One of the weekends matches escaped the rain this weekend: the Saturday 2s beat Bath Exiles by 2 wickets. Exiles hit 158 with Barny getting 2 for 26. In reply the Cowboys got the runs for the loss of 8 wickets with 3.2 overs spare. Ubberpops scored 47 not out and Gandpa Kelly scored 28.
DC1 reports thus:
The Exiles first innings score of 158 for 6 down, amassed in 3 or 4 sessions between heavy showers, was a bit higher a total than skipper Jeff would have been happy with – and when the Cowboys reply faltered badly at 5 for 3 then staggered to 57 for 7 it surely looked as if the Otters unbeaten run was coming to an end. From there, however, Man-of-the-Match Steve Ormesher’s career-best 47 not out delivered an unlikely win, with fine late order support from Alex H and Wayner K. C’mon Cowboys!
The match started late due to the grim and grey rain, which itself meant that we were in for attritional cricket with a wet, slippery ball and soggy pitch and outfield making control difficult for the bowlers and timing and boundaries problematic for the batsmen. Ahad generated some pace opening the bowling down the hill, but the edges that went in the air fell between the fielders and some variable bounce made life difficult for Jeff behind the timbers, and Olly was soon in the attack.
Cowboys began to control the game at both ends, with Wayne’s very accurate and miserly spell complemented by some tidy flight from Olly. By building pressure with tight bowling Cowboys caused the Exiles openers to crack, and Jonnsie made no mistake in a cool gather and throw to run-out the more loquacious of the Exiles openers. DC1 conjured a catch from nowhere to give Olly his first wicket bowling for Easton, and 2 wickets for Barnaby and another run-out left Exiles on 87 for 5 with 10 overs to go – with Alex Hooper’s threatening length causing the batsmen to try and force the pace at the other end.
A further storm, complete with vivid rainbow and rumbles of thunder, had us taking an early tea (super stuff from Treach in the tea department). On resumption the Exiles employed their big geezer to take the long handle to the bowling, and a flurry of boundaries saw the score climbing rapidly until DC1 induced a false shot to send the big geezer back. Exiles finished their 40 overs on 158 for 6.
Maybe it was the quick turnaround, with no tea-break between innings, but usually we’d expect one of a top three of Barnaby, Ollie and DC1 to at least get some runs. Not this time – Barnaby goes first ball of the innings, playing something of a hoick, then DC1 was bowled and Olly caught and bowled and before the end of the third over Cowboys batting is in tatters at 5 for 3.
At this point Cowboy youth Ahad Syed took it upon himself to begin to rebuild the innings, and stayed calm and collected through partnerships of 9 with Jonnsie, 19 with Jeff and 14 with Crowley. Still, when Ahad was chipped out, Cowboys were still in deep peril at 47 for 6 and soon in deeper peril again at 56 for 7 with Crowley’s departure for a very long duck (23 runs added whilst he was at the crease).
Suddenly, with Steve-O and Alex Hooper at the crease, 3 wickets in hand and just over a ton behind, the sun started to shine from clear blue skies and the game seemed to change as the Cowboys began to steadily accumulate runs, taking quick singles and turning ones into twos, with no obvious alarms. Alex and Steve-O put on 49 before Mr. Hooper was eventually bowled, bringing veteran cowboy campaigner Wayne Kelly to the crease with just over 50 more runs required.
Given the ribald chirps that had flowed freely between Steve-O and Wayne whilst Cowboys were fielding there was some concern that the partnership would be shortlived but run-by-run the pair dragged us closer to the target, with boundary blows interspersed with some sharp running. The only chances offered to Exiles came from some mix-ups in running, Steve and Wayne colliding at one point, and also they were seen both running flat-out toward the same end. These self-induced scares aside a win which had appeared impossible was beginning to feel inevitable. C’mon Cowboys! C’mon Easton!
Man-of-the-Match – Steve Ormesher (votes for Jeff and Wayne also)
Cider Moment – DC1 catch (votes also for DC2#5&out, comedy running between Steve and Wayne)