Bective East quick Gerhard Labuschagne has relived the sickening fielding collision with teammate James Haling, in the Twenty20 final against Old Boys at No.1 Oval on Friday night, which left the later with a badly broken leg and resulted in the match being abandoned.
Old Boys, who batted first and were 3-111 in the 12th over when play was abandoned, were declared the winners, as they had finished atop the table.
That means they defended their T20 title from last season. They beat Bective in the final last season.
Friday night's incident – which caused a lengthy delay to the match and sent both players to hospital in an ambulance (Labuschagne was later cleared of having concussion) – also brought a premature end to another Simon Norvill pyrotechnics.
The Old Boys opener was 85 not out (off 39 balls) including six sixes and six fours, when Labuschagne and Haling collided in the deep trying to effect a catch after Norvill hit the ball straight down the ground.
But while Labuschagne was cleared of concussion, and starred in the Bulls’ three-run first-innings defeat of West Tamworth at Riverside 2 on Saturday, it is understood Haling was operated on at Tamworth Hospital on Sunday to repair breaks to the tibia and fibula on his right leg
Haling’s teenage son, fellow Bull Tommy, was playing on Friday night.
Labuschagne, a senior player, said he had never before been involved in or seen such an incident on a cricket field.
He said: “The guy [Norvill] sort of split us [he and Haling] with a big ball. I sort of a little overran my side. Me and Jimmy didn’t talk, there was complete silence. And then all of a sudden there was just a big crash
“And I was pretty winded. And I turned around on the ground and looked at Jimmy, and he was clutching his leg and he was saying, ‘It’s broken’. So, it wasn’t great.”
“It’s just one of those things,” he added, “where you turn up to the game – you’re there to have a bit of fun. And then all of a sudden things start to turn a bit serious.
“It was a bit of a shock. I actually came off a lot better than my teammate did, Jimmy. I feel for the bloke, because he’s such a good bloke. To have something like that happen to him is not good.”
Labuschagne said he “felt bad” for Norvill, given the show he was putting on. The knock was reminiscent of his 35-ball century in Old Boys’ crushing defeat of West Tamworth in the major semi-final at No.1 Oval last season.
“Norvill was having a day out … We probably robbed him from a very good hundred in a T20 game,” Labuschagne said. “He batted magnificently. It’s not often you come up against a guy that you just don’t feel like you can get him out.”
On Saturday, Labuschagne backed up superbly on day one of a two-dayer against Wests – top-scoring with 35 batting at No.8 as the fifth-placed Bulls were dismissed for 122, then taking 5-40 off nines over as sixth-placed Wests were removed for 119. Off-spinner Paterson took 3-23 off 7.4 overs.
“It was not a great night last night [Friday],” Labuschagne said, adding that Saturday was a “great day”.
Excluding the T20 final, Bective have won three of their past four matches. Paterson said Labuschagne “really stood up” on Saturday.
He said: “We’re getting a few wins on the board, and getting a bit of confidence … we’re starting to put everything together.”