Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Oliver And Geelong Victory Hopes Dashed – By Out Of Control Sprinkler!

Oliver And Geelong Victory Hopes Dashed – By Out Of Control Sprinkler!

Geelong City skipper Richard Oliver suffered the frustration of his side's top of the table clash at leaders East Belmont being washed out – but not through the weather!

The game had to be abandoned mid-way through Belmont's reply to Geelong's 254-5 because of a rogue sprinkler suddenly springing into action and soaking the outfield.

All attempts to turn it off failed and the umpires had no choice but to call off the first versus third battle in Division One of the Geelong Cricket Association.

Worcestershire opener Oliver explained: "There was not a cloud in the sky – but we were washed out! The eagerly anticipated top of the table clash at East Belmont was hanging in the balance, with the Lions teetering on 4-122 in pursuit of our imposing 254.

"But two balls before the halfway drinks break, one rogue sprinkler popped up on the edge of the square, and it was panic stations as everyone soon realised it couldn't be turned off, and that it would probably have to finish its half hour cycle before we could get back underway.

"So the covers came out for the match wicket, as the sprinkler was directed onto the outfield, which protected the wicket from a strong south westerly breeze, which was spraying the water all over the shop.

"It was at this stage that someone from East Belmont decided to place a bucket over the sprinkler – thus creating a massive puddle along the side of the square, and bringing a premature end to proceedings, as the umpires deemed the conditions as too dangerous for the game to be completed.

"So, as we were understandably aggrieved for the game to be cut short with us in the ascendancy, we could do nothing more than to accept the situation and split the points.

"I've seen some loose things on a cricket field in my time but this just about topped it!"

Geelong won the toss and elected to bat with Oliver scoring 37 and being second out with the total on 82.

A total of 254-5 in 50 overs posed a testing challenge to the league leaders and they had reached 122-4 in 24.4 when the sprinkler intervened.

Oliver picked up a wicket – in addition to a catch – as he bowled five overs for 34 runs.

He said: "It was a shame after we had batted so well after winning the toss on a grassy wicket that looked hard and dry.

"It didn't prove to be as flat as we thought though, and it was a great effort from all our batsmen to get us up to a competitive total, particularly Tommy Elliot and Jack Driver who both notched up well compiled 50s.

"Our bowling was well below par by contrast, but it was still good enough to put us into a strong position and I have no doubts we would have got the job done had the match not been cut short.

"No surprise there is never a dull moment, but this was unusual even by my standards!"