We turned up to the quite beautiful EP Nazar Reserve to find ideal team-bonding-sized change rooms (3m x3m). Port Adelaide won the toss and elected to bowl to our delight, as the wicket looked good for batting. Alex Chapman didn’t think so, however, as he was caught behind on the second ball of the match. Not long after we lost Michael Cotsios with a spooned drive to point and we were 2/20.We steadied the ship with two impressive innings from our south-east boys, Luke Pedlar (Kingston) and Dylan Silvy (Mount Gambier). They both played mature innings, pouncing on loose balls and consistently rotating the strike, to guide us to 2/100. At this stage Port were starting to lose hope and a big score was on the cards. However, once Dylan was dismissed we lost a few wickets in quick succession and we let Port back in the contest at tea at 5/125.The over after tea Jamie Panelli put the foot on the accelerator with help from some wild bowling from Port’s off-spinner, hitting 4 fours and making batting look easy out there. Unfortunately we couldn’t capitalise as Jamie was bowled next over. This sparked a collapse and we were all of a sudden 9/155. A battle for the 10th batting spot made Adam Clements and Eddy Greeves work hard to be the not out batsman, it was a fiercely fought contest with Eddy hitting all runs behind square and Adam whacking bombs. It ended as Eddy edged behind to finish the innings with a total of 181. We felt it was below par, but still plenty of runs to defend for our strong bowling lineup.Port started their innings very slowly, with tight bowling from James Cleggett and Adam, plays and misses were becoming a normality as they scored a miserly 0 runs from the first 7 overs. Finally Adam trapped their opener in front, a deserved wicket for the opening bowlers’ hard work. A strange moment ensued as we looked over to the boundary to see the next batsman, padded up, throwing throw downs to their number 6 batsman. It didn’t help as he was later bowled by Jamie for 0.
Port continued to build on their score, gradually increasing their intent. However, when Jamie (3 wickets) began his spell there was only one way it was going to go, bowling well in tandem with Steve Tanti (2 wickets), to cause chaos on the Port sidelines as we finished the day with Port on 6/29. It was a great session to end the day for Kensington to put us in a strong position to build on for next week.
After putting ourselves in a dominant position in day one, scoring 181 and having Port 6/29, we wanted to take quick wickets to capitalise. We had the ideal start after James Cleggett managed to get a leading edge ballooning to cover. The eight wicket followed as Jamie Panelli hit the pads with the umpire’s finger raising quickly afterwards. Unfortunately it took a little while to take the last two wickets with two frustrating partnerships. When we finally took the last wicket 25 overs Port were on 66. This gave us the opportunity to enforce the follow on and try to win outright, a rare position to be in for the C grade. The equation was we had 53 overs to take 10 wickets to receive 10 bonus points.Things didn’t go to plan early on as the opening batsmen kept frustrating us with some missed chances and plenty of plays and misses. At the tea break Port were still without the loss of a wicket. Tom Mackenzie was finally able to take the first wicket with a beautifully bowled wrong’un, LBW. Our bowlers still toiled hard and T-Mac was able to snag a big wicket, the batter picking out cow beautifully. This was followed by two more for T-Mac and an LBW for Adam Clements and all of a sudden the outright win seemed a likely target again. T-Mac had the ball on a string at the point and everything he touched turned to gold, batsmen had no idea about his wrong’uns or his fielder at cow, in the end finishing with a thoroughly well-deserved 7 wickets.
The equation was becoming tricky as Port were inching closer to our first innings score, with overs winding down. We had two wickets to get in 7 overs, while still keeping the runs below 15. Jamie was able to sneak one through Port’s captain’s defence to give us only one wicket to get in the last 4 overs. Port trickled past our score, which meant we lost two overs because of the change over of innings. We had to take a wicket in the 50th over to give us 1 over to chase down the runs. On the fifth ball of the bowler Kensington had a huge shout for LBW with the batsmen not picking the wrong’un turned down, which seemed unbelievable to turn down and woud’ve set up an entertaining run chase of four in one over. But unfortunately it wasn’t to be. We picked up the last wicket with 2.5 overs remaining in the day and even with some wild Jamie celebrations the umpires were standing strong on the rules and all overs had been exhausted for the day.
It was a devastating end to such a grinding day, especially considering T-Mac’s heroics on the day, but ultimately it was an impressive team performance from the C’s.