Highlands Veterans finally broke through for a win, 8 for 160 against 4 for 158, against Sydney’s Port Jackson in their match at Chater Oval on Thursday after several seasons of near and not so near misses.
Highlands’ captain Peter Jensen won the toss and elected to field but in true coarse cricket fashion, the two sides were not finalised until a few overs into the game.
There were late arrivals, players traded and someone coerced to play after turning up as a spectator.
Eventually each team had an XI, including two Highlands debutants, Martin Dubler and Geoff Glover.
Glover made an immediate impression opening the bowling along with left arm spinner Ray Sharman.
Ragavan, one of three doctors of Sri Lankan origin in the top order, played well but the star of the opening session was Jensen who had a hand in each of the four dismissals to fall before the break.
Wright was caught by Jensen at mid off with just 16 on the board and then Kandakumar was perhaps somewhat foolhardy in taking on Jensen’s arm to be run out for two.
After a period of recovery Chas Viner holed out to Jensen from Rob Billington’s bowling before Jensen had Ragavan caught by Grant Lewis for 38 and the visitors were 4 for 67 at the twenty over break.
In the split innings format Highlands openers Billington and Steve Ward took to the crease to face a good opening spell from Paul Adams who had an indipper through Ward’s defence in the fifth over.
Billington was also bowled by Adams soon after for 12 and when Chris Ford and Lewis fell in quick succession the home side was 4 for 34.
They recovered through sensible batting by Rod van Beek and Glover to get to 4 for 68 from twenty overs.
The match could hardly have been more evenly poised.
After lunch Port Jackson did not lose another wicket but nor could they assert any real authority until some loose bowling assisted them in the final overs.
Rod Watling contributed well with the ball as did the deceptive Dubler and after 40 overs Port Jackson reached 158, thanks mainly to skipper Cam McDonald’s 30 retired exhausted and a well struck 38 from Adams.
Highlands resumed with van Beek and Glover continuing their fine partnership of 65 before Glover – already looking like Highlands “Rookie” of the Year – was dismissed for a solid 31.
Van Beek went not long after for a well-made 36, but it was Jensen who was required to guide the Highlands home.
Jensen was up to the task to be unbeaten on 36 when Highlands passed Port Jackson in the final over.