Last Man Stands World Champions 2010 - Mephobia
World Championships Tournament Report
The inaugural Last Man Stands World Championships took place on the Gold Coast, Australia, between 18th and 24th November 2010. The event was open to all of the 1000 Last Man Stands teams playing across five countries worldwide. Teams flew in from far and wide to take part in this global amateur T20 cricket tournament at Runaway Bay Cricket Club! Early tournament favourites included Desert Warriors (who arrived from Dubai with a 100% winning record from Dubai), Mantonio's All Stars (the Australasian Champions from 2009) and Protea Coin (South African champions 2009).
The week was an enormous success as about 300 LMS players from around the world helped attempt to drink the Gold Coast dry, and pushed their bodies to a limit with day after day of relentless, fast paced T20 action. The weather certainly wasn't what we expected from the sunshine state, but that couldn't dampen the enthusiasm everyone had for this unique chance to be crowned World Champions!
Local team, Sth-Dor Tigers, made an impressive entry to the comp with a huge 122 run win in their opening derby match against Runaway Socials, while Team of RAD from Sydney also caught the eye with a big first win, with world no.2 bat, David O'Connor, impressing with 61 from 38 balls. Desert Warriors looked good with the bat in a resounding opening victory, while Adam Hollioake (in picture below) braved the wet conditions to help out the English Barbarians against Tradies You Can't Trust.
Unfortunately, the former England captain couldn't inspire his team to victory as the ball kept low to remove him for a third-ball duck on his LMS debut. Hollioake did respond well with an aggressive spell with the ball, but the Tradies looked good value as they comfortably wrapped up an opening day win. South Coast Slashers won a much-touted clash against Mantonio's All Stars in the match of the day, as Australia's leading run scorer, Chris Dalton, helped the Slashers recover from 5 early wickets to eventually secure a 17 run victory over the Australasian Champs! However, most of the crowd's attention was on the tournament favourites, Protea Coin from Pretoria, and they didn't disappoint as their fine bowling attack made short work of Rats of Arundel, with skipper Ashley Struwig taking a brace of wickets. AJ Edden did not fail to impress either and they finished the day on top of the night life league table despite losing to a very strong Ze Weirdos team.
The second day's play followed a heavy night for many of the teams, but Protea Coin were fully fit as they comfortably saw off the challenge of Ipswich champions, Crease Monkeys, in the morning. Jeff Rodgerson, probably the quickest bowler in the comp, was particularly impressive, taking three wickets for the Pretoria side. Bone's Bolters won a classic last ball thriller against Rats of Arundel as Francois Bruyns bowled an incredible last over under pressure, taking a wicket off the final ball. Rampant Stags, from Auckland, began to catch the eye with a solid win over Sth-Dor Tigers, while Normo FYC (Sydney's champions) won a tight contest against the talented young side from Brisbane, Bye-Round. Ze Weirdos caused an upset in beating Team of RAD, while Melbourne's champions, Kenkastle, suffered a disappointing loss to Bye-Round following their strong opening day display against the thirsty New Zealanders, Team Zone. Team Zone closed the gap on AJ Edden at the top of the beer league table on day two as did Mantonios, MC's, South Coast Slashers and the Crease Monkeys!
Day 3 (Saturday) was a rest day and all the teams took full advantage on the Friday night, sampling more than enough of what the Gold Coast nightlife had to offer! Somehow all the teams managed to make it through the day off without any players going MIA and all teams entered Sunday's play with everything to play for!
Sunday saw the final round of pool matches, and every pool was still up for grabs. Kenkastle suffered a disappointing defeat as they lost to the big-hitting Normo FYC outfit, with Chris Hawkins belting 52 from just 16 balls! Bone's Bolters similarly exited the tournament as they failed to deal with the tight bowling of Protea Coin. 3 Short, from Canberra, continued to impress as they progressed from the pool stages with two wins and a tight loss. Runaway Bay CC were one of the stand out teams of the pool stages and their comfortable victory over a barefooted and sleepless MC's team secured them a spot in the last 16. The SA Barbarians also joined them in the next round with victory over Sydney's 1000 to 1 outside bet, The Ungrateful Kids. Desert Warriors' hopes of winning the comp were dealt a blow as they were thrashed by Newcastle's Albion Hotel CC, but the Warriors still progressed to the next round. Rampant Stags, Team of RAD, Mantonio's All Stars and South Coast Slashers all won impressively as well to progress. The Perth Champions, The Wild Things, arrived on the Gold Coast with a big reputation but struggled to find any form with bat or ball and suffered a third straight loss, this time to the Southdor Tigers. But champions bounce back quickly and the Wild Things managed to move up 13 places to 3rd on the Beer League Table by the close of play on Sunday (which was monday morning at 6 am). AJ Edden increased their lead at the top of the "other" league table with another impressive warm up routine in the their final group game. The Crease Monkeys were well lead by number 79 and moved into 2nd spot after an impressive performance at Jupiters Casino. Team Zone dropped a few gears and finished the day just outside the medal positions.
Plate Quarter Finals
The knockout stages began on Monday 22nd November, and 8 of the elimated sides entered the Plate Competition. All four plate quarter finals were played on the Monday, and Southside Brothers, from Brisbane, suffered a disappointing exit at the hands of an impressive Albion Hotel side. The quarter final battle between AJ Edden and Team Zone resulted in an emphatic win for the Auckland side (Team Zone) as Jonny Scott freed his arms with a 20-ball fifty but AJ Edden managed to increase their lead over Team Zone on the beer league table. In other quarter finals, Ipswich champions, Crease Monkeys, saw off Runaway Socials while the Perth side, Wild Things, defeated The Ungrateful Kids to progress to the plate semi finals.
World Champs - Round of 16
16 sides qualified from the pool stages in the quest for the $10,000 winners cheque and much-coveted title of Last Man Stands World Champions! Kenkastle were shocked by an on-song South Coast Slashers side, as they lost by 72 runs to exit the tournament. One of the matches of the day saw former-Sydney champions, Team of RAD, edge out the current Sydney champions, Normo FYC, in a tight game. Protea Coin met their fellow South Africans, SA Barbarians, and were shell-shocked as they batted first and were destroyed by a five wicket burst from the De Jager brothers. The tournament favourites had been bundled out for 58 and looked on course for an early exit! However, they showed all of their bowling guts as they came out all guns blazing in the second innings. At 35 for 3 it seemed the Barbarians had the game in the bag but Daniel Brits returned astonishing figures of 4-4-9 and the Barbarians were bowled out for 45 in their run chase and Protea Coin had managed to get out of jail in a memorable match! Well played to both South African sides, who had both put in so much effort to make the trip across the Indian Ocean! Another classic match saw the Christchurch champions, Mantonio's All Stars, exit at the hands of the Dubai outfit, Desert Warriors. The Warriors' first innings total of 185 look to be a match-winner however, the big-hitting Nick Turner came to the crease (Turner has an interesting but affective warm up technique that resembles a golfer on the practise range) and belted an astonishing 74 (73 runs going to cow corner) from 24 balls to take his team to within a home run of victory off the last ball. Turner agonisingly missed the home run opportunity off the last ball as the Dubai-boys held their nerve and rolled on to the quarter finals. Well done to Rohit Verma who took three wickets to turn the game in The Dessert Warriors favour. Rampant Stags made short work of Rats of Arundel to progress, while Sth-Dor Tigers won their local derby against the hosts, Runaway Bay CC. Bye-Round's bowling line up was on song as they bundled out Ze Weirdos for 65. Canberra's 3 Short then gained a lot of attention as Sam Lang belted a 14-ball fifty as they belted 212 in a high-scoring victory over Tradies you can't trust!
World Champs - Quarter Finals
The final 8 of the inaugural LMS World Championships saw a great spread of teams with no fewer than 7 different cities and 4 countries represented! 3 Short (Canberra) found the batting tough as they struggled to chase down an imposing target set by Bye-Round (Brisbane), and the Canberra boys fell 30 runs short of Bye-Round's 162. New Zealand's best bet for the trophy then took on Dubai's Desert Warriors in another classic encounter. The Stags posted 175 in the first innings with all their batsmen contributing well. However, a quick fifty from Ashish Dhingra helped to keep the Warriors in the match and they ended up falling an agonising 2 runs short on 173 and exited the tournament, having made a great effort to fly over to Australia from the United Arab Emirates! Another solid fifty from David O'Connor helped Team of RAD (Sydney) to comfortably see off the challenge of Sth-Dor Tigers (Gold Coast), while Sydney's other QF representatives, the popular South Coast Slashers, had no reply to another fine bowling performance from Pretoria's Protea Coin, who comfortably chased down a target of 72 inside 14 overs.
Plate Semi Finals
The first plate semi final saw Auckland's Team Zone take on Perth's Wild Things. Wild Things batted first and Rod Findlay, Jarrod Harben and Jarrod Langdon were all on fire with the bat as their side set an imposing total of 180. A tight bowling spell from Ray Baker (4-2-21) ensured that Team Zone struggled in their run chase, and eventually fell well short of their target with 130. The other all-Australian plate semi saw the vocal Crease Monkeys from Ipswich take on Newcastle's Albion Hotel CC. The Monkeys batted first and were thankful to a fifty from Keith Vogel that helped them set a competitve total of 163. Ryan Herringe then belted 50 from just 19 balls in reply for Albion Hotel, but it wasn't enough as Kevi Robinson's bowling spell (4-2-22) helped to bowl out the Newcastle team for 137 in their run chase.
World Champs - Semi Finals
The experienced Rampant Stags took on the youngsters of Bye-Round in the first World Champs semi final. The Stags batted first and Andrew Phillips got them off to a great start by hitting fifty. However, the impressive Steele Briskey-Rossiter took a brace of wickets as regular wickets fell during the innings. The Englishman, Craig Short, weighed in with an important 37 from 18 balls for the Stags late on, which helped boost their score to 160 - a more than competitive total. The Brisbane lads then had no answer in reply as they lost early wickets (Sam Irving taking 2 for 10, and Wayne Clifford taking 2 for 16). A couple of run outs didn't help either as Liam Johnston's 24 proved to be the top score in a disappointing total of 64. In the other semi final, Team of RAD faced off against the favourites from South Africa, Protea Coin, in the other semi final. RAD struggled to deal with the tight bowling from the Pretoria boys as regular wickets fell largely due to good spells from Ethan Gouws (4-2-17) and Daniel Brits (4-2-21). Matthew Ellis was the only batsman to contribute significantly as he hit a patient 45, before Angus Dallas and Andrew Speth hit a few quicker runs in the closing overs to take the RAD total to 105. The rough areas outside leg stump worried the Protea Coin batsmen in their run chase, particularly given the two spinners in Team of RAD's side. However, Sruwig (21) and Lysle Turner (41) kept their heads and laid a solid opening platform. Gareth Sanders then produced an invaluable unbeaten 30 from 19 balls to help the South African team to their target, despite wickets falling at the other end as Andrew Speth's spin picked up three wickets.
The Plate Final saw Wild Things (Perth) take on Crease Monkeys (Ipswich). Both teams seemed to be evenly matched on the field and on the beer league table. The Monkeys batted first and were bowled out for 135 in the final over of their innings. Dean Currie produced a massive innings of 62 as opener, which was crucial given that the next highest score was 23 from Keith Vogel. Jason Baker tore through the Monkey's batting line up with a great spell of bowling (4-5-16). Wild Things then got off to a fine start as Jarrod Harben hit 45 and fellow opener Alisdair Findlay hit 43. However, the Monkeys' bowlers kept things tight, with Dean Currie ensuring his man of match status with fine figures of 4-2-18. It came down to the last ball with a home run needed to win, but it wasn't to be as the Crease Monkeys secured victory to lift the inaugural LMS World Championships Plate!
Plate Winners Crease Monkey with Adam Hollioake and Andy Bichel
Charity Match - Australia v Rest of the World
he charity match, which helped to raise money for local charity, Paradise Kids, saw Andy Bichel skipper an Australian side against Adam Hollioake's Rest of the World team. Sam Lang and Aaron Jones both took their spots in the Australia side, thanks to their sterling efforts with ball and bat during the week. David O'Connor and Runaway Bay CC President, Travis Harker, were also in the side having also starred in the tournament. Dubai's Ashish Dhingra was the Rest of World batsman of the tournament, and he was supported by the Kiwis, Nick Turner and Charles Grey. Unfortunately the best Rest of World bowlers, Sam Irving, Matt Bint and Ethan Gouws, were unavailable due to their commitments in the subsequent World Championships final.
The Rest of the World batted first and Hollioake (27) opened the batting confidently before he was trapped to a controversial LBW decision by Travis Harker in the 7th over. Nick Turner then followed next ball as he was clean bowled and this sparked a shocking Rest of the World collapse. Sam Lang bowled a great spell for the Australians as he took 3 wickets for just 3 runs and Ashish Dhingra was the last man out for 29 in a disappointing total of 69. However, the Rest of the World bowlers stepped up to the mark and Hollioake showed his class taking 2 for 19 in 4 overs. He received good support from Rohit Verma (4-1-15) as the Australians lost 5 wickets. At one point it looked like the Aussies could be on course for defeat, but Andy Bichel stood strong in a patient unbeaten 21. He eventually won the match in style with a huge 6 over mid wicket as the Australians took home the LMS bragging rights!
World Championships - Final
After a great week of cricket, there were only two teams left in the main cup - two of the favourites, Protea Coin from Pretoria, and Rampant Stags from Auckland. Few would argue that these two sides were the most deserving of the two finalist spots and a great match seemed in prospect. Most punters in the bar were tipping Rampant Stags for the title, based on their greater experience and potentially a stronger batting line up. However, the young Pretoria team took the field first and barely bowled a bad ball all innings as the Stags were made to work for their runs. The Stags got off to a solid start with Andrew Phillips (18) and Wayne Clifford (39) opening the batting. However, regular wickets began to fall in the middle overs as Daniel Brits took 2 for 18, and Ashley Struwig bowled tightly for 4-1-16. The Stags were unable to raise the run rate and ended on 106-6, which still seemed a competitive total given the worn pitch after 7 straight days of cricket! Sam Irving (4-1-13) and Andrew Phillips (4-0-17) then bowled exceptionally well to pile pressure on the Protea Coin batting line up. However, Ashley Struwig (41) and Lysle Turner (50 from 38 balls) showed great commitment and skill to keep chipping away with the runs. Turner's innings was particularly impressive and earned him the man of match award as he showed a great blend of patience and attacking intent. In the end, Protea Coin reached their victory target after 18 overs with only 1 wicket lost, sparking wild celebrations. Struwig's efforts throughout the tournament with bat and ball also deserve a special mention after he sustained a nasty facial injury batting early on in the tournament.
The South Africans then generously threw $800 of their winnings behind the bar at Runaway Bay Cricket Club (who had done a monumental job of hosting such a great tournament), and all those present duly celebrated in style to round off a fantastic week of T20 cricket, and a very fine performance by the lads from Pretoria. Congratulations Protea Coin - 2010 LMS World Champions!!
AJ Edden, Crease Monkeys, South Coast Slashes, Team Zone and Wild Things missed out on the free beer opportunity provided by the new World Champions. This opened the door for Mantonio All Stars to make a late charge for the beer league title. They took full advantage of the situation and celebrated their narrow victory over AJ Edden (by one beer) with a new version of the Haka.
The next World Championship will be held in South Africa in March 2012.
The Video Links containing two teams personal experiences at the 2010 World Champs are great to watch!
2010 WORLD CHAMP SPONSORS:
Australia, November 2010