PHCC South Africa tour Day 3

14 February 2018

An early morning start for the team, the Coaches and Sara – the tour continues to run like clockwork – After a quick breakfast at 6:30am followed by a 7am departure to Paarl, the team was looking forward to a day of cricket! With a few hours of rain overnight, we had a perfect day of weather (and cricket), to look forward to.

We arrive in Paarl, to a beautiful setting with the mountains’ surrounding the ground at the Paarl Boys Primary School – the opposition team and coaches were getting the ground ready for the game. It was an eye opening experience to see 12 and 13 year olds, drying out the pitch, moving covers around and getting the ground ready for play.
With the toss done and PHCC bowling to Paarl, it was now up to the youngsters to put into practice, what they had learned through months of training. A 40 over game on our hands, Ranj and Paul were on the sidelines making sure the team had a plan in place and were warmed up. The parents’ of course readied themselves under the shade, on the stands and indulged in the warm hospitality of our host School. We had coffee, tea and biscuits laid out for us and of course a Brai, to look forward to.
With the overnight rain there was dew on the outfield the a bit of moisture on pitch, that our opening bowlers wanted to exploit. Our visiting pitch experts provided a “generally” accurate view of the pitch.

With the opposition going in to bat PHCC kept pegging away at one end while Jasmine Sharp on the other, decided that a starring role Fire in Babylon1, was up for grabs. A mid 30’s stand broken by absolute beauty from Jasmine, knocked the stumps off the opening batsman. With another couple of quick wickets, PHCC was on the ascendency – 50 something for 3 and we had our tails up.

It seemed the moisture on the pitch had started to play in our favour, but the fourth wicket stand of 80, at quick speed, seemed to taking the momentum away from PHCC . A smart move by our captain, Hamish Cooper to get the opening bowlers back , resulted in the stand being broken and PHCC bowled accurately to get the opposition out for 201 in 30 overs, including close to 50 extras – something, I am sure Ranj and Paul will focus on.

With our tails up, having bowled out the opposition it was time to refuel and Paarl Boys School laid out sandwiches and juice for the boys– 20 minutes later and the boys are out and given the pep talk by the coaches.
Out came our openers and we started the chase, with a beautiful pull by Amaan for a four. Unfortunately, for our team though, the Paarl Boys’ took over the proceedings. Some inspired bowling, athletic fielding and some panic in the ranks and we found ourselves in trouble with nine wickets down, including five run outs. Tom Carroll provided some entertainment, with some fours and our first six of the tour, but alas it wasn’t enough to get close to the target.

A loss to a skilled and disciplined team was soon forgotten as a Brai, was laid out for the boys (and the parents) followed by a swim– courtesy of a parent, who sponsored the filling of the school pool for our visit.
1 Fire in Babylon is a 2010 British documentary film about the record-breaking West Indies cricket team of the 1970s and 1980s!
After a bit of swimming, a Brai and the cricket, we were ready to head back to the hotel for a quick change and then off to dinner at the Cape Town fish market. Dinner was an incredible array of fish and steak overlooking a beautiful sunset and glorious view of table mountain. There’s nothing like deep fried Oreos (or Margaritas’ with a Corona) to dull the pain of another loss.

A great day 3 and looking forward to a great experience at the township tomorrow!