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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 6. May 9, 1957

Cricket In The Rain

Cricket In The Rain

It was all most depressing. No play against Auckland—curtailed hours in impossible conditions against Canterbury. Small consolation was the fact that Vic. without winning (or losing) a game came second in the cricket section and swelled Vic's tota points by 3½.

Auckland's train weary cricketers led by young (18) Plunket Shield off spinner John Sparling were spared the trials of the unknown but not very promising wicket at Ben Burn Park Karori. Rain led the captains to abandon the frame early on the second day without a ball bowled. Meanwhile in a match at Dunedin limited by the weather to one day, Canterbury defeated O.U. with 5 wickets and a few minutes to spare. In the second round Vic. drew Canterbury a team studded with Plunket Shield (Alabaster, Gallop, Haskell) and N Z.U. players.

In consistent, drizzling rain, captain Jim Thomson won the toss and sent in Peter Coutts and Michae Lance. The early overs of ex-Vic medium fast bowler Haskell showed how difficult the conditions were (and incidentally what a fine job the Logan Park groundsman had done in preparing a wicket at all). With the opening bowler unable to stand up off-spinners Alabaster and Park took over the attack and immediately dropped into the steady length which they continued to bowl until the end of the innings, relieved only by a few overs from left-hand spinner Timpson and some variable leg spinning from the young Plunket Shield player, D. Gallop.

Although Lance (14) was soon bowled by Alabaster, allowing for the spin which didn't take effect on the sodden wicket, Coutts and David Ward played some attractive shots and took the score to 81 before Ward was unfortunately run out for 27. Next ball Coutts was caught at first slip for 39, his best innings of the season for Victoria. With the score 3 for 81. N.Z.U. batsman Pete Carver (59) and promoted second grade player Jim McDonald (46 no.) became associated in a most valuable partnership. While Carver batter delightfully—his cover drives and leg side shots bring very well timed—McDonald hit hard high and with a little luck. However the slow wicket, accurate bowling and well placed fields made scoring difficult and a declaration could not be made until after lunch on the second day.

Set to score 223 in about 3½ hours, Canterbury made no attempt to get the runs, secure in the knowledge that only in the unlikely event of Auckland defeating Otago could they be deprived of first place. (In fact Otago defeated Auckland by 55 runs on the first innings). The Canterbury openers Hunter and Axford, played their way slowly into the N.Z.U. team, each scoring 47, but otherwise the innings (127-2) was completely colourless. Opening Victoria bowlers. Zohrab and Martin found the treacherous run up and lifeless wicket quite unsuitable, while only Massey, off spinner, Maurice McDonald, of the slow bowlers, seemed to cause the batsmen any great difficulty.

Pete Carver was the only Vic. player to gain a place in the N.Z.U. team which of necessity was selected on reputation.