And so we return to Sydney University Oval Number One (still a ground crying out for a corporate sponsor) for the third edition of the media agency vs media owners Big Clash cricket match.
And while last year’s match up was a nail biting affair that came down to the last over, this year’s was a far more one-sided competition, leaving Dr Mumbo to ponder if it is cheating in a charity game to have players on your team who appear to have actually played cricket before.
Once again the 20/20 match was run to raise funds for industry charity foundation UnLtd, although this year the organisers added another charity to the mix with Breast Cancer Network Australia as a show of support for Mindshare chief investment officer Nicola Lewis, who has been battling the condition for the past six months.
The media agencies were first to bat, and got off to an inauspicious start with Lewis’ husband Andrew Krige failing to trouble the scorers, lasting two balls before knicking one to Seven’s Steve Johnson.
Little did the media owners know that Johnson’s catch would be something of a rarity for the owner’s, with several catchable opportunities being put down, and on more than one occasion allowed to trickle across the boundary.
Unfortunately for the owner’s team the removal of Krige brought to the crease Ikon’s Emile Van Schalkwyk, who signalled his intent with a straight six back over Hamilton’s head from the final ball of his over.
Van Schalkwyk went about dismantling the opposition attack compiling an innings of 29 from just 18 balls at a strike rate of 161, including two sixes in his morale-breaking stand with UM’s Nick Rutherford.
Van Schalwyk was one of three agency players to retire in their innings after scoring more than 25 runs.
Van Schalkwyk’s wagon wheel shows his range of shots
Rutherford’s well-compiled innings was brought to a close on 19 as he was clean bowled by Tony Bell of The Guardian with his first ball of the over, who then claimed the wicket of new man Luke Carmichael the next ball, with a smartly taken catch by Sean Rigby.
That left new man Jamie Hollebone facing a hat trick ball. But the Astus man rose to the occassion and let the ball go past his off stump.
In his two overs Bell conceded just three runs, making him the pick of the owner’s attack.
But the flurry of wickets brought little reprieve, with Hollebone returning to his old stomping ground and treating the crowd to a range of shots including a rare sweep on his way to 28 from 20 balls, including two maximums. Indeed his company generously donated $50 for each six hit and $20 for every four.
He shared the crease with fellow Astus man Tom Bartlam, who was the third member of his team to retire after notching 27, although his came in 32 balls, as he weathered some of the better bowling from the owners’ team.
Skipper Mark Jarrett, feeling the pressure after heroics the previous year from his boss at PHD Mark Coad, came in towards the end of the innings and set about the bowling with some relish, notching 19 from 15 balls including two fours in an aggressive innings, as he looked to move his team’s total along.
In stark contrast Publicis Media CEO Matt James struggled to get his eye in, or hit the ball off the square, notching just one from eight balls before being sacrificed by his captain in a farcical run-out, as he looked to move the scoreboard along, with a final score of 138 for 4 from their 20 overs.
At the innings break the media owners were upbeat about their chances of bettering the substantial total, promising to come out swinging.
And the innings got off to a decent start with Pandora’s Chris Freel and Steve Johnson attempting to get ahead of the seven an over run rate by flaying the ball around the ground, adding 34 for the first wicket before Johnson was retired after scoring his 25. Freel departed a couple of balls later, stumped by Krige as he attempted to dance down the wicket and dispatch Jarrett back over his head, but got tangled up.
At 34 for one off six over the match appeared evenly poised, with the owners feeling confident after seeing off the new ball. But at that point Jarrett turned to his ‘second change bowlers’, who triggered a collapse in the middle order with the owners losing five wickets for two runs in two overs.
Luke Carmichael started the rot after something of a mystery bag of an over, with the wicket of MCN’s Shae Bonney, who departed for four, and the next ball Chris Norris who managed eight from five balls. Both wickets were carbon copies, with both men attempting a hoy over cow corner, but finding Nick Rutherford waiting with unusually steady hands.
Skipper Ollie Newton of JC Decaux failed to trouble the scorers, clean bowled by Jamie Hollebone, who finished the game with two wickets for four runs from two overs.
That brought Guy Burbridge of Quantcast to the middle, with his opponents quick to remind him he had failed to score a run in either of the previous two Big Clash fixtures. He managed to break that hoodoo, stealing a single off Hollebone.
In hindsight he probably wished he hadn’t taken that run, as it left him facing the next over, which was bowled by Van Schalkwyk. He survived the first ball, but lost his stumps the next ball to a perfectly delivered inswinger.
That left ARN’s Matt Granger attempting to see off the last four deliveries, managing to survive the next three before failing to pick a straight one and also losing his off stump.
Such was man of the match Van Schalkwyk’s impact on the match rumours abounded afterwards of a bidding war breaking out for the Ikon man between publishers, keen to secure his services ahead of next year’s match. (See his over from 13 minutes in in the video below.)
Rutherford returned to the attack and cleaned up APN’s Scott Hamilton for a duck.
That triggered a new media fightback, with Snapchat’s Mat Coote putting an attacking filter on proceedings, notching 14 from eight balls before hoisting an agricultural heave to Van Schalkwyk at deep mid-off from the bowling of Havas Media’s John Lynch. He was partnered by Burzin Mehta from Domain, whose 11 from seven balls included two consecutive fours.
However he became the only victim for Carat’s classy medium pacer Michael Rajkumar, who was the unfortunate victim of some comical fielding including six from one ball courtesy of four overthrows, as the team attempted to turn the screws.
Publicis’ James accounted for Bell, who managed five runs, before two comical run outs accounted for Anthony Bartram and Johnson, who came back in at the end of the innings to try and add some respectability to the score. He ended up with 42 runs from 30 balls, top scoring for the match, and nudged the only maximum for the owners’ side.
Johnson’s wagon wheel shows he is a fan of cuts and pulls
MCN’s Shae Bonney also came back in but was gone the next ball, becoming Hollebone’s second victim.
That left Ooh Media’s Sean Rigby, who managed to face just 15 balls in 44 minutes at the crease for 16 runs.
In total the media owners with one of the more unusual scores you’ll see in cricket of 120 for 14.
Such was the gulf in class there was talk post-match of some training ahead of next year’s fixture to avoid going 3-1 down in the series.
Tale of the tape: The manhattan shows the owners were facing an uphill battle
And while cricket was one winner, so too were the charities supported by the day, with at least $65,000 raised so far, including more than $14,000 in a not so silent auciton after the game, when Dr Mumbo feared there would be physical violence as the cost of Adele tickets spiralled past $2,000.
And if you’ve been inspired by the blood sweat and tears then why not donate by following this link.