11, No. 56, November 16, 2006
By Maj Mark Tanzer and
Sgt Damian Griffin
Go you good thing: Spr Tim Lee urges his mount on in the first TK Derby carnival donkey race, staged by 1 Reconstruction Task Force in Afghanistan to coincide with the Melbourne Cup. In other international sporting news, Australia has won the Desert Ashes.
Photo by Cpl Ricky Fuller.
Classic: Tpr Corey Baker pulls a boundary in the Ashes in the Desert game.
Photo by Cpl Adrian Harlen.
DONKEY racing and the applause of cricket Test captain Ricky Ponting have both featured highly on the sports calendar for Aussie troops in the MEAO.
Being far from home on foreign soil, troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq were determined not to miss out on any of Australia’s sporting action – by recreating their own.
Not to be overshadowed by the Melbourne Cup, personnel deployed with 1 Reconstruction Task Force (1RTF) in Afghanistan ran the TK Derby carnival donkey race. The entrants dressed up in self-styled technicolour jockey attire and rode their trusty steeds through the dusty confines of the 1RTF camp.
2 Cav Regt’s Tpr Tim Brush, resplendent in fluoro-green silks, received the TK Derby Cup from 1RTF CO Lt-Col Mick Ryan.
And Ricky ‘Punter’ Ponting, who missed out on having a punt on the donkeys, sent an email to praise an Australian Army cricket team for beating an English Forces’ XI at Basra Air Station in Iraq to claim the Ashes in the Desert.
The Australian captain said: “From Ricky Ponting and the Ashes Team, congrats on a great win! There’s nothing like winning, but to beat the Poms is always something special. Thanks for inflicting the first Ashes defeat of the summer. We’ll definitely follow your lead once we meet England in Brisbane on November 23 for the beginning of the first Test.”
The Australian Army XI comprised soldiers based in Multi-National Division South-East. Members came from OBG (W) 1 and AATTI-6 at Tallil, and ANR at HQ MND (SE) in Basra.
The limited-overs charity game raised funds for Legacy in Australia and the Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen’s Family Association in England.
Cricket Australia and the English Cricket Board provided the players’ strips.
England won the toss and elected to bat on a typically dry and flat pitch. A combination of consistent bowling and superb fielding soon had them 3-20 after 10 overs.
Australian captain Tpr Corey Baker was the main performer, with a wicket and a run-out to his credit in the early stages.
The English middle-order of Maj Pat Brown and Capt Piers Tuggey performed well until Brown was run out by a direct hit from Sig Jye Keath.
Capt Tuggey adhered to the agreed rules and retired at 25, but the Poms continued to score thanks to RQMS Frankie Greenwood.
Capt Tuggey returned to the crease after more English wickets fell to the bowling of Baker and Sgt Phillip Grieve to finish 40 not out.
England ended its innings at 9-109 after 30 overs. Baker chalked up 3-9 off six overs, supported by Grieve (2-17) and Cpl Will Boyack (1/17).
Australia’s innings got off to a slow start, with the loss of two wickets for 20 runs, before Tprs Baker and Jittarett Sukhanthapree settled in to punish the English bowling. Both clocked up 25 before retiring.
Sig Keath and Pte Keith Boehm scored 12 to take the Aussies to 3-94 after 22 overs.
England fought back, taking three quick wickets in two overs to level the scores at 6-109 in the 26th over.
But with overs and wickets in hand, the Australians saw off the challenge to finish at 7-113 and win the game.