It was with great anticipation that Vienna Cricket Club made its way down to Seebarn in its search for an elusive 4th open league title. Lords cricket club had performed well all year, and the match promised to be captivating for both devoted supporters and neutrals alike. The first attempt at winning on the grand stage had been thwarted by rain the previous Sunday. The single innings completed would count for nothing, with sumptuous hundreds and truly majestic 4-fa’s forgotten as if they had never occurred.
Which brings us finally to the big dance. Much like the previous weekend, Lords would be batting first. The two Lords openers had scored with aplomb throughout the season and were by far the key wickets, and we were expectedly jubilant when big Dan Eckstein (1-34) managed to induce an edge behind from the opposition skipper. Wali (2-47) pounded away relentlessly from the other end as he had all year, and was rewarded as he burst through the defense of the Lords first drop. The VCC bowling continued to plug away, another wicket falling cheaply as the runs were kept to a minimum.
After the break the big moment was on the horizon as the smaller, balder Dan (2-36) managed to strike one batsmen plumb LBW. The pressure of the match situation and the falling wickets was telling, as Dan then managed to sneak one through the defences of the Lords opening batsmen, dismissing him for 71 and bringing his total runs against VCC to a paltry 180 in two innings. The remainder of the innings was characterized by some good bowling, some luck for the batsmen, and some sloppy fielding. The always wily AB (2-32) managed to jag a couple, Wali added another scalp, and there was a frantic run out towards the end as Lords finished on 9-198.
With the hard work ahead of us, Ram and Big Dan strolled out to the middle. Ram was unfortunately given out LBW in controversial circumstances, and the chase was off to a bad start. Mark SP would follow him soon after, a leading edge popping up to cover. The storm was weathered at first by big Dan, smashing sixes and fours at will on his way to 44- one of his massive sixes flying straight through the middle of the two flag poles. Erwin Grasinger (60*) managed to hold the fort at the other end, running hard and hitting the gaps to keep the target in reach. When the big D experience was dismissed, Pete and AB followed soon after and VCC was truly up against it, or so it seemed. The run rate was rising, and hopes were starting to fade. A captains knock was required, and our glorious leader would provide nothing less as he joined Erwin at the crease. The skipper truly putting on a clinic as he took toll of anything remotely in his area, running hard with Erwin and hitting bowlers off their lines. Erwin was no less dominating, silkily placing the ball wherever he wished and making you wonder if it wasn’t really Michael Bevan out there!
Quinton was finally dismissed for 64 with 20 odd to get. Dan Stevenson went out and immediately got to work, with anything even slightly straight easily peeled off. A fat lady was observed on the boundary, but on closer inspection turned out to be a collection of Ally’s empties. Never the less, the match was all but ours. Ervs continued doing his thing, and Dan hit the winning runs with 3 balls to spare. That’s it, we’d done it! Congrats to VCC, open league champs 2018!