28 Jan 2019

There is nothing quite like a summer of cricket and this year, from 18–25 January, it was College’s turn to host the annual Trans-Tasman Cricket Festival – the 21st consecutive year top players from King’s College (Auckland), Shore School (Sydney) and Canberra Grammar School have come together to foster healthy Trans-Tasman rivalry and indulge their passion for cricket.

In very hot and at times testing conditions, College played some good cricket and – with a mix of two-day and 50 overs a side games – all matches were very competitive.

In our two-day match against Shore, College declared on 215 for 7 (Nick Lidstone making 56) and held Shore to 71 for 4 at the end of the first day. On the second day Tom McClean took three wickets to help keep Shore to 189 all out, giving us a small but useful lead. We then went on the attack, with Tom Graham scoring a rapid 57, which set Shore 173 to win in 31 overs. Despite two wickets at the top from Lachie Harper, we were unable to take the 6th wicket and Shore got home with two overs to spare.

After a rest day on Day 3, College returned to competition on Day 4 with a one-day match against King’s. College bowled first and kept all apart from three King’s players to single figure scores. Sadly, those three were all pretty successful, with the opener top scoring with 98. We also gave away 23 wides and seven no balls. Chasing over 250 was always going to be tough, but with Nick Lidstone and Caleb Manson putting together a stand of 120 it looked within our grasp. Nick top scored with 78, however, and College ended 51 runs short.

The next day, we faced Canberra in another two-day game. On Day 1, Lachie Harper top scored with 65 and College declared on 216 for 9 after 30 overs. When the day finished a few minutes early due to unseasonal wind and rain, Canberra were on 95 for 3. The next and final day started well. Tom McClean and Tom Graham bowled in tandem to restrict Canberra and they declared 20 runs behind, nine wickets down. Caleb Manson and Toby Beale both batted extremely well and we were able to declare when we wanted to, setting Canberra 200 to win off about 38 overs. Despite chipping away in the 4th innings, Canberra kept up the pressure and a few dropped chances meant Canberra won by four wickets with eight balls left.

While cricket was the focus, the festival is also about friendships forged beyond the boundary and the social calendar was (almost) as much a part of the action. Naturally, the festival dinner on Tuesday 22 January had a sport theme, with guest speakers Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson and Black Cap cricketer Todd Astle telling tales about their respective codes.

For College, despite three losses, the festival was a memorable and exciting event. It was a great way to start the year.

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