As the Napa Valley Cricket Club head to the halfway point of their third season they have more wins than losses to their name, with a 4 and 3 record for the season. NVCC had two recent home games in Calistoga against the Sri Lanka Socials and Marin Titans were they lost and won respectively.
After a great game against the Sri Lanka Socials in 2013 NVCC were delighted to welcome them back to renew the friendly banter filled rivalry. Calistoga Mayor, Chris Canning, officiated at the toss with visiting captain Manoj Rodrigo calling and losing the toss, Martin Mackenzie the NVCC captain choose to bowl first. NVCC were without bowling revelation of the season Bernie Peacock who was away on World Cup duty in Brazil but still made steady progress through the Sri Lanka batting line up. Mackenzie used all of his bowling options to great effect utilizing eight players to keep his attack varied and to keep the Sri Lanka batsmen guessing. Wickets fell at very regular intervals and none of the Sri Lankans scored more than 26 but some wayward bowling did allow 32 extras. The wickets were shared amongst six of Mackenzie’s bowlers with South African Dale Moorehouse taking 3 and there were two each for Bijoy Ojha, Nadeem Solanki, and Pete Carson.
The Sri Lanka total of 164 was very chasable but NVCC made slow and hard work of the chase after lunch. Opening batsmen Moorehouse and New Zealander Jeff Keene were tied down by excellent line and length bowling from the Sri Lanka opening bowlers, Thile and Niro. Thile in particular bowled well with three maidens from his six overs for the loss of 17 runs. Keene was eventually run out in a mix up with Moorehouse and new member Kiranpreet Singh made a brief first appearance of the season before being trapped LBW by Rasa. This brought Australian Tim Irwin to the crease and he injected some urgency into the chase with a quick fire 35 off 32 balls. He lost his wicket to a stunning fingertip caught and bowled by Johan that lifted the Sri Lanka team. Despite another great effort from Ojha with the bat (34 off 37) the rest of the NVCC batting line up failed to fire and Napa Valley ended up 26 runs short with a total of 138.
The first ever encounter between Napa Valley CC and Marin Titans CC at the Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga last Saturday, July 19th, saw a high scoring affair with Napa Valley eventually coming out victorious. Chasing the Titans strong total of 188 off their 30 overs, Napa reached the total with the loss of only three wickets and with four overs remaining.
Aided by a pitch that had the ball coming on well to the batsmen and with no wind to provide movement for the bowlers, the top order batsmen of both teams took advantage of the conditions with two players from each team reaching 50 before retiring.
The Titan’s opening batsmen Zane Stephens and Mihaly Szigeti immediately took a liking to the Calistoga field and set about scoring quickly. The NVCC fielding was not of the standard seen in recent games and the batsmen took control. NVCC captain Rob Bolch threw seven different bowlers at the pair in the opening session without success; it was only after Stephens hit a six at the end of the 14th over to bring up a well-deserved 50 and subsequently retired that NVCC got any respite. The opening pair put on an undefeated 110 runs partnership. In the next over Szigeti also hit a six to bring up his 50 and retirement. Going into the drinks break after 15 overs the Titan’s were well on top at 124, effectively for the loss of no wickets.
After the break with two new batsmen at the crease Napa finally started to make some headway with Tim Irwin bowling Marin’s elder statesman Jim Pitman for six and then two overs later a running mix-up led to Nick Lynam heading back to the sidelines, run-out. Over the remaining overs of the innings NVCC managed to dislodge a few more Titan’s batsman although not without some resistance from captain Mark Carrington with a fine 24 off just 18 balls and Bilal Maqsood and Ben Wood who both held up their ends for 18 balls each. Heading into the last two overs the Titan’s were at 174 for 4 before South African born Dale Moorehouse came onto bowl for NVCC and picked up two wickets and then Australian born Nick Withers took the ball for the final over, picking up an amazing four wickets out of his six legal deliveries; including being on a hat-trick during the over and at the conclusion of the innings. The pick of the NVCC bowlers were Withers with 4 for 22, Peacock 2 for 17 and Moorehouse 2 for 35.
After the lunch break NVCC came out needing over 6 runs an over to win. Opening pair Moorehouse and Martin Mackenzie started the chase but only got to 22 in the fifth over before Mackenzie fell to an LBW facing Stephens, who followed on from his fine batting display with a strong opening spell with the ball. That brought Withers to the crease and he in turn backed up his amazing final over with a strong batting display. He and Moorehouse took Napa to drinks at the 15th over at 111 for 1 and the momentum slightly in their favor. Shortly after Moorehouse scored his 50 with a four and retired, bringing Kiranpreet Singh to the crease. Singh was soon replaced by Bijoy Ojha and Withers then joined Moorehouse on the sidelines care of a four that brought up his 50 and retirement. Irwin then joined Ojha and the two took to the game to the Titans; Irwin scored a quick 12 before he holed out to a catch at “long on” that brought Captain Bolch to the crease as he and Ojha guided the NVCC to victory, with Ojha scoring a fine 31 off just 26 balls.
The traditional Clos du Val “Man of the Match” Award went to Zane Stephens for his undefeated 52 and bowling figures of 1 for 18 off four overs.
Napa Valley CC vs. Sri Lanka Socials – 28th June 2014 – Full Scorecard
Napa Valley CC 138 all out lost to Sri Lanka Socials 164 all out by 28 runs. (35 over game / 12 batting)
Napa Valley CC Batting – Tim Irwin 35 runs off 32 balls (3 x 4, 2 x 6), Bijoy Ojha 34 off 37 (3 x 4, 1 x 6).
Napa Valley CC Bowling – Dale Moorehouse 3 wickets for 12 runs off 2.3 overs, Nadeem Solanki 2 for 14 off 4, Pete Carson 2 for 9 off 2.
Napa Valley CC vs. Marin Titans – 19th July 2014 – Full Scorecard
Napa Valley CC 189 / 3 beat Marin Titans 188 all out by 8 wickets. (30 over game / 11 batting)
Napa Valley CC Batting – Dale Moorehouse 52 runs (retired) off 45 balls (7 x 4, 1 x 6), Nick Withers 52 (retired) off 46 (8 x 4), Bijoy Ojha 31 (not out) off 26 (3 x 4, 1 x 6).
Napa Valley CC Bowling – Nick Withers 4 wickets for 2 runs off 3 overs, Bernie Peacock 2 for 17 off 5, Dale Moorehouse 2 for 35 off 3.
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.