13.02.2011 - Vienna CC win Graz Indoor Cup

Graz Tournament Report

The VCC squad set off to Graz for the annual winter cricket weekend in Steiermark with high spirits. The team included debutant Matt, celebrated the return of one Hr. Michael Nedoma and saw our Chairman travel stylishly in his rented BMW. The car did not help him much, seeing that he pitched up at the wrong hotel for starters and had to sit through a 6 hour ACA meeting as Matt, Benji and Mark went for beer and pizza. However, the two older VCC’lers made the colossal mistake of letting the upstart Mark Simpson-Parker navigate their way home. They invariably passed every disreputable institution know tot he Styrian population.

When the cricket finally came around, VCC had a fantastic weekend. The fielding was a light year ahead of the competition, which proved decisive in the end. VCC started off against a strong looking Velden side but bowled them out for 87 with a sharp catch by Hr. Nedoma at extra cover and 4 run outs. VCC knocked off the runs in 7 overs without losing a wicket.

Pakistan was a different proposition all together in the second game. Winning the toss and electing to bat, Vienna came up against hostile, pacey bowling. However, the opening stand yielded 71 runs off 5 overs, with a multitude of thypad leg byes to fine leg. With unbeaten knocks from Benji (25), Andrew (24) and Erwin (27) VCC posted 125/3. They would never have imagined rolling PCC for 58. Erwin took 3 wickets in 1 over to send Vienna into the semi finals.

A relaxed VCC needed 4 points from the game against the promising ACC side to top their group on the second morning. ACC needed to win with 13 points from the game to pass PCC by 1 and slip into the semi’s. Within 6.3 overs VCC suddenly reeled at 68/4. Benji (43*) and Andrew (17*) steered the ship to 108/4 after 10, which did not seem to be enough. ACC started slowly and were under pressure as Mark to a stunner in the gully. But ACC ultimately needed 6 runs off 3 balls as Sohaib danced down the wicket to end the game in style and catapult ACC passed PCC on the points table.

The semifinal saw VCC play one of their best games of indoor cricket. VCC batted first and raced to 59 of 4 overs. Benji retired, Erwin was unlucky to get out and when Wolfgang, Matt and Mark had departed without much ado, Benji (44) and Andrew (41) pulled VCC up to 122 after 10 overs. It seemed as if the black and gold team had something to prove as the tore in at the Vienna7 batsmen. Erwin took a fantastic catch diving full length to his left as he clung onto a tracer bullet that would have been six on any other day. And to top it off, he dived full length from silly point to snaffle the rebound of an offspinner, which was edged into Matt’s wrist. Mark was extremely unlucky to have 2 lbw shouts (hitting middle half way up) turned down. Bowling with 2 slips he caught the edge with a beautiful outswinger, Matt pouched the catch in front of first slip and VCC celebrated only to hear the umpire calling “over!”. It was over soon enough as VCC skittled Vienna7 for 35.

The final was nerve wracking. VCC batted first and everybody contributed. Wolfi actually got out roofed (must be some kind of record!), hoovering a slog sweep, which would have landed on the roof of the Seebarn pavilion. Defending 135, VCC felt confident and started well. They bowled to the plans set and had Lords under pressure. Forced to, the Lords batsmen took on Wolfgang and Mark to get back on even terms. Last over, 14 to win, 1 wicket in hand. Andrew bowled a slow, hanging off break. The Indian batsman charged at it in search of glory. He missed. Matt did not. Vienna CC was in raptures.

It took nearly an hour for the presentation ceremony to end. Finally Vienna filed up towards the bar, filled the trophy with beer and celebrated in style before heading home a happy, unified team – proud of being just that – a team.