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The Napa Valley Cricket Club wrapped up its seventh season with a match against the Sonoma Gullies at the Napa Valley Expo this past weekend.

In its 16th contest of the season, NVCC lost for the second time this year to its Wine Country rivals.

The club finished 5-9 against other clubs and also played its annual intrasquad matches – the Napa Valley World Series of Cricket and City v. County. The American and Australian team of NVCC won back the World Series trophy convincingly in July.

Now in its second season of playing home matches in downtown Napa, the club’s social and playing membership grew again in 2018 and the club now boasts almost 100 members.

The 2018 season started in April with matches on the road at Davis and against Bradshaw in Sacramento. It continued in May with matches in Los Angeles against the Malibu Cricket Club at famed Woodley Park, and at Larkspur’s Piper Park against the Marin Cricket Club.

With the Expo being used for the Home and Garden Show and BottleRock, the club played their early matches on the road. Highlights from early in the season saw American member Tyler Nethaway make three stunning catches in the April match against Bradshaw in addition to a stunning direct hit run-out from the boundary rope. A fine knock of 67 runs for Karan Grewal against the Sri Lanka Lions from Davis wasn’t enough to see the team across the line, as he couldn’t find support from the tail-enders.

In May, Malibu set NVCC 176 to chase in 30 overs and while Grewal (31 off 34) and Jake Radloff (28 off 29) put up a strong fight, but NVCC ended up 44 runs short.

The first of the annual three-match series against Marin took place in early June and NVCC was asked to bat first. Only four NVCC players made it into double figures, with New Zealanders Jeff Keene (13 off 45) and Bernie Peacock (10 off 12) being joined by Australians Brendan Helme (37 off 66) and Jason Beveridge (19 of 27). Napa Valley posted only 106 runs on its 40 overs, while Marin chased down the total with time and wickets to spare. Peacock, Harjit Singh, and Grewal notched wickets for NVCC.

Napa Valley welcomed the SF Seals to the Expo for its first home match of 2018. A weakened Seals team was no match for NVCC, with the hosts chasing down a total of 95 runs in just 22 overs.

The second match of 2018 against Marin was at the Expo and saw NVCC limit Marin to 124 runs thanks to three wickets from Peacock and two from fellow New Zealander Tim Mills. With the bat, NVCC was rarely under pressure in the chase thanks to 51 off 57 (retired) from Sarabjit Singh and 26 not out of 28 from John Leake, winning the match in the 26th over.

Napa Valley’s big match of the year, the annual World Series of Cricket, brought out a large crowd at the Expo that witnessed a convincing win by the Australia/America team of members. Coming off the back of two consecutive defeats to the Rest of the World, Australia/America captain Leake led from the front with a 55-ball knock of 49 runs in a team total of 188. In the chase, the Rest of the World never found any solid partnerships and despite 31 off 29 from Grewal, no other Rest of the World batsmen made it past 20 runs. They ended up 45 runs short.

The Sonoma Gullies paid the first of two visits to the Expo in mid-July and won a hard-fought match. Forty-seven not out from the Gullies’ Sunny Patel was the foundation for a team total of 139 and, despite four wickets from Helme, NVCC was unable to reign in its scoring. In the chase, despite numerous starts, no player made it past 20 runs for NVCC as it ended up 33 runs short.

A massive and game-defining partnership of 98 runs by Sorabh Das (55 off 102) and Grewal (49 off 61) saw NVCC post a formidable total of 152 in their August match-up against Marin. Three wickets apiece for Peacock and Grewal, in addition to two each for Adersh Maqsood and Mills, helped NVCC dismiss Marin for a total of 126 runs and wrap up the annual series in Napa Valley’s favor.

The return match against Malibu at the Expo saw a spirited innings from the touring team get to 170 despite three wickets from NVCC’s Das and two each from Grewal and Bangladeshi Azam Khan. With the bat, Das top scored with 35 off 36. But it wasn’t enough, as NVCC fell 15 runs short.

The SF Seals got revenge for their earlier loss at the Expo with a record-breaking chase. Set 199 to win, thanks to strong knocks by Martin Mackenzie (53 off 64) and Sukhvirsra Singh (49 off 33), the Seals scraped home with two balls to spare and were the first team to get over 200 runs in a 35 over match at the Expo.

The second day of NVCC’s intra-club matches in 2018 saw two T20 matches played as a City team of members who live in the city of Napa played a County team of members from outside of the city. County took the honors in both matches – 126 to 116 in the morning match and 148 to 144 in the afternoon one. With mandatory retirements at 30 runs, batting duties were shared through both teams to allow greater opportunity for all. Pick of the bowlers on the day was Peacock, who took four wickets in the two matches.

The Davis-based Sri Lanka Lions, who play in the Sacramento League, put almost 200 on the board when they visited in late September and batted first. Englishman Clive Richardson, making a rare appearance in 2018, pulled off what was arguably the catch of the season to dismiss the well-set Naveen off the bowling of Abhijay Aggarwal. Strong batting by the middle of NVCC’s order – Sorabh Das (42 off 31), Karan Grewal (49 off 46) and Harjit Singh (28 off 28) – saw NVCC home with just over two overs, and four wickets, to spare.

The touring Cliff Cox XI from Vancouver visited Napa on a day when the NVCC’s big guns were firing, both with the bat and ball. Set 175 to chase in 20 overs, the visitors were all out for only 67 runs in 14.3 overs.

Autodesk finally made it to the Expo for a 35 over match and notched up 161 runs. The NVCC batsmen had their biggest off-day in history, as the top six batters failed to get into double figures. Harjit Singh found some support from the lower order on his way to 55 runs off 37 balls. In particular, Irishman Andrew Healy was the perfect foil to Singh, with the pair putting on 38 runs for the final wicket with lots of blocking and hard running from the Irishman.

The 2018 season for the NVCC wrapped up on Oct. 27 with the second visit of the rival Gullies. The Sonoma club batted first and racked up 155 runs despite three wickets each for Peacock and Moe Maqsood. In the chase, NVCC never got out of the blocks and fell well short of the target – not even making 100 – with a total of 89 runs.

The Napa Valley Cricket Club thanks sponsors Clos du Val, Anchor Brewing, Bill Wagner Realtor, Balanced Business Group, Caliber Home Loans, Compadres Rio Grille, Crown Hill Stone Supply, John Fearless, St. Helena Optometry, Seguin Moreau, TRICOR Braun WinePak, ZAM Apps, 19 Crimes Wine, AZMERA Consulting, Blue Jean Black Design, Left Coast Wine Packaging, Napa Gourmet Foods, 3 rock marketing.

The NVCC welcomes adult players of all skill levels. Visit napacricket.com for more information.

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