PCA v Barker Invitation XI at Barker College No. 1 – 19 February 2012

This annual match against our hosts Barker College on the beautiful Barker No. 1 ground is one of the highlights of our season. It is also one of the toughest matches. Barker rarely puts a weak team on the paddock for this fixture, and this match was no different.

Joe Scarcella’s recent luck with the toss continued and the Primary Club batted first.

Chris Lloyd and Bob Stephens opened the batting. The opening partnership was a good one, Stephens playing the steadying hand as Lloyd played some lovely attacking strokes. The pair put on 49 runs before Stephens fell for 15. Michael Cant came in to join Lloyd at the crease, quickly followed by Mark Clarebrough, and then Stewart Roberts. Lloyd played beautifully and aggressively before having to retire on 50 n.o. The unfortunately familiar habit of our batsmen making starts but not building partnerships was again apparent. While Roberts managed to stay in long enough to compile 28, the other batsmen around him were again making starts but failing to go on and put together substantial scores. Cassimatis (10), Dixon (6), Calitz (9) Scarcella (13), and Hunter (12) all made starts, while Mullane finished with 17 n.o.

The PCA scored 175 runs from the allotted 40 overs. On this good batting pitch and fast outfield, was it enough?

Paul Hunter and Dean Bell opened the bowling. The Barker openers put together a solid partnership of 41 before Dean struck. The next man in was former Sri Lankan international all-rounder Russell Arnold, who was the cricket coach at Barker. Paul was next to strike… literally. Russell top edged an attempted pull shot off Hunter and was struck on the cheek. As he was forced to retire hurt, Russell’s young son, who was a spectator at the game, added insult to injury when he was heard to admonish his illustrious father as he came from the field, with words to the effect that he should have taken his son’s advice and worn a helmet!

Change bowlers Chris Lloyd and Richard Dixon each bowled tidily during their 7 over spells, but wickets were hard to come by. Dixon eventually took 1 wicket, while the skipper Joe Scarcella grabbed 2 middle order wickets in quick succession to give the PCA a glimmer of hope. In the end, The PCA did not have enough runs on the board to thwart the Barker lads. Their lower middle order consolidated and carried their team through to pass our total with a couple of overs to spare.

It was a most enjoyable day for all concerned. As always, our generous hosts Barker College provided a wonderful afternoon tea and we all shared post-match drinks to top off the great match, played in the usual excellent spirit.

Result:

PCA – 175 runs (40 overs) lost to Barker XI – 177 runs (37 overs)

The team:

Joe Scarcella (c), Bob Stephens, Chris Lloyd, Michael Cant, Mark Clarebrough, Stewart Roberts, Nick Cassimatis, Richard Dixon, Kevin Calitz, Peter Mullane, Paul Hunter, Dean Bell.

Batting:

C. Lloyd (50 n.o.), S Roberts (28)

Bowling:

J Scarcella – 2/19 (3 overs), D. Bell – 1/21 (7 overs) R Dixon – 1/35 (7 overs)

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