Formosa Cricket Club (FCC) cruised to victory over Taiwan Southerners Cricket Club (TSCC) in the final of the Cauldron Cup in Taichung on Sunday.
Set a total of 126 for victory at the Wansho Baseball Stadium, FCC knocked off the runs with more than three overs to spare.
After winning the toss and deciding to bat, the Southerners failed to take advantage as some tidy bowling from FCC’s Andre de Klerk and Saleem Si tied down openers Duane Christie and Mike Maslin, with just 14 runs coming off the first four overs.
PHOTO COURTESY OF MARY MULLAN
Worse was to follow in the fifth as Henry Nothnagel bagged the wicket of Christie, caught behind by Paul Turner for four. Captain Andrew Carrick knocked the first boundary of the innings off the last ball of the over.
More good bowling from Nothnagel two overs later saw Carrick nick one behind to fall for seven, while Kassiv Mansor was run out off the last ball, leaving the Southerners in trouble at 29 for 3 off seven overs.
TSCC finally began to pick up the pace in the 12th over when Jared Painter hit three fours off the first three balls, while Maslin brought up his 50 one over later with another couple quick boundaries.
Painter and Maslin then bought up the 100 off the last ball of the 15th over before FCC captain Charl Esterhuizen stopped TSCC in their tracks with two quick wickets, bowling Painter and Tony Sheikh off successive deliveries.
A big six by Will Stowers and another boundary from Maslin (63 not out) then saw out the innings, but TSCC would live to regret their slow start as they finished with just 125 for five off their 18 overs
So often in sport a missed opportunity can be a turning point, and so it proved when the Southerners missed a simple chance to run out star batsman Esterhuizen off the first ball of FCC’s innings.
That mistake proved to be their undoing as Esterhuizen and Turner then took advantage of some poor early bowling to give FCC an early grip on the game, bringing up the 50 in the fifth over.
Some tight spin by guest player Kashif Syed briefly stemmed the tide and when Johan Nel yorked Turner for 22 with a lovely slower ball in the eighth over with the score at 67 for 1, TSCC were in with a chance.
But they could not capitalize as more slack bowling saw FCC race to three figures in the 11th over.
By the time Esterhuizen was finally out in the 13th over — caught on the boundary for 75 by Richard Rankine off Painter with the score at 117 — the result was no longer in doubt.
It was left to Paul Spencer to cut the third ball of the 14th over to the boundary for the winning runs, giving FCC yet another trophy and capping another successful weekend’s cricket.
The weekend’s round-robin stages saw the Taipei Cricket Association finish in third place (W1, L2), while the Taiwan Indian Cricket Club finished last (W0, L3).
This tournament could be the last one of the year as plans for a final competition next month seem to have been scuppered by Taichung officials who double-booked the ground. The search for a new venue continues.
Anyone interested in joining one of the clubs, please contact:
FCC: Charl Esterhuizen, 09-1735-1749. TSCC: Andrew Carrick, 09-1955-7896. Pakistan Cricket Club Taiwan: Amjad Zafar, 09-2022-1793.
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