Buccaneers (177-6) beat Lindfield (176-6 dec) by 4 wickets
Report by Adam Wyartt
The schoolboy error of informing the team in advance of a possible 12th man resulted in the predictable last minute flurry of unavailability. However, Rob Rydon and Sandy Henderson stepped into the breach meaning the Buccs turned up at this rather poignant fixture with a full and not unexciting XI.
A hot day and a pitch like a teenager’s face would have suggested having a bat but the skipper’s inexperience with the coin made this moot and we were asked to field by the unquestionably Australian Brett Silvey.
Having been advised that Lindfield’s batting was not at its strongest, Adam Wyartt decided to take the new ball with left-arm spinner Simon Leefe for Health & Safety reasons. After a flurry of stylish runs from the youthful Lindfield openers as Lawrenson and Pinnard demonstrated their ability to look after themselves, normal service was resumed with Rydon let loose to hurtle down the hill and deliver his trademark “unplayable venom”. Although certainly a handful and perhaps too good to find the edge, Rydon remained tight but wicketless. Both openers made 50 and Lindfield were looking set for a big total.
Inexplicably absent from Buccaneer duty for too long, up stepped Steve “the Rhino” Brandes to turn the game on its horned head. Two wickets in 2 balls from Rhino set the tone for an ‘all-grey, er, spearhead’ to disrupt Lindfield’s innings with faultless length and daring flight. John Bryant joined the Rhino with judicious offspin and was also soon in the wickets as was President Woolfries with his own brace. Brett Silvey’s end-of-innings cameo was briefly explosive and the declaration was made following a failed reverse sweep at 176 in 47 overs.
The skipper proudly unleashed Kimbo Ross and the Very Reverend James Stringer with the willow and the innings progressed slowly but surely as youthful arms tunred over. But the shock dismissal of Ross for 16 with a edge to the lightning right hand of Silvey at slip unnerved the Buccs and Stringer soon followed for 17.
Rydon was all dash and swagger as he and John ‘ Stubbsie’ Steele (26) steadied the ship and injected some urgency into the run chase. However, Pinnard continued to pose problems and Steele was soon replaced by David West, who, perhaps jaded from his previous night’s antics, soon departed for 9. Happily, Rydon remained in fine fettle, stroking magnificently and occasionally piercing the filed to close in on the target with the able assistance of Leefe.
But the overs ticked by and heart leapt into mouths when Pinnard dismissed Rydon for 61. Woolfries came and went for 1 but Leefe (18 not out) was not to be denied as he and superstar cry-on Henderson (5 not out) carried the Buccaneers over the line with an over and a ball to spare.