On a hot, dry day at Camden, IZA captain Andy Burgess won the toss and elected to field in the morning’s (somewhat) cooler conditions. It proved a smart decision as opening bowlers Emile van Schalkwyk and Jono Lloyd started with miserly spells.
First change Mike Strong was the first to strike with his accurate medium-pacers, slipping one through the opener’s defences. It was the first of three wickets for him in a strong showing, backing up from his NSW Premier match the day before. At the other end, an undercooked André Leslie did his best to keep Molonglo in the game with a series of loopy full tosses that were hit into adjacent grasslands.
Jim Manzie and Tom Hodge then took over the bowling and kept Molonglo under firm control. Both picked up a wicket each, with Hodge unlucky to not nab two, after having a lofted cut shot inexplicably dropped at point. Van Schalkwyk returned to the bowling crease to remove MCC’s other barnacle-like opener and our southern guests finished on 6 for 116 after their allotted 35 overs.
Lunch was a purely functional affair with IZA providing soft drinks and bottled water, and all players tucking into their own home-made sandwiches and other COVID-safe snacks.
In response, IZA started with a stutter after James McClelland and bowling star Strongy were dismissed by successive balls. Clive Manzie continued his Steve Smith-like reinvention, batting beautifully despite the pitch showing some lateral movement. His straight bat and elegant strokeplay was a feature.
At the other end, skipper Andy Burgess played a busy knock, running like a hare and clubbing the odd short one to inch IZA closer to the target. His rocket legs eventually proved too much for Manzie, who was run out.
Emile van Schalkwyk then swaggered to the crease and finished off his successful day with a commanding innings. At one point he thumped a ‘stuck-in-the-hand’ delivery from a Molonglo part-timer straight to the cover fence with disdain, and before we knew it IZA had passed the target with over 5 overs to spare.
With bags of ice melting fast, a cool drink was then enjoyed by all. The Salmon Trophy, which is normally handed to the winner of IZA v Molonglo matches, was unfortunately missing at the presentation. It had apparently submerged itself in the I Zingari museum at Camden and failed to resurface.