 for 4. This brought Singh and Bourke together and the pair worked to re-establish the NVCC innings. The pair got NVCC through the drinks’ break and onto 90 before Singh, still suffering from his injured shoulder, was bowled. Abhijit “Doc” Adhye had a short stay before Michael Rule joined Bourke with the score at 90 for 6 and the game largely out of reach. The pair worked hard to get the score to a respectable total staying together eight overs and 47 runs before Bourke holed out to mid-wicket for 36 while trying to up the scoring rate.
By the time Bolch joined Rule NVCC needed 128 off slightly less than eight overs. Bolch attacked the bowling scoring 25 off just 18 balls before falling LBW (leg before wicket) to Stephens and Rule contributed 36 before finally being run-out with one ball to spare.
At the end of its 40 overs NVCC was well short of the target with only 191 runs on the board, giving Marin the game and the best of three series win after both teams went into the game with a win apiece. Best batting efforts from Napa were Bourke and Rule with 36 each and Bolch with his 25.
“The competition with the Marin CC Social team was strong as always” said NVCC Vice Captain Rob Bolch. “The game was played in a great spirit, with both teams desperately trying to take out the final game of the 3 game series and claim the head to head ‘victory’ for the season.”
“We got off to a terrific start, and had Marin at 6/90 just before the 20 over break” continued Bolch “but unfortunately, we just couldn’t keep the momentum going after such a strong start. Too many dropped catches in the field really let the bowlers good efforts down. At the end of the day, Marin were just too strong with two superb displays from batsman Kanishka Pothuka with 93 and Zane Stevens with 51. Good efforts by the Napa Valley team were again by the New Zealander, Bernie Peacock with his 3/59, and Indian Inderjeet Singh with his 2/33. With the bat we had solid contributions by Aussies Phil Bourke and Michael Rule who both scored 36.”
The traditional Clos du Val “Man of the Match” Award was presented by NVCC Vice Captain Rob Bolch to Kanishka Pothuka of Marin CC for his match winning 93.
Score Summary – Full Scorecard
Napa Valley CC vs Marin CC – 20th September 2014
Marin CC 265 all out beat Napa Valley CC 191/9 by 74 runs. (40 over game / 12 batting)
Napa Valley CC Batting – Michael Rule 36 runs off 44 balls (2 x 4), Phil Bourke 36 off 47 (1 x 6, 3 x 4), Rob Bolch 25 off 18 (4 x 4).
Napa Valley CC Bowling – Rob Bolch 3 wickets for 44 runs off 8 overs, Bernie Peacock 3 for 59 off 8, Inderjeet Singh 2 for 33 off 8.
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.