It a classic start to the new season, cricket was the winner as the ACS Over 60s lads tied their opening fixture against Koo Wee Rup at Officer.
With the scores level and just two balls to go, Denis Gibson took a valiant catch running back at square leg. The bowler Peter Leggett did a jig of delight reminiscent of Elvis at his hip-shaking best.The ACS’s jubilant stand-in captain Ian Hammet (deputising after the controversial 11th hour withdrawal of glamour allrounder Peter Robertson) was thrilled, saying it had been among the finest Society comebacks in his time.
Hammett had worked against the odds all match, especially with several of his key bowlers refusing to operate into a howling northerly.
Koo Wee had looked like certain winners before its well-set captain David Leech was brilliantly stumped by Steve Kish, helping to swing the game back towards the ACS.
Seventy-one-year-old Arthur Pritchard was man of the match for a fine all-round effort, which included 31 retired and some key overs at the death bowling in tandem with Leggett. Arthur is sure to be a frontliner at the coming Over 70s national titles in Adelaide.
Earlier Ken Piesse took two for 26 from seven wind-assisted overs. Des Lloyd grabbed two for 5 from five in another fine effort from one of our super veterans.
The energetic opening stand between Hammet and Ian Gibson was again a highlight, Hammet retiring having made 25. Gibbo topscored with 33 and fielded with typical aplomb (for both teams: KWR was two short).
Having scored 169 in its 40 overs, the ACS fought hard to retrieve the game, 30 being needed from the last five with wickets in hand.
So overcome was Hammet afterwards that he handed the speech component over to ACS president Piesse who plugged the ACS tour of South Africa (2 places remain open), our Elite Cricket Academy scholars and the quality of Pavilion magazine before remembering to thank the ‘Koowee’ boys for hosting.
We play Bayside next weekend at Waverley Oval, East Malvern.
Match results: Game 1: Koo We Rup 7-168 (Lloyd 2-8, Piesse 2-26, Leggett 2-28) tied with ACS 2-168 (Hammet 25 retired, Ian Gibson 33 retired, Pritchard 31 retired), at Officer (hard wicket)