150 years is a long time for a cricket club to exist in this comparably young country. In fact, the 150th Jubilee of the Greytown Cricket Club over Waitangi weekend is believed to make them the second oldest club in New Zealand.
The tranquillity of the boutique cricket ground in the picturesque town of Greytown was blessed with what must have been the best day of summer, in scorching heat the setting was an absolute picture, with a crowd described as the ‘largest we have seen at the ground’ by club President Jason Osbourne.
The CPA Legends won the toss and elected to bat on a wicket that was greenish in nature, but not expected to change much throughout the day.
Former Blackaps and Stags legend, Michael Mason took the new ball for the Greytown Presidents side – a club he played for in his youth, before moving up the road to Mangatanoka – and immediately put the Legends openers under pressure with accuracy and movement.
Mason’s final figures of 2 for 3 included two maidens.
Current Stags representative Mitchell Renwick top scored for the CPA side with 28 in what was a modest total of 93 for 9 after the allotted 20 overs.
Mark Greatbatch was making a guest appearance for the local Presidents side but was dismissed early when he swatted a swinging delivery from Sanj Silva to short fine leg. Greytown surpassed 50 runs only two down after 9 overs and were coasting to what looked like an emphatic victory.
However, when Sanj Silva dismissed the swashbuckling Josh Doherty for 24 the Legends side started to exert some pressure. Leigh Kelly, David Fulton and Glen Sulzberger chipped away with regular wickets and that pushed the run rate up – ultimately leaving the match evenly poised, if not in favour of the Legends as the last over started.
The equation = 11 runs, 2 wickets, 1 over.
Early destroyer Sanj Silva returned for his final over with the game on the line. Michael Mason chipped the first ball just short of extra cover to hustle a single. Hawkes Bay representative Casey Rangi swung through the line (with a bat that makes David Warner’s look like a twig) for a much needed boundary. The next delivery also went to the boundary, a hastily run deuce, and the game was over with two balls to spare.
Greytown Presidents the victors, but cricket was certainly the winner on the day.
The close encounter was great entertainment for the large crowd that had assembled to support the Greytown 150th Jubilee and the result provided the perfect platform ahead of the festive dinner later in the evening.