Summer fun has loose boundaries

Eleven teams fight for backyard cricket glory

MARTIN DE RUYTER
Last updated 13:00 27/12/2013
Rocky Brook
Fairfax NZ
CHEERIO: Rocky Brook of Nelson playing for the Babbling Brooks team gets herself out by hitting the wicket.

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The sound of rubber and felt on plastic echoed around the Playhouse Cricket Ground (PCG) near Mapua as 11 teams tussled for backyard cricket supremacy.

The organisers of the Playhouse's Great Backyard Cricket Tournament, which is in its third year, hope the annual Boxing Day event will become the country's premier backyard cricket contest.

The rules of backyard cricket at the PCG venue are simple; five to a team, five overs per team, over the fence is out (not six and out), and 15 bonus runs are awarded if the ball lands in the aluminium boat that sits in the Playhouse's garden.

Daniel Cooper, captain of the Wanderers cricket team, which has failed to win the last two Nelson club cricket finals, was looking for redemption at the Playhouse competition with his Battlers team.

Cooper said he had "distinguished" himself with several dropped catches in the club cricket final, and the Battlers had elected to drop him for their first game at the PCG.

During that game, opening batsman Joseph O'Connor scored a remarkable 15 runs off one ball when his drive deflected off the head of a small child playing nearby and landed in the boat garden. The child, while uninjured, was reduced to tears.

O'Connor, despite finishing not out in his team's total of 55, was dropped for the next game.

Rocky Brook of Nelson, who said she was playing her first game of cricket since primary school, was dismissed after hitting her wicket. Despite this, she was the top scorer for her team, the Babbling Brooks, who were "slaughtered" with a total of 13 in their opening game, against the Bashers.

Tom Cross of the Battlers brought credit to his team when he disappeared during a ball hunt, returning with six "lost" balls, which allowed play to continue.

The Battlers were able to bury their club cricket demons, emerging as champions with a close victory over the Beaumont Bashers, 32 runs to 30.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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