23.04.2013 - Dresden CC Weekend round-up
Written by Marco Celeghin

The season has kicked off with a great weekend against Dresden CC. Thank you to all those who helped to make the weekend a success! VCC lost a T20 on the Saturday with Venkat opening (with Elijah) and scoring the club's first 50 of the season. Quinton coming in at the end and blasting a rapid-fire 46*. VCC ended up setting Dresden 152 to win which they managed with a couple of overs to spare.

On the Sunday VCC won a tight 40 over contest, bowling out DresdenCC in the 39th over with them needing just over a run a ball to win. VCC batted first and after his success the day before Venkat opened with Mark Surridge. Dresden's opening bowlers kept it tight and we were soon 2 down, Venkat top edging a pull and Mark edging to the keeper. Benji and Satnam then steadied things somewhat but after getting set both were back in the clubhouse before the 20 over break. After the break it was a case of old and new with Wolfi playing the anchor (and hitting a couple of boundaries I might add!!!) while Quinton carried on from his hitting the day before, lashing the Dresden attack to all parts of the ground. It was a wonderful display of controlled and elegant hitting. Together with Wolfi the pair added close to a hundred and Quinton brought up a lovely century in his first 40 over game as VCC captain with 4 overs to spare. The lower order contributed some important runs as VCC finished all out for a competitive but gettable 199 on a very slow April Seebarn outfield (which 2 weeks before was covered in snow!).

With the ball, VCC's opening pair of Neil and Mark kept things tight while picking up a couple of wickets. Both Mark and Neil created chances which fell out of reach of the fielders and both bowled their overs through leaving Dresden 2 for 60 odd after 16 overs. Deciding to stick with my leggies for this game I was given the 17th and with the second delivery of the over the ball was well pitched up, spun away, the batsman prodded forward down the line only to catch the outside edge and land safely in Benji's hand at 1st slip. A classic leg spinners dismissal ??!! God, what am I writing :-) Dennis strike me down with a moustache!!With that dismissal Dresden decided to take their break early. They were 3 down but were still well in the game although just behind the run rate. The wily old pro Wolfgang took over from Mark at the castle end and straight away picked up a wicket and very nearly had two after a catch went down behind the stumps. Dresden stayed in the game through some good running and hitting which was helped by some erratic leg spin. The introduction of Benji into the attack brought down their scoring rate and increased the pressure on Dresden. Benji's tight bowling with Quinton's clever bowling changes brought about results and wickets began to fall just when Dresden looked like batting themselves into a winning position. A clever run out from Owen who was sharp in the field all day (highlighted again by a good sharp catch at short extra cover) and an absolute belter of a catch from Benji at mid on swayed the game back in VCC's favour. Benji's catch is already a candidate for catch of the season, the batsman (trying to hit one of my leggies down the ground) skied the ball into what looked like the hole between mid on and mid off. Benji set off in pursuit, his little legs carrying his mature mid 30's barrel after the ball. He never looked like getting there when at the pivotal moment one hand stretched out, his upper body strained to reach forward to gain the few extra cm's the good Lord failed to provide and like a magic trick the ball appeared nestled in his hand! Cue lots of joyful shouting and a bamboozled look from Benji who of course went on a well deserved lap of honour, I didn't manage to take a look at the batsman's face but needless to say he was gobsmacked.

Dresden's lower order struggled with the combo of Benji, myself and the climbing run rate, with Benji taking the final wicket (the 12th) wrapping up a good VCC win and a great tight game of cricket.Apart from Quinton's peerless century, other notable performances were Owen's tenacious fielding in the circle capped off with a great run out and a good catch, Wolfi getting his creaking body out on the field and performing well with both bat and ball, Benji's tight off spin was impressive and his catching as documented was off the top shelf, Mark and Neil's opening spells were also very impressive and lastly I was lucky enough to pick up 5 wickets in my first ever game bowling leggies although there were too many long hops and full tosses scattered amongst the better balls. A very good win and a great weekend.