St Paul’s School are historically a very strong opponent. Heading into the round OC and St Paul’s had played each other 104 times with OC claiming 43 wins and one draw and St Paul’s winning 60 matches. This year St Paul’s were not fielding a Third XI side due to lack of players so we were hoping to pull back the difference, however, it was not the case.
The Intermediate games went all in favour of St Paul’s, however, OC got a real fight. The Intermediate 1 game saw another fine batting display by Sam Paltridge. Paltridge displays maturity and restraint beyond his years waiting for loose balls early in the innings before unloading once he feels comfortable. His 42 from 66 really saved the side with the highest runs from the bat coming from Daniel Vidal with nine runs. St Paul’s were somewhat wayward bleeding 23 sundries. Despite the best effort from the bowlers, the top order were too skillful and eclipsed the OC total in the 22nd over with the fall of two wickets. Vidal stumped an opener from a mystic delivery from Dhruv Shriran and Paltridge was the main player in a runout.
The Intermediate 2 side fell agonisingly short of the 107 total by five runs with seven balls to spare. Owen Moule was the pick of the bowlers with his seamers claiming three wickets for 14 runs. Callum Glennie, Cameron Strydom and Jack Byrne also took wickets. In the run chase, Jack Byrne was the best of the OC batters in the run chase scoring 15 off the bat. A much needed partnership and increased run-rate was required in the middle of the innings, however, it was not to be and the boys came up just short of the St Paul’s total.
Like the Intermediate 2 side, the Intermediate 3 side fell just short of the target set. In this game, chasing 105 and the OC side were three runs short of victory. St Paul’s batted first and after an early wicket OC had a difficult time with the a 71 run partnership causing some havoc. Once the pair were removed the batsmen were dismissed at regular intervals. With the bat, OC were not able to make a partnership stick like St Paul’s did and just came seven runs short of the 105 total set.
The Second XI side set to be stronger than their opponents, who were only able to field eight players. Bowling first, OC were unforgiving with Thomas Lampacher, Lachlan Kesur, Declan Angel, Ryan Curby and the skipper, Chris Metcalfe all taking wickets. All were accurate and barely gave away any runs, however, the skipper had the best figures of 2 wickets for 1 run. St Paul’s were in the shed before the end of the 11th over only able to make 29 runs. With such a small target the boys went out swinging although they lost five wickets before scoring the 30th run and the win. Kesur’s 13 runs off 23 deliveries top scored.
The First XI posted an impressive 9/274. This massive total is the second highest score by an OC First XI ever (8/287 v St John's in 2016, 9/274 v St Paul's in 2017, 10/270 v Marist Rosalie in 2001, 5/261 v St Columban's in 2003, 10/261 v Marist Rosalie in 1997).
OC batted first and after the openers were dismissed early in the innings, Sam Meaney (86 runs) and Isaac Khan (50) forged a 103-run partnership that steadied the OC ship. The pair worked well together sneaking many runs, which other batsman not as focused would have missed. Some quick hitting late in the innings by the mercurial Dylan Kritzinger (41 not out) and Stuart MacNair put an exclamation mark on a fine morning of batting. Kritzinger was involved in two runouts early in his innings and his maturity, despite his youth, was showcased in his ability to rise above these disappointments.
With the unenviable task of chasing 274 runs, St Paul’s possible did not expect the OC bowlers to be so keen and focused. St Paul's were skittled for 51 in the 22nd over with Calvin Mulder taking his first 5 for this season (5 for 9 runs off 4 overs). Meaney (1/6 off 3), Jason Bretz (2/11 off 4), Kritzinger (1/10 off 3) and the skipper, Tanner Elliott (1/3 off 4) all took wickets.
It was a comprehensive victory against St Paul’s, who historically are very difficult opponents in cricket. The round could have quite easily been one of our best every against St Paul’s, however, missing out by a few runs in those Intermediate games is part-and-parcel of cricket. Sometimes those close ones roll your way, and in Round 5 they didn’t. Hopefully there will be a chance for redemption in the finals.
Canterbury is our next challenge. The Canterbury First XI claimed victory of JPC and their Intermediate 1 and Third XI sides are undefeated. Canterbury are great opponents and play with a good spirit. It will be an enjoyable day of cricket.