The St Andrew’s Rawson Cricket side had a stellar finish to their campaign last week, defeating the strong Pauline side on their home turf. With many rain delays, tension began to build and the hype finally culminated on the morning of the Grand Final. Drew’s won the toss and elected to bat, knowing it would be difficult for the Paulines to chase with the added scoreboard pressure of the afternoon. Fresher Liam Hughes and Sophomore Tom Galvin opened the batting, showing great patience and grit facing out the first 8 overs before Hughes was dismissed by a screamer at second slip. In form, Charles Litchfield consolidated for another 8 overs however was sent walking after a questionable LBW shout. Galvin and Captain Nicky Craze continued the struggle on the slow Paul’s outfield that gave little reward for ground shots. Drew’s were two for 69 off 24 overs in a comfortable position when Galvin was bowled for 31 looking to increase the run rate. Heavy Jordan Farrell came in and did just that, blasting three 6’s and a 4. But his innings was brought short by another LBW that gave both teams something to talk about after the game’s completion. With 18 overs left and a healthy 7 wickets remaining, the team was on 95; a strong platform on which a competitive total could be built.
However, the Paulines had other plans, tearing through the middle order with three wickets in one over completely switching the momentum. Another three were taken in close succession seeing 6 wickets fall for just 20 runs. The final wicket fight of Craze for 36 saw the side bowled out for 126 with 8 overs remaining. After a quick lunch and a pump up speech from the Senior Student Lachlan Mactier, Drew’s went on to the field to defend their total. They needed a good start to give themselves a chance at the Paul’s batting line-up that scored a healthy 360 runs against John’s in the first round. However, the opening batsman looked solid, moving Paul’s to 31 off 12 overs with no loss of wicket.
Opening bowler Nimalan Sundaram (fr 2015) remained patient continuing his tight lines to take the first two wickets. With only 72 more runs to victory; 8 wickets in hand; and 30 overs to do it in, the Rawson Cricket Cup was right in Paul’s reach. The vocal Pauline crowd were almost already celebrating for the victory dinner that they had planned well before the commencement of the game. But what came next had Drew’s supporters flocking to the game to witness Rawson history. Charles Litchfield was brought on for a second spell to see if he could break the building partnership. He did that and more, taking 2 wickets in his first over, including the big wicket of Paul’s Captain Dugald Holloway. Paul’s still in a strong position but Drew’s now had their tails up knowing they weren’t out of it just yet. A few overs went by then Litchfield struck again with an absolute peach to take the middle pole of Will Lawrence’s stumps. A huge wicket in the circumstance of the game, with Lawrence coming off an incredible 196 against John’s. Paul’s now 5 wickets down for 84 after 28 overs, were still in a very strong position. Liam Brandwood then took an incredible stumping of his Conrad fResher Ollie Holder to get the Drew’s supporters off their feet. With four wickets remaining the Paulines only required 42 runs off 21 overs for victory. But Litchfield had other plans for his Wednesday afternoon proceedings, hitting the pads of an unsuspecting stricker to only look up and see the finger of the umpire risen. Drew’s went crazy knowing they only needed three more wickets to rob the Paulines of what looked like a sure victory.
A maiden over from Holder saw the moment to flow on to the pumped up Litchfield who already had 4 wickets at this point in the game. First ball of the 30th over he came steaming in with the Drew’s crowd clapping him in…….WICKET! An absolute screamer of a catch by keeper Liam Brandwood diving to his right. The team going nuts as Paul’s watched on in silence. After a quick second to calm down and get their minds back onto the job, Drew’s took their positions for the next ball. Crowd again chanting Litchfield in…….BOWLED! Another wicket! People could not believe what they were seeing. Charles Litchfield was on fire with current figures of 6 wickets for only 11 runs of his spell. Paul’s had lost a total of 4 wickets for 2 runs in the space of only 4 overs. The Drew’s crowd was in full force tripling in the space of 15 minutes as word had got around of the miracle that was taking place. With just 1 wicket remaining, the Paulines had the task of scraping another 40. Another maiden from Holder continued the suspense. Litchfield had bowled 6 overs straight and was running on straight adrenaline with the sea of blue and white supporters cheering the side on……..WICKET!
The boys had won! The crowd came running onto the field. No one could believe what had happened. Litchfield had figures of 7-11 off 6 overs leading the Drew’s team to win by 40 runs with Paul’s all out for 86. An incredible comeback against a very strong opposition resulting in a Rawson Cricket victory to be remembered.
- Nicky Craze, Rawson Cricket Captain 2017