PCA v I Zingari at Camden – 28th March 2010

March 29, 2010 by  

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This was the PCA’s last game of the season. I Zingari hosted us at their picturesque home ground.

The PCA captain Joe Scarcella struggled to field a team due to a number of last-minute withdrawals. This is not an uncommon occurrence at the end of a long season, as our experience tells us. With the help of several I Zingari players who didn’t make the host team, we did however manage put a much-weakened side on the paddock.

The hosts won the toss and elected to bat first. Our young opening bowlers Joe Scarcella Jnr and Sam Cox were at best steady, but not penetrative, against a solid opening pair, in what was a very strong batting line-up. Our change bowlers, Jock Baird and Joe Scarcella, came on after 12 overs with the score at 0-53, and had some success in taking some wickets and keeping the scoring rate down to a respectable rate. However, the captain had very few bowlers to call upon from there, so we had to rely on part-timers to complete the overs. Our opponents took full toll on the attack in the latter overs, scoring at a very heavy rate.

The top scorer for I Z’s, PCA member Marcus Braid, batted very well and eventually made 85 n.o. However, he offered a simple catch early in his innings which was inexplicably dropped. He also was given the benefit of the doubt for a close caught and bowled chance off the captain’s bowling. He definitely made the most of his chances, while we were left to rue what might have been…

I Zingari lost only 3 wickets in its innings, finishing their 40 overs with an imposing total of 3-231.

It was a target that was always going to be hard to beat; and so it proved. The opening batsmen Scarcella Jnr and Story started steadily enough against some good bowling but the run chase against the strong I Zingari attack was proving too difficult to chase.  Mark Clarebrough, coming in at first drop, batted strongly and along with the captain, made a useful contribution. From that point on the wickets fell on a regular basis, without threatening the total at any time.

For I Zingari, Sandy Tubbs starred with the ball, taking 5-30 off his 8 overs.

Despite the lop-sided match, the teams did enjoy a lovely lunch and post-match drinks day in the fine autumn sunshine.

Bowling:
J. Scarcella 2-32 (11 overs); J. Baird 1-27 (7 overs);

Batting:
J. Scarcella – 25;  M. Clarebrough – 14; P. Scott – 16 n.o. ; R. Bowden – 13; M. Story – 13
Joe Scarcella

29 March 2010

PCA v SCG XI at King’s – 7 March 2010

March 10, 2010 by  

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After several days of heavy rain, it was an unexpected and pleasant surprise that nice weather greeted us on the weekend, which allowed us to play the inaugural match between the PCA and the SCG XI at the beautiful J.S. White Oval at King’s. The match had originally been scheduled to be played at the SCG XI’s home ground Drummoyne Oval in November, but had to be postponed due to the unavailability of the ground.

The PCA Captain Joe Scarcella won the toss. With a couple of late withdrawals, and the late arrival of the 2 replacement players (including an opening batsman), we decided to send the SCG XI in to bat. It was a risky call, given that our opponents were fielding a strong young team with several grade players – including one first grader, and their captain Andy Balbirnie who was an Ireland U19 cricket rep.

Our opening bowlers Chris Lloyd and Joe Scarcella (Jnr) bowled with good hostility. Chris trapped the opener in front in his first over and finished with good figures of 1-25 from his 6 overs. At the other end, Joe Jnr continued with his excellent bowling form for the PCA in this, his first season with the PCA, bowling an excellent line and length and getting enough outswing movement through the air to cause the batsmen some headaches. His accurate pace bowling was well rewarded, clean bowling the other opener with a swinging yorker and claiming the No. 4 batsman LBW. He finished with excellent figures of 2-15 from his 7 overs.

Change bowlers Laughlan Davies and Joe Scarcella (Snr) took over the attack and continued to ask questions of the batsmen with some very good, persistent and accurate bowling. Laughlan bowled very well, his 9 overs of accurate medium pacers completed without success in terms of wickets but troubling the batsmen regularly. At the other end, Joe also bowled well, tying the batsmen down with accurate swing bowling and frustrating the batsmen who were showing clear intent that they wanted to take control of the match with aggressive batting. With excellent support from his fieldsmen, Joe took 3-29 from his 9 over spell. Marcus Braid came into the attack to bowl his off spin. He, too, bowled very well against the batsmen who were clearly out to accelerate the run rate and accumulate a score our opponents could defend. Marcus finished with the excellent figures of 2-12 off 4 overs. The other bowlers – Bob Stephens, and late replacements James Loughhead and young Sam Cox – performed creditably too, Sam picking up a wicket in his first over in his debut match for the PCA.

The SCG XI finished with a total of 9-168 from their 45 overs. From the PCA bowlers and fielders, against a very strong young team, it was a truly excellent performance in the field to restrict them to a target that was very ‘gettable’.

Our run chase started well. Openers Chris Lloyd and Marcus Braid batted steadily against a good bowling attack, pacing the scoring well and keeping us on target all the way. When Marcus fell for 10, Mark Clarebrough came in and, with Chris, continued the run chase at a steady rate. Chris stepped up his scoring rate, playing some lovely shots and finding the boundary a few time, including a glorious cover drive. He looked set for big score but nicked one behind and departed for 28. Joe Jnr came in and got out a few overs later, caught on the deep mid wicket boundary trying to punish a loose delivery but failing to clear the outfield.

That brought Damian Cullen to the crease. Damian, not a batsmen who likes to prod and hang around or to let bowlers get on top of the batsmen, started solidly and looked to consolidate in a partnership with Mark. The runs were coming steadily and both batsmen looked solid against some very good bowling. After getting his eye in, Damian set about to attack the bowlers in his usual manner. He played some excellent aggressive shots, accelerating the scoring rate as he hit several boundaries to all parts of the field including a massive six over the longest part of the VERY BIG JS White Oval. He batted superbly, bringing up his half century before retiring. At the other end, Mark was batting steadily, mixing caution against the tight bowling with aggression to the loose delivery. His knock of 39 (retired) kept the innings together. When he retired we only required about 16 runs to notch up the win. However there was a late order collapse –  that is, until Laughlan Davies and James Loughhead steadied the ship, their last wicket stand of 15 finally taking us to victory.

The victory capped off a wonderful day. The boys from the SCG XI provided very stern competition, but most importantly all the PCA players were unanimous in the view that they played the game in a fantastic spirit. Over a few post-match drinks and the mandatory post mortem, both teams agreed it was a great day. Both captains hope and expect to see this become an annual fixture.

Result:  PCA 7 – 171 (43.2 overs) def SCG XI 168 (45 overs)

Batting:  D. Cullen 50 n.o. (retired); M. Clarebrough 39 n.o. (retired); Chris Lloyd 28; M. Braid 10; L. Davies 10 n.o. ; J. Loughhead 6 n.o.

Bowling: J Scarcella (snr) 3-29 (9 overs);  J Scarcella (jnr) 2-15 (7 overs); M.Braid 2-12 (4 overs); C. Lloyd 1-25 (6 overs); S. Cox 1-23 (3 overs)

Joe Scarcella
8 March 2010