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Oxy Cup Semi Final, Wednesday 28th June at Allan Park

Rockhoppers fail to Soar

After another Tuesday washout, both Semi Finals went ahead as scheduled on Wednesday. At the Links, Knighriders easily overcame The Rockhoppers to move to final. The Rockhoppers won the toss and batted first but some very tight bowling ensured that they could only manage a sub-par 105/6. A valiant knock of 31* from opener A. Senthil was the backbone of the total as The Rockhoppers climbed to 60 off the first 9 overs. After that, Knighriders put a stranglehold on the rest of the overs and The Rockhoppers could only manage a further 45 runs in the innings. J. Morgan chipped in with 15 before being bowled by Bijil and A. Sood hit a monstrous 6 in his 12. A fine catch on the boundary off of Siva (1/12) ended his stay. M. Barker also accumulated 12 runs but was caught off Bijil just as he was looking to accelerate. A run out off the last ball finished the innings. Bijil finished as pick of the bowlers with 2/14. Mohan and Somi also chipped in with a wicket apiece.

In reply Knighriders raced to a 10 wicket win within 12 overs. Siva followed his economical spell with a brutal display of batting. He hit 3 6s and 3 4s in his 34*. Madhan, his opening partner, hit 22* and played nicely, rotating the strike and allowing the other two batsmen to play around him. The Coup de Grace was provided by Vijay as he too opened up with some powerful hitting. He hit the 4 to seal the match and also his 30*. A Sood bowled economically (0/12 off 3) but the target was much too small to hinder a powerful Knightriders outfit.

Thanks to Skipper Garry for writing the match report.

Arul Senthil retired on 31 but left the rest of the 'Hoppers trailing.....

Rockhoppers vs. Knightriders, Tuesday 30th May, Groat's Rd

Rockhoppers fail to swim, Knightriders turn rusty......

Our much anticipated victory over Knightriders will have to wait until we next meet on 4th July, as this week's match was rained off.

Next week we are facing Cults at Allan Park. Cults had us all out for 37 last time we met, so they will be expecting an easy ride to victory. We will aim to thwart them every step of the way....

Rockhoppers vs. Academy, Tuesday 23rd May, Groat's Rd

Rockhoppers need to attend a cricket academy......

Well this week against Academy,  we finally won..... the toss that is. Electing to bat first, and with the overs restricted to 18 per innings, we managed to put 87 on the score-board at a cost of 8 wickets. Notable batsmen were Mike Baldry (opening) at 15, and Nathan Thangaraj retiring at 33. An early run-out for non-facing opener Shaun was disappointing, and the rest of the batting order failed to reach double figures, with Chris Bell and skipper Garry O'Neill holding the tail at 3 n.o. and 0 n.o. respectively. Apart from the run-out, all our batsmen fell by being bowled, with one of the Academy bowlers (Johnson) taking a total of 5 wickets.

Academy's reply came to a slow start, with two early wickets for Chris Gospel (catch by Mike Baldry and bowled) swiftly followed by another for Shaun Mountain (bowled). Their run-rate increased, however, as their mid-order put some healthy scores on the board (26, 15 and a 13 n.o.) with Nathan taking a catch off Mike Baldry, and Robin Campbell getting a run-out. However, it was not quite enough, and Academy passed our total with still a couple of overs to go.

Penguin of the Week goes to Nathan Thangaraj for his 33 (ret) and catch (although his over was expensive!!).

Next week we are facing Knightriders, again at Groat's Road. Knightriders were second in last year’s league winners, and will be expecting an easy evening. Our task (once again) is to thwart their expectations… A victory is coming for us, it is very very close now.......

Rockhoppers vs. Shell CC, Tuesday 16th May, Links

Rockhoppers fail to penetrate Shell's armour.....

The second match of the season was played on a warm, sunny evening as we faced last year's champions Shell. We took a few early wickets, including several ducks and single figures, but ultimately we could not sustain the pressure, and two of Shell's batsmen retired on 30 whilst one was despatched for 29. Bowlers of note were S. Mountain on 3 for 7 off 4 (one caught by Zac at slip, two bowleds), Z. Crawley took a bizarre LBW (duck!) where the batsman appeared to be asleep and offered no shot, and finished on 1 for 24 off 4. Relative new-comers Karthik and M. Baldry took two wickets apiece, a caught (WK) and a bowled for Karthik, and a bowled and catch (Karthik) for M. Baldry. Shell finished on 141 for 8, but unfortunately, Shell's highest scorer was Rockhoppers ourselves, managing to give away 33 runs in wides alone, and a further 9 runs in other extras.

The Rockhoppers opened with Scott Middleton, in his debut match for Rockhoppers, and M. Baldry. S. Middleton made 6 off the 11 balls he faced, before being despatched (bowled) by Abrar. M. Baldry managed a more successful 14 off 12 balls, including 2 fours, before succumbing to LBW again off Abrar. Deni the Barman managed a very reasonable 19 off 25 balls (2 fours) whilst Elia, in his first game for Rockhoppers for some time, made 20 including a four and a six. With Karthik on 8 and Z. Crawley on 12, the rest of the tail-enders put only 15 on the scoreboard between them before our 20 overs were up. We finished on 113 for 8, so a loss by 28 runs.

Whilst on paper it appears to be a decisive victory for Shell, we did well to keep them in check to the extent we did, if we disregard the extras in both innings, there was only 4 runs in it. If we can tighten our bowling up a little, we are in with a good chance of posting a victory this season.

Penguin of the Week goes to Shaun Mountain for his 3 wickets for 7 runs off 4.

Next week we face Academy at Groat's Rd. Academy have failed to put a team in the AECL since 2014, so we are in with a good chance with this one. We are becoming tantalisingly close to our first victory - I can feel it........

Rockhoppers vs. Bon Accord, Tuesday 9th May, Links

The first match of the season saw a loss for Rockhoppers, with Bon Accord posting 141 for 5 wickets, ans Rockhoppers responding 121 for 6. Hoping for a better match next week.

Excuse the scant details, I was offshore!