Chevrolet Knights v Cape Cobras, Saturday 11th October 2014, 3pm

1 - opening shot

The cricket season is in full swing over here now and I noticed that the Cape Cobras, who normally play in Bloemfontein, had a home game scheduled for a Saturday in Kimberley.

Kinberley is a bit of a one-horse town that is well-known for an Anglo-Boer War siege where food restrictions meant that the British actually ate that one horse for Christmas lunch. Better than sprouts, I suppose. Unless you got a hoof that is.

I had a camel for my tea in Oman a few years ago. It was ok, as long as you got some of the meatier parts and didn’t get stuck with just the head.

Someone must have eaten it.

Someone must have eaten it.

Kimberley‘s main claim to fame though is The Big Hole, which is exactly as its name would suggest and came about through nineteen century diamond mining. It’s something that all the guidebooks suggest visiting and so Jen and I used a trip to watch the cricket to see what all the fuss was about.

It seemed like we weren’t the only ones on our Saturday morning flight from Johannesburg who were heading for the Knights v Cobras game, although I suspect that we were the only ones that had bought tickets. We had players, coaches, umpires and tv folk sharing our flight, then clogging up the queues at the car hire desk and the hotel reception. If the plane hadn’t taken off then it’s likely that the game would have had to have been called off due to nobody being there.

The Big Hole was right next to our hotel and as we were the only people who didn’t have to be at the ground early we went for a wander around before the game. It’s surrounded by olden-days buildings, a bit like Beamish in a way, with some of them having been relocated from nearby.

It was probably busier a hundred years ago.

It was probably busier a hundred years ago.

It cost forty rand to go and peer over the edge of the Big Hole. Cheap enough, but not really an activity that will keep you occupied for more than a minute or two, particularly as it was too far away to spit into the water below and see how long it took to make a splash. Plus,when something deep is filled with water, it doesn’t really matter how deep it is below the surface. Although I doubt a Wide Hole would have been any more impressive.

Kimberley Big Hole

Kimberley Big Hole

Big Hole done, we took a taxi to the Diamond Oval for the fifty over game. I’ve a feeling that the Chevrolet Knights don’t play in Kimberley very often as our taxi driver, perhaps the only taxi driver in town, had no idea that there even was a cricket ground, never mind where it was.

It took him that long to sort himself out that we missed the first four balls. Not such a big deal really, but by the time we had settled into our seats the home side had already lost their first wicket. The second wicket went down with the final ball of the first over and the third shortly after.

The view from the grandstand.

The view from the grandstand.

We’d paid fifty rand for our grandstand seats, less than three quid, and certainly better value than a large hole in the ground that you couldn’t spit into. There were a few people in with us and some more in the cheaper forty rand grass section.

To our left.

To our left.

Chevrolet Knights managed to consolidate their position with a decent third wicket stand before progress was disrupted by a thunderstorm. It was so wild that it blew the head clean off my beer. We managed to shelter from the rain by moving to the back of the stand, but there was no respite for the blokes trying to get the covers on.

Entertaining as the cricket had been, it wasn’t as good as seeing groundstaff lifted off their feet by a sheet behaving as a giant kite.

They made a decent effort in the circumstances.

They made a decent effort in the circumstances.

Play resumed after around twenty minutes, with each side losing a couple of overs. Progress got a bit bogged down at that point with the announcer trying to gee matters up by prompting the hired band to strike up a tune every over or two. If I was them I’d have cleared off and left us to it.

The boys in the band.

The boys in the band.

The Knights failed to bat out their allocation and with the evening drawing in we headed off for some eating and drinking. A quick check on the telly later on confirmed that Cape Cobras had knocked off the runs with plenty of time to spare.

 

One Response to “Chevrolet Knights v Cape Cobras, Saturday 11th October 2014, 3pm”

  1. Marquee Hire Says:

    great post

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