Napa Valley Cricket Club Opens the 2014 Season with Two Wins on the Bounce
May 15, 2014 Share

Napa Valley Cricket Club Opens the 2014 Season with Two Wins on the Bounce

The Napa Valley Cricket Club kicked off their 2014 season of games with two successive wins at their home ground, the Fairgrounds in Calistoga. The games against local rivals, Sonoma Gullies on May 3rd and Beverley Hills Hollywood CC on May 10th were both characterized by excellent all-round team performances.

With the success of the traditional World Series game behind them the NVCC took to the field on Saturday May 3rd to renew the rivalry with local team Sonoma Gullies based out of Santa Rosa. The Gullies won the toss and opted to bat first on a cool and unusually breezy Calistoga day. Napa made early inroads with a wicket for Australian Tim Irwin. Sonoma put their heads down and Shankar and Arjun built a solid partnership of 59 until Shankar lost his wicket to some probing bowling from South African Dale Moorehouse and a great catch from Australian Nick Withers. Wickets continued to fall with regularity thanks to some excellent bowling from Irwin, Moorehouse and New Zealander Martin Mackenzie who each ended the day with two wickets apiece. Napa’s performance in the field was inspiring with a total of three run outs and 4, well taken catches. Sonoma went to lunch on 159 all out in the allotted 30 overs, a good score given that previous encounters have yielded scores of 130 – 135.

Napa started the chase with dogged purpose and openers New Zealander Bill Nancarrow and Moorehouse set a very strong foundation for the team. In the end Nancarrow carried his bat (went through the innings from start to end “at bat”) for an excellent 84 not out that included 12 boundaries (9 x 4, 3 x 6). Nancarrow was supported by Moorehouse at the other end, who himself put on a purposeful 27 runs off 43 balls. The pair went to the drinks break with their wickets intact and well on their way to the target with a score of 75 on the board. As is often the way after a break Moorehouse lost with wicket soon afterwards to a LBW decision in the 16th over. Despite a couple of ducks, a thumping 26 off 26 from Irwin allowed Englishman Colin Nolan to join Nancarrow in the middle as Napa won the game with time (3.1 overs) to spare.

The traditional Clos du Val “Man of the Match” Awards went to Sunni of the Sonoma Gullies team for his great performances with the bat holding the tail together for a fine innings.

“It’s a great start to the season,” said Club Captain Mackenzie “We played well in all three disciplines today and our fielding in particular was outstanding. It’s great to have some new members for the season ahead and Dale and Colin both made excellent contributions”

The visiting Beverley Hills Hollywood Cricket Club traveled north to play NVCC last Saturday 10th May. BHHCC have a storied history with famous celebrities like Hugh Grant and Mick Jagger having donned whites for them in the past. The game was a return fixture with Napa having traveled south in November of last year. Napa were determined to put right that result and in the end prevailed comfortably.

BHHCC Captain Jeremy Reed won the toss and choose to field first, opening his bowling with Alex Rylance and 14-year-old Ben Kater. The pair ultimately toiled against a strong opening batting partnership of Australian Tim Ford and Dale Moorehouse. Ford notched up a relatively quick 53 off 31 balls including 6 maximums and his innings included some fine shots off his legs and toes. Moorehouse continued the season with his trademark watchful style but went on in the game to score an impressive 73 runs from the 89 balls that he faced. Napa went to drinks at 110 for the loss of 2 wickets and the scoring onslaught continued after drinks with Australian Nick Withers hitting a fine 63 off 44 on his 40th birthday and Indian Bijoy Ojha contributing a quick-fire 23 from 11 balls to round out the innings with an impressive 243. Pick of the BHHCC bowlers was Nick Betts who took 2 wickets in his 5 overs for 27 runs.

After lunch Beverley Hills Hollywood set about the task of chasing down the mammoth Napa Valley total. With NVCC having scored an average of 8.1 per over it was always going to be a tough ask. The loss of early wickets didn’t help their cause with Captain Reed going early and cheaply and young Kater getting himself run out after a dropped catch in the field. Nigel Nisbet and Alex Rylance staunched the flow of BHHCC wickets putting on 38 off 32 and 68 off 41 respectively but in the face of excellent NVCC bowling and fielding it was always going to a tough chase. Four wickets for New Zealander Bernie Peacock were the highlight of the day in the field for Napa Valley in addition to a stumping for wicket keeper Clive Richardson, 2 wickets for Tim Irwin and a number of great catches taken by the team.

The traditional Clos du Val “Man of the Match” Awards went to Alex Rylance of the BHHCC for his great performances with the bat and score of 68 off 41 balls.

“It’s always a fun game against the Napa Valley boys” said Beverley Hills Hollywood Captain Jeremy Reed “they play good, social cricket and are a great bunch of chaps both on and off the field. We look forward to continuing our annual game against them by welcoming them to Los Angeles again in 2015”