Cricket! After last weekends washout, the Midweek CIL game cancelled and Knowle CC pulling out of today’s game vs the Wuns it was very nice indeed to be at the Farm.
The strip hadn’t dried after all the rain and the sky was lowering as the skippers tossed, so when Alex – undertaking skippering duties due to Jeffo’s tender groin -reported that we were batting, the general assumption was that Grendels captain must have called correctly. Nope, set a target and then bowl them out, that was Alex’s plan.
DC1 and Ahad were first up. The pitch was extremely slow, with the ball holding up and timing near impossible. Both openers were watchful, taking few risks, leaving and blocking, playing themselves in. The run rate was as slow as the wicket for the first ten overs and scorers and spectators amused themselves with an innuendo off, and an unfunny euphemism tournament, but thankfully gave up on this as the scoring out in the middle gradually increased. At drinks with all wickets still intact 65 was on the board.
With the foundation laid DC accelerated and after playing one particularly lovely off drive was bowled for 23. Ahad was out shortly afterwards having amassed 30 looking like a proper opening batsman. Alex W on debut looked comfortable, until he was given LBW. Evan rode his luck for a few overs and he and Steveo briefly pushed the scoring rate up, scampering between the stumps like a couple of whippersnappers ODing on sugar.
At some point Evan, who couldn’t seem to hit the ball off the square switched bats, requesting DC’s big old slazenger. This did the trick and couple of much needed sixes resulted as Evan proceeded to slog. At the other end a clatter of wickets of the duck variety followed and when Evan was bowled by Eric “the slut” Stephenson’s slower off break for 42 in the 39th over, leaving Martin with yet another Not Out against his name, Cowboys had made 129 all out on a horrible pitch, this made possible largely due to the classy opening partnership.
After tea – a tasty vegetarian feast prepared by DC1 – Martin and Alex fronted Cowboys attack. Conditions at the wicket may have slightly improved but there was still enough cloud cover to enable Alex to get late movement in the air, and Martin troubled the Grendel openers from the start with varied pace and flight. Martin had at least two dropped and three edges went through where first slip might have been had there been more runs to bowl at.
Martin bowled their big scary opener early on but numbers two and three put together a partnership and nudged it around well, scoring around the three an over needed. Alex was replaced by Steveo after a very economical spell and immediately Steve had the ball hooping about, passing the outside edge regularly until one that started well outside leg stump swung back to hit middle around the number two bats legs.
Jonse bowled a tidy spell and then took the keepers gloves from Evan so he could try his luck with the ball, and DC1 replaced Jonse at the road end. DC had a plum LBW shout refused and then shortly afterwards a slightly less plum one rewarded. The Grendel skipper got underneath a slower one from Evan and skied it straight up. When the moons gravitational force finally released it Evan managed to concentrate long enough to hold the catch and the cider moment.
Though losing wickets regularly Grendel were still scoring at the required rate and their number three was still there and had reached his half century. When DC took the catch to dismiss him Cowboys could see victory just up ahead.
However with 3 overs to go, one wicket to take and Grendel only needing 14, Evan momentarily lost his radar and bowled three wides. Next over Sadiq almost induced in Skipper Alex a nervous meltdown by bowling another one. Grendel now needed just five runs from an over and a half. Fortunately Sadiq finished it off by bowling their last man and we could all unclench and…. Breathe.
Despite the tension at the end of the game it was played in great spirit, thanks should go to the gents and Lady that are Grendel CC for that.
Churchways (boo hiss) versus Easton Cowboys Sunday Firsts (Hurrah)
1/6/14 ; Badminton Road Playing Fields
10.30am on a beautiful Sunday morning. I just have to sort the kids out for the day and I can get going for cricket. I got mine and club kitbags ready yesterday so that saves a job so I can just keep looking at my lists and change the batting and bowling line ups several times. No tea to organise, no fingers crossed that the pitch is prepared and not being played on by someone else, I dont have to carry the stumps and bails with me. Scorebook and ball is with Vice Captain. Lovely.
10.31 am on the same beautiful Sunday morning. Text arrives from Omar. Oh no, he is very ill and cannot play. When I phone he has that voice that you use when you ring in at work to say you cant come in today. OK, so now it is a bit of time swearing at my phone which has no blooming signal, and when it does the line is going to be crap and if I see another ‘your text could not be sent’ message, well, I wont do anything except swear a bit more. To complicate matters, Wayne’s 2s are short as well and my first few calls are unsuccessful. Who are we playing today, what tactics are you looking at today? I dont know because my mind is taken up with finding a player at the last minute. I believe that a quick text to Omar is in order just to advise what a pain it is being let down on the day of a game. The response, ‘why is it a pain Bolts?’ One quick phone call later to clarify this and hey presto, Omar is recovered enough to play. His voice would still get him a day off work though. Phew.
12.43pm. Well, after a dodgy start to the day, all players expected are at the Plough on time. We have enough motors. Liz is scoring. Omar seems to be recovering at a good rate and we may even get a couple of overs out of him if we manage him sensibly.
1.50pm. The wicket is dampish, softish and green. Weather reports suggest more cloud later so the ball could swing later. Churchways know that later on they can bowl out of the sun or out of the dark background. perhaps the wicket will cut up, but the wicket next to it played on yesterday looks ok. Marek makes a feeble joke about using a 2 headed sided coin, so I call tails and win the toss. hah. 1-0. Cowboys. Oh yes. I have won something today. Take that Marek and all the committee cronies. Easton.
The Cowboys will bat 1st thank you very much and you can take that startled look off your face Marek.
2pm sharp as we now realise that Churchways have 9 players there with 2 about to show. Punish any wayward captaincy Bolts. Oh yes. Justin and I put on a respectable 35runs. Bolts out for 16 caught off an edge off the shoulder of the bat in the 9th over. Bugger. Blast. Damnation, Oh what hard luck. Oh well, the bare minimum for an opener to be ‘happy’ with. Funk it.
Justin is now kicking himself hard for running out Wilki who was I’m afraid, on 0. It was Wilki’s call and he could have stayed where he was but went for the suicide mission. Hats off to you Mark, but Justin swears he wont do it again if he can help it it all.
35-2. The ever welcome Tom Taylor is in next. Tom’s cultured innings was brought to a premature close as he was bowled on 11. 60-3 in the 15th over.
Time for another run out? This time it is Justin’s call but the ball has gone straight down the wicket to their fielder. Justin has an amazing turn of pace and could have made it, perhaps maybe, but RT2 was not having it and stayed where he was, Justin didn’t believe that this was happening and so carried on running. Justin a set batsman, RT2 can be destructive, tough one to call I suppose, so understandably, Justin called RT2 the c word and departed. (I believe that there is no animosity between the 2 fellows in question.)
68-4. Time for the middle order to take the reins and get us back on track. To be blunt, RT2 made a spirited 27 off 31 balls but with Zabi’s 6, Nick B’s 1, and Kalpit’s 10, the middle order had petered out with us on 135-8. Not a disaster but there are only 25 or so overs gone. Up to the tail to have a little wag please.
Wag wag, bang crash wallop, what the bleeding heck is going on here. Omar’s upside down grip, mixed with the remains of his illness, sees him slaughter the bowling attack. 24 heart stopping and, for Churchways, utterly disheartening balls later and Omar is out for 51. Oh what a sight. Marvellous. Sayedajan weighed in with 10 and Eddy was 1 sensible run not out. 180 all out in the 36th over. Good show Cowboys.
Tea was not too bad you know. Nothing of worth noting really though. I will start adding Pineapple to my teas from now though.
Churchways innings. The wicket has not deteriorated. Probably dried out a bit. We may have to bowl them out to win. It is going to be tight I’m sure.
As it turned out I was not really correct in this assumption. Omar’s illness restricted him to just 6 overs. 3 wickets for 12 runs will do though. 2 bowled and 1 catch to the highly delighted Nick B who seemed glad to finally pouched one for the Cowboys. A cracking running top speed take it low down, one for the cameras, catch. I was jealous although could see that he could have made a bit more of a meal of it, that will come with experience. I am afraid that poor old Zabi could only manage 5 overs. 4-15 will also do. 2 bowled and 2 caught. It is worth noting that Tom was standing up to the stumps for both Omar and Zabi. Yes that is right. He took a catch off Zabi from an edge off a full toss that I still cannot quite believe that I witnessed it. Nick B and Sayedajan took over the bowling duties and both were excellent. However, nobody was going to deny a clean sweep of wickets for the Afghan trio as Sayedajan took the last 3 wickets for 11 runs in 4 overs. Now, Nick B would have had a wicket except for Eddy and his piss-covered fingers. A chance came to the great man at gully, but unfortunately it was just after Eddy had relieved himself all over the Churchways outfield for the second time.
Churchways all out for 47. Take that and party.
man of match: Omar.
Cider moment : Justin took a catch at point, off the bowling of Zabi. if you know Churchways ground, it slopes off on one side. Thus, Justin had to run backwards, down the hill, and as falling over, caught the ball one-handed, crashed onto his lower back but held on to the ball.
That will do. Sorry if I have forgotten any pertinent points. if I have you can tell everyone about it at nets tomorrow. Lovely.