The 2002 Philippines cricket year kicked off with a double-header between Nomads and The Indians across the weekends of 13 and 20 January. Honours ended up even with Nomads taking the first game by 6 wickets and The Indians coming back in the second to win by 53 runs.
Sunday 13 January 2002 - Indians 130 all out lost to Nomads 133-4 by 6 wkts
After a long break, mostly weather induced, the Nomads returned to action against old rivals, The Indians. The Nomads achieved a comprehensive victory, outplaying their opponents in every aspect of the 25 over game. Victory came with 4 overs and 6 batsmen to spare.
With the artificial track looking fairly green, Bailey asked The Indians to take first knock having won the toss. The captain's hopes of early lateral movement were to prove well founded - although the earliest showing came in the shape of a fielder rather than the ball........ Rodney Hall flung himself bravely at the second ball of the day whilst fielding at point and made a painful landing on his [ ] shoulder. Cries of anguish and claims of retirement were to be heard from Hall through the rest of the day. It should be noted that the Nomads' resident point fielder and hypochondriac, Mike Barker, was absent "sick"..........
The opening bowlers, Langston and Nathan Wadds, bowled with a purpose and soon had The Indians on the back foot - Harvinder, Rashpal, Banti and Satnam all perished in single figures with the bowlers sharing the wickets.
Some solidity was brought to the batting in the middle order with new-comer Raju (21) and Bablu (28) scoring good runs to bring the innings back on track. Bailey was unlucky not to break the partnership as Langston, as is customary, turned down the simplest of chances at mid-off - most of his cricket is played at the Clark Airbase, where we are led to believe the "one-hand, one-bounce" law is still subscribed to.
The introduction of Nomads' debutant, Gavin Dezylva, to the attack was to bring mixed but rapid results - having taken about 5 balls to switch the radar on, Dezylva embarked on a destructive stint that was to see him take 4 wickets in under 3 overs (excluding the wides...) and just miss out on an elusive hat-trick.
On the whole the Nomads' fielding was solid, although Hartley's invitations to the International Wicketkeepers' Convention are likely to remain limited in the short-term. Langston was also able to exonerate himself by taking a marvellous running effort at mid-on (season's stats : 4 sitters - all dropped, 3 screamers - all bagged).
Langston and Hall were asked to open the innings, which they did. Sadly, the captain forgot to ask them to score any runs, which they didn't. Hall should be regarded as particularly unlucky as his second ball was so low it must have had a chance of going under the stumps - unfortunately it castled him. This was to prompt further mumblings of sticking to pool and golf...... The bowlers did not seem to be aware that Langston was left handed - however, this was not to be of great concern as the batsman obliged by tickling yet another leg-side long-hop through to the keeper.
Kevin Wadds, somewhat surprised by his elevation, came in at first drop and batted bravely against the best spell of Indian bowling for the day. He went on to make 10, but was content to spend much of his stay at the crease watching Hartley (35* retired) take the attack to pieces - he was particularly severe on Harvinder hooking and pulling him for 3 successive boundaries.
Alan Tanner (6) made the most of his lengthy stay at the crease, managing to be dropped at least twice and bowled by a no-ball. The star of the show, however, was Nathan Wadds (34*) who played his most accomplished innings of the season, littered with text-book shots of the very highest quality - 3 exquisite square drives will remain in the memory longest. Paling (16*) came in at the end to support Wadds with his unique brand of leg side scoring shots.
The Nomads' captain expressed satisfaction with his team's performance after the game and looked forward to the strengthening of the side through the return of Smith and Steggles the following weekend.
Sunday 20 January 2002 - Indians 201 all out beat Nomads 148 all out by 53 runs
The Indians took no time in exacting revenge on the Nomads and won this encounter at a pace. Again a 25 over game, The Indians scored quickly and bowled well to ensure that the Nomads were never able to reach the required rate.
Bailey was without Langston, which, although it considerably strengthened the fielding, left a hole in the bowling line up - exacerbated further by the absence of Nathan Wadds (unclear if family matters intervened or the rather inevitable one match bans that most Aussie quicks seem to pick up......).
The toss was won by The Indians who decided to bat first on a track that looked full of runs.
The ailing Barker opened the bowling with his off-spinners, which were rather to the liking of Rana (19), who deposited the first one straight on the roof of the main stand. Dezylva shared the new ball and again impressed, although only managing to take the single wicket this time around.
The third over saw not only the dismissal of Rana, but the arrival of Hartley - who was soon to be introduced to the attack as Barker proved to be more than a little expensive. Rashpal (23), Harvinder (12), Vicky (14) and Raju (16) all batted with flair and kept the pace of the innings flying along.
One of Bailey's more interesting decisions was to give the slightly less than regular Steggles a second over - most had lost count of the cost of the first after it had gone beyond 24..... The batsmen taking toll were Manish (37) and Banti (42*) who provided the substance of the Indian innings and struck the ball to every corner of the ground. Banty, in particular, impressed with his powerful cover drives. Hartley was the pick of the bowlers taking 4 wickets and Bailey picked up 2 at the end whilst demonstrating to Barker how to bowl offies.
Hartley (18) and Barker (15) opened the innings in the face of some excellent early Indian bowling from Rashpal, Bablu and, in particular, Harvinder. Hartley's demise came as a result of the myth of " a quick single to Manish", as yet another direct hit was recorded from the boundary edge...... Barker lacked his normal fluency and eventually capitulated to the slow left armers of Rana, aided by a wonderful catch by Raju at deep mid-wicket. Smith showed clear aggressive intent, but fell to a running catch at 3rd man before really getting going. Powell (0) was clearly out of sorts and did not last long....
The Nomads' best batting came from Damon Paling (37* retired) and Jerry Echter (28). Echter actually managed to turn up later than Hartley and missed all but a few overs in the field - he was later to make up for this by playing 2 games of squash a game of football and then jogging up to Subic to take part in the triathlon. These two batted with real gusto and ensured that the Nomads' innings did not collapse in a rather embarrassing heap.
The late order batsmen continued to push the ball around, but the target was always going to be out of reach.
Bailey and Hartley were able to speak with the visiting media corps after the game and did their best to explain the difference between pitching and bowling, stick and bat, home runs and boundaries, etc..... The more than game presenter, Ravilson, actually took the challenge to pad-up and have a knock in the middle and was able to deal more than competently with the bowling of Bailey and Manish, striking a couple of resounding blows to the fence