Today is the 28th June and, in part two of our “On This Day” series today, we are going back to 2015. Three weeks previously, we finally broke our SPCL T20 Cup Round One losing streak which had run since our return to the top echelons in 2010 when we defeated Waterlooville by three wickets. Our Round 2 opponents were the back-to-back T20 Cup winners of 2013 and 2014 and also three time and reigning Southern Premier League champions, South Wilts. It would be quite a challenge.
Even when you take our woeful T20 record into account, the challenge against an all-rampant South Wilts side was always going to be hard. But they had an addition to their ranks for the 2015 season – a player who just six months previously had made another former Bemerton favourite look a complete fool. Ryan Duffield’s dismissal of Glenn Maxwell, playing for Brisbane Heat against Melbourne Stars in the Australian Big Bash T20 tournament in December 2014 at The Gabba is something of legend as Maxwell shouldered arms to left-armer Duffield’s first delivery to him and the ball crashed into his middle and leg stumps. It would make the West Australian big news against “The Big Show” – although he would surprisingly only play four more BBL games in his career.
So, off we go to South Wilts. And I am hugely grateful to Calmore captain Mark Lavelle (ML), Callum Holloway (CH) and Matt Taylor (MT) for giving me their memories from our perspective and from James Hibberd (JH), who was coach of the champions at the time and Dominic Ducellier (DD), who was in the South Wilts side. Gentlemen, over to you!
ML: It took us five years to finally win a round one tie in the cup, so a kind draw would have been nice. Sadly, South Wilts away wasn’t what I had in mind. It was a nice distraction from the league where we were struggling for form and a good chance to test ourselves without too much pressure.
DD: I remember our T20 tie with Calmore well. We always enjoyed T20 days, especially at home and it was great to see Calmore contributing by bringing in their full allocation of away support. I had developed my relationship with Calmore a few years previous when Pra kidnapped me one night and we spent an evening on the changing room floor (read into that anyway you wish!). Walking out of the dressing room, I had the tip of the hat from Darren and the obligatory “papers are in the car to sign” from Gunner.
CH: Within 5 minutes of arriving back at Calmore training two Saturday’s previously, the name Duffield was thrown at me! Why you ask? Well, a certain T20 game against South Wilts was coming up and a certain Big Bash death-over specialist quick, stick out in the memory for many reasons and most of them comical! I remember the overcast conditions pre-match and lots of chat about this Aussie left armer.
JH: We had produced a few lively wickets that year. The best thing was that I signed him and Sean Terry – Duff was married to Sean’s sister – in one email!! But it is not every day that you face a ‘first-class bowler- and he was quick!
DD: Lavs rushed up to me to check if Duff was playing so he could work out whether to drop down the order that day!
ML: I won the toss and bowled and we started pretty well, Wrighty and Pra bowled well and picked up a couple of key wickets. Pra still talks about bouncing Morts out!!
DD: We started well with James Hayward going off in standard T20 mode, go hard or go home.
ML: After starting well and getting through the first 6 overs I turned to spin. Sadly James Hayward took a liking to Rosey and decided he’d bat left handed for the majority of the over. 28 runs and 6 balls later, the rate had climbed considerably!
MT: Hayward reverse sweeping Rosey for 28 of one over including 3 sixes which sailed over my head three-quarters of the way up into the South Wilts nets at deep cover.
DD: Hayward enjoyed Rose’s buffet!!
CH: South Wilts posted a more than respectable total and memories from the fielding seeing Rosey reverse swept for six a few times in an over!!
DD: We ticked along nicely that day and to get to 188 was a great example of the way we played. Hayward got 50 but lower down we had lads like Duff, Rob Pitman, Jake Foley and Steve Warner who could all hit a long ball so we tended to find a way to kick on.
ML: We pulled it back well after this, and actually did alright against a team far superior to us but we let them get away at the end and 188 was a tall ask.
DD: Duff was top draw in terms of overseas quality. He was 100% cricket, enjoyed a beer but ultimately trained and worked harder than most at the club. He struggled early on, spending weeks without a wicket (he had one wicket in 25 overs across his first three games) before rocking up at Sarisbury one Saturday afternoon and taking 9fer (eight bowled and one lbw for the record). But that epitomised him, he was a strike bowler.
CH: I wasn’t in the best form at the time – I had scores of 0, 21*, 1, 3 and 1 before this game so confidence was running slightly low to say the least! I didn’t entirely know what my role in the chase was going to be, however with the form I was in, I didn’t expect to be given too much responsibility, certainly in the early stages of the chase.
ML: Cal Holloway was in pretty rotten form, so I thought a no pressure innings may well do him some good. It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact they had Aussie paceman Ryan Duffield charging down the hill and I didn’t fancy batting 3 ….. (why would I put myself through that when they had Dom to come on after?).
CH: However, a limp arm round the shoulder I received from my inspirational captain said he had full faith that I was the man and I’d been promoted to bat 3! Without querying the decision too much in my head, I padded up and sat down praying the openers could maybe see off the quick.
DD: We had spoken about a few of the Calmore lads beforehand and to get Johnser early was a great start.
CH: Before I knew it, I was out strolling to the middle. The nerves that lingered weren’t helped by the fact I noticed the keeper was at least 35 yards back, my dad who said he was coming hadn’t shown and I was in possibly the worst form I’ve been in and about to face a bloke bowling around the 130kph mark chasing upwards of 10 an over. Part of me felt this was my moment, I thought if I can get bat on ball to a couple and start knocking it around I could be the hero and memories of my T&E past long forgotten about. I asked the umpire for middle and what seemed like seconds after, the middle stump I’d asked for was uprooted. This wasn’t before however, I’d been wrapped on the toe in front of all three and realised I’d probably been the first bloke to have managed to get out twice in one dismissal.
ML: Sadly Cal was dismissed first ball and you could have taken your pick, was it LBW or was it bowled? To this day all I can do is say sorry for making him the sacrificial lamb!
DD: Duff then removed Cal next ball and you could hear the crowd talking.
CH: A limped stroll back to the pavilion and one that I was later delighted that the photographer on the day was on hand to catch the very moment I contemplated it all! I still think back now wondering why Lavs didn’t bat himself up the order. I’ve heard viewpoints from various players but I honestly believe he felt it was for the best tactically and nothing to do with waiting for Duffield to bowl out his 4 overs! Gargaro went on to get me out first ball the week after to compound the misery and I got another first ball in my next innings against Hook – a hat-trick of first ballers and all bowled too!!!
ML: After Duffield had realised he was far too good for any of us, they changed the bowling around and a few of us got scores to make our total respectable. Pra in particular hit them well!
DD: We were very much a squeeze side at the time so taking Duff out of the attack was always in the plan. We rotated bowling and Calmore batted well in the middle, but boundaries just seemed to evade. I repaid Pra for his hospitality a few years previous, letting him dispatch me for a few fours before I threw him a wide one and he pretty much collapsed in a heap before Morts flicked the bails off, absolute calamity wicket, bowled Pra!
ML: Matty Taylor looked good with Westy and then Pez and despite us being 80 runs behind and no where near the chase, for some reason Duffield appeared to be coming back on…..
MT: I had been watching on as Duffield cleaning up Cal Holloway and Johnser didn’t leave us much hope. The Aussie returned to the attack leaving me as number 10 with Pez to face his returning overs.
DD: Ultimately we had Duff back up our sleeve and that’s where the afternoons entertainment climaxed, welcome Matty Taylor!
MT: For some reason what follow next sums me up as not using my brain. I decide to slice one back over his head down the ground for 4 much to rapturous cheering from the SW pavilion.
ML: What was a joyful sight of Matty pumping him back over his head for 4 became instant regret.
DD: I remember standing at mid on as he dispatched Duff back over his head.
MT: I still remember Pez at the other end looking at me and shaking his head saying what have you done that for!
DD: I could hear nervous laughter frittering around the ground and Duffs eyes narrowed as frustration settled in.
MT: The next 3 balls which followed were round my neck. I guessed the first one was coming so tried to back away and ramp him over third man but to no avail.
DD: I remember after the second or third bouncer saying to Duff “Full and straight, finish the job”. To which I got the dead pan response “I’m not trying to get him out”. Fair to say if he got angry, he got faster.
MT: The iconic photo occurred next ball where I’m not even half way through the pull shot and the ball is past me. The following ball I ended up on the deck.
ML: He then sniffed the next 5 balls in a pretty pointless exercise for everyone involved.
MT: Moral of the story, didn’t hit a Big Bash bowler for four over his head!!!
DD: It was all done in good spirits and fair play to Matty seeing it out with 17 off 17.
ML: Never mind, game over and a solid enough effort against the best side in the area in both the Premier Division and T20 cricket.
DD: All I know is that Calmore gave a good account of themselves that day and its great to be involved with the club now.
CH: Still, a funny game to look back on and always look back with a smile from a personal point of view!
ML: We departed knowing Cal Holloway would never forgive me and Prouders will forever have a heavy pocket!
Gentlemen, a huge thank you to all of you and hope you enjoyed the look back on events five years ago today!