The IZingari v Knox Grammar School 1st XI fixture is a feature match on IZA's annual calendar. Not only is it played at an excellent cricket facility at Curagul Oval and the visitors are afforded first-class hospitality, it provides the sides the opportunity to compete for The Laurie Brothers Cup - a trophy made so famous by the 5 Laurie brothers that were schooled at Knox and would later represent IZingari. In recent years, IZingari has had a stranglehold on the trophy, however Knox coach and former Australian Fast bowler, Anthony Stuart (who captured an ODI hat-trick v Pakistan at MCG in 1997), was confident of a better showing from his chargers in his pre match interview.
The IZA side consisted of the usual experienced campaigners (Davies, Hambleton, Hodge, Lovell), a sprinkling of youth (Bayliss-Smith, Law, Hodge.S, J.G.Bayliss) and players at the peak of their powers (Strong, Masood). The side also included three Knox Old Boys - C.H.Bayliss (97), J.P.Scamps (97) and M.J.Nicholson (92). Matthew Nicholson is Australian Test Cricketer 380 having debut against England on Boxing Day, 1999. Matthew forged an exceptional first class career representing NSW, WA, Northamptonshire and Surrey. It was a great privilege for the IZA members to play alongside and a tremendous thrill for the Knox players to pit their skills against a former Test cricketer.
IZA batted first in bright, sunny conditions with Lovell and Bayliss taking advantage of any loose deliveries. After 21 overs the opening pair had advanced the score to 121 for no loss. A bowling change sparked a dramatic IZA batting collapse. Bayliss (53) and Lovell (58) fell in consecutive overs and triggered a procession of batters heading back to the pavilion for single figure scores. Knox captured 10 for 50 to bowl IZA out in the final over for 171. A phenomenal fightback from the schoolboys which changed the momentum of the match and the visitors mood over lunch.
At the luncheon interval, both teams listened to IZA member John Laurie speak about his time at Knox, his family, his love of cricket and the history of The Laurie Brothers Cup. John graduated from Knox in 1952 and on the day was looking very smart in his original Knox Blazer accompanied by his IZA tie.
Knox maintained the momentum after the innings break forming solid top order partnerships to keep the required run rate under 5 for the last 15 overs. Sebastian Hodge was the chief destroyer with 2/13 from his allotment and was well supported by Matt Nicholson 1/12 (5) as they dried up the runs through the middle of the innings. IZA appeared to have the game in control courtesy of late over wickets to Strong and Bayliss that left Knox requiring 12 from the final over for victory. On the final ball, Knox required 6 to tie. The Number 9 with long leavers managed to loft Strong down the ground and dispatch the half volley into the carpark to ensure the scores were level. A dramatic finish to a tremendous game of cricket played in magnificent spirit.
IZA retained The Laurie Brothers Cup for another year courtesy of their victory last year.