Zagreb tour 2015

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Summary of Zagreb tour written by Captain Chris Pascoe.

 

Friday 10th April - 

The Stanton Harcourt tour party arrived at Heathrow airport around 6am on Friday 10th April. After a healthy breakfast at weatherspoons and further lubrication on British Airways complimentary bar, we arrived in Zagreb, relaxed after a crash free flight around midday where we were greeted by Oliver, Yvonne and Dickie (Zagreb's representative who Oliver met a couple of days earlier, having arrived in Croatia on his way back from Asia). Dickie very kindly escorted us to our hotel where we freshened up before heading to the city centre to get acquainted with a few of the local watering holes. Later that evening we met up with Dickie and a few more Zagreb players, who again very kindly showed us the best places of 'interest' to visit. Some of the Stanton players didn't wish to appear rude and go back to the hotel before any of the Zagreb players went home, so they was determined to stay out until they were absolutely sure, carefully checking other bars to make certain. In some cases this took until 4am. 

Saturday 11th April - 

Zagreb CC had arranged two T20 games for us today with a 12 o'clock start, which always seemed a little optimistic. When we eventually arrived at the ground after a bus and tram journey across the other side of town, and with our 12 man squad, we had to decide who would sit the first game out. However this decision was taken out of our hands when Stantons 'guest player' Elliot Graham was struck down with a 'mystery' stomach bug and was deemed unfit to play. Stanton lost the toss and were put in the field where opening bowlers Luke Pettifer and Matt Waite bowled well restricting Zagreb to 16 off the first 6 overs before Luke aggravated a hamstring injury and had bowled his last over of the tour. Zagreb rallied and reached 112-8 at the end of the 20 overs mainly thanks to number 3 batsman Jasin scoring 34. Stanton's secret weapon Dave Duthie did a good job picking up 2 big wickets in the middle order, one of which was the dangerous looking 'Dickie' who was stumped for 0. Stanton veterans openers Chris Pascoe (11) and Robert Graham (10) laid the foundations for a first overseas win with a stand of 22 for the first wicket before Joel Graham (38), Oliver Pascoe (15) and Jake souch (14) saw Stanton home with 4 balls to spare. After a generous drinks break, the second game got underway in glorious sunshine again with Stanton losing the toss and being asked to field once more. Opening bowlers Matt Waite and Elliot Graham who had seemed to have made a remarkable recovery, this possibly aided by the fact he had earlier emptied the contents of his stomach at Zagreb tram station, and did a good job of reducing Zagreb to 19-3 off the first 3 overs, with Elliot claiming 2 wickets in his first over. Zagreb CC never really recovered and were bowled out for 92 in 17 overs with Oliver Pascoe and Jake Souch claiming a couple of wickets each. Again Stanton Harcourt's openers (this time Chris (11) and Oliver Pascoe (21)) got off to a solid start of 27 for the first wicket. This paving the way for a comfortable victory in 15 overs with contributions from Tom Gerken (14), Luke Pettifer (15*) and the unorthodoxed Matty Eagle (17*) who seemed to perfect the top edge over the keepers head for four off the Zagreb CC quickie. After the game, we were treated to a wonderful BBQ provided by Dickie and washed down with Croatia's finest brews. Later that evening we once again met in the city centre with some of the Zagreb team for 'bonding'. 

Sunday 12th April - 

After another late night or early morning (depending on which way you look at it), a weary Stanton squad assembled at the hotel bar waiting for taxi's to take us to our final game of the tour - which was a 35 over game starting at midday. Once again we were blessed with glorious sunshine as we had been with every day of the tour. Arriving at the ground just before midday, Stanton had to assess the squad to see who had the worst injury and there best claim to sit out.
The casualty list read like this; 
 

Charlie Waite - Finger injury after taking a catch

David Duthie - Hand injury from dropping a catch 

Luke Pettifer - Hamstring 

Chris Pascoe - Old and stiff 

Robert Graham - Older and Stiffer 

Matty Eagle - Tired 

As it was a relaxed atmosphere and we had already won the series, it was decided that Dave Duthie would bat with one hand and not field, and Charlie would field with one hand but not bat. For the first time on tour Stanton won the toss and elected to bat. The Graham brothers opened confidently and strode out to bat, but was soon dissapointingly walking back having just scored 2 each. Sadly this set the tone for most of the touring batsmen. Only Luke Pettifer (28) and Robert Graham (20) made much headway before the Zagreb bowlers fed the tail a few runs with Tom Gerken (33) and Matt Waite (14), getting the score to a well below par of 138 all out. The Stanton bowlers soon set about getting the game finished early, not by taking wickets, but by bowling wides - 40 to be exact. This was by far the highest score of the match! 53 extras in total made a comfortable victory by 3 wickets for the home side. The only disappointment was Zagreb's main man 'Dickie' getting run out for another duck. The presentations followed the conclusion of the game with the Stanton skipper Chris Pascoe presenting an engraved plate to the Zagreb chairman Paul, and then receiving a Zagreb CC shirt which will be displayed in the Stanton Harcourt pavillion. Then Stantons 'man of the tour' Matty Eagle was awarded with a shirt, this was earned not by his performances on the field - but more to do with his antics off it. I would like to go into detail but what happens on tour - stays on tour. The afternoon was finished off with another fantastic BBQ topped off with more of the local lubrication. After returning to the hotel we freshened up and prepared for the last night. Dickie had booked us in to one of Croatia's finest restaurants (pictured below) and also very kindly laid on the transport for us. The restaurant didn't disappoint , superb food and facilities made a perfect way to end a great tour. Great effort from Oliver for organizing everything and making this tour possible, and to Dickie and Paul for being the perfect hosts and the rest of Zagreb CC for making us feel so welcome and we hope to return one day. 

Monday 13th April - 

Airport - Home

 

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