The Shand series cricket has always been the game where you can have a friendly hit. Everyone gets a go and if you are going to be sledged at least it won’t be by a seventeen-year-old just beginning to experiment with his masculinity.
But this was finals cricket and you could have plucked the tension like a harp string as Ash of Byron won the toss and asked Levi and the Swingers to bat.
Wayno (2/5) was thrown the new ball and once again was tidier than a Virgo cleaner, the Tossers fielders also locking in like drone bombers to reduce the stuttering Swingers to 2/10. Lionel and Chi’s tenacity soon had some pendulation back in the Swingers but both fell before scoring 30. Jamie (31no) and the battle hardened Wortho (30no) then got together and suddenly it was the Byron fielders seeking cover in the featureless outfield. Hughsie (31no), Levi and Azza launched some late satellites and even diehard veteran Rocket carved a mighty hoik over cow corner during a late run glut.
When the chalk outlines had been erased from around the bowling crease the score stood hard and proud at 215.
Byron had plenty to do and Dutchy John (39no) and Zac ripped 45 off the medium pacers before a rethink from skipper Levi and some loop and tease from Chi (1/6) grounded the partnership. From there Ryan and Janny (25), showing the sparkle of his outpatients, took the team to a run-a-ball equation off 17 overs to win.
Ryan’s retirement saw Adam (30no) to the crease, who was in and out faster than a neophytic sexual experience.
This exposed the Byron lower order to the attack and the final overs were mayhem as they charged lemminglike at the cliff of quick runs.
Retirees Dutchy and Ryan (53no) showed gonads of granite and more flair than Earth, Wind and Fire’s costumier to clip the Byron Full-Tossers into the final with four balls to spare.
Next week Left Bankers round up their cousins and take on the Geckos.