#3: PAUL CUTAJAR – 144 vs Sunshine Utd. 2nd XI VTCA. 2012/13. SF.
We have scraped into the finals on the back of a BIG win vs PEGS in the last round (see #10). We have finished 4th & now play the top team Sunshine Utd at their ground.
It’s a hot day. I win the toss and bat. We get off to a poor start slumping to 4/26. I’m padded up with a sense of doom. Jamesy walks over and says, “Why do you do this to yourself Boony?” I nod in agreement with him.
Budgie opened the innings and is hanging tough. Tuddy, coming off a big ton against PEGS, now joins Budge. Tuddy starts off a little scratchy as per usual & is copping serious flack from the opposition, particularly the bowler. Next ball is a full toss – SMACK – 6 over mid-wicket. “Fair way to get off the mark”, I think to myself. A ball or 2 later, another 6. This one straight. We are now 4/38. Suddenly I’m feeling a little better about things, as I know what Tuddy can do, but I stop myself from dreaming of him replicating last weeks performance. I fear it’s too much to ask.
Budge & Tuddy bat well putting on 68 until Budge departs for 32, with the score on 94.
5/94 is a lot better than 4/26 that’s for sure.
Drums now joins Tuddy. This partnership also blossoms as Tuddy is in full flight. I say to Tim, “I’m glad I don’t have to bowl to Tuddy when he’s in this mood.” This partnership yields 72 runs when Drums is dismissed. 6/165.
I now join Tuddy, who is running on empty. I make the mistake of pushing him hard for a three. He is nearly run out. He looks at me as if to say, “WTF are you doing?” I learn my lesson. We put on 80 until I’m dismissed. 7/245. Tuddy is then dismissed soon after with the score on 246. He has made 144 of those runs. He is totally spent after spending 4 hours at the crease. It’s a slow walk off the ground and he receives the plaudits he deserves. Several opposition fans are clapping as well. We have witnessed as entertaining an innings as one could hope for. And to produce it in a Semi-Final against the top team, on a hot day, when our backs were to the wall, just made the innings all that more impressive.
We end up 9/265 off the 80 overs. A super result after being 4/26.
Day 2 is a formality. Sunshine Utd’s spirit is broken. They make 109 with Rash taking 4/24.
Is Tuddy’s knock the best innings I’ve ever seen from a Laker in a game I played in? I can’t recall any better. It is a masterpiece.