With last weeks miss match still fresh in our minds there was an air of tension in the Park Hill Sunday ranks with the new opposition of Gully Cricketers CC being an unknown force. My first job as captain went well as I won the toss and put them in.
I opened up with lawny and myself, both of us settling into an early groove and the restricting the openers, with a few chances not quite going our way, Dave struck first in the 7th over with a LBW, which was the first LBW I’ve seen given this year, Gully were looking like a good find. I struck in the next to have them 2 for 20 odd, pretty even-sevens, then lumbered to the crease their big number 4 ‘Vel’, he looked a bit rusty but he also looked like he could hit the ball a long way, it might be good to get him out early.
After playing and missing a few I got him to edge one to straight gully, unfortunately it went straight back out again, dropped on 0, not to worry I thought he’d go soon, didn’t quite work out that way as he carried his bat with an unbeaten 84 and as we found out he did hit the ball a long way. Very next ball a miss timed shot looped up dropping short of Rich at mid off, but there was still a chance of a wicket, bad calling had left both batman’s half way down, all Rich had to do was swoop in run to the stumps and take the bails off, unfortunately he decided to stop 6 yards from the stumps take aim and hurl the ball as hard as he could of course missing everything, que lots of swearing from keeper Symo.
Powell was on first change, it took a couple of overs to get his radar switched on but he soon did, picking up his first club wicket in his fourth with another LBW, well done mate. Lawny continued at the other end picking up a C&B finishing with great figures 2 for 16 off his 8 overs. Barry replaced Lawn straight into his usual on the spot line and length picking up a couple more cheap wickets, but still with big ‘Vel’ looking increasing dangerous hitting the bad balls to all corners. Next up replacing Phil was Will with his back of the hand/seam-up stuff, picking up a wicket in his first over with a great catch from Rich at mid-off making up for his runout miss earlier. Big “Vel’ took a bit of a liking to his bowling hitting some lusty blows but the other batmen struggled and Will picked up another 2 cheap wickets finishing with figures with 3 for 31. By this stage the score was creeping up so with them nine down, I took the opportunity to bowl at the the number 11 picking him up early bowling them for a reasonable 137 off 32 overs, thanking god Prem dropped big ‘Vel on 0, so at least we now had a match on.
After the usual first class tea from Clare, our one volunteer and one press-ganged openers Matt and Symo strode to the crease (I’ll let you decide which was which). Gully’s openers looked the business with a bit of pace about them. Matt playing him-self in with a couple of singles early up, bringing reluctant Symo to face, first ball negotiated, second ball comes down flicking Symo’s pad strap, they all go up along with Barry’s trigger finger, Symo departs for 0, serving him right for having such skinny legs. In comes Rich at number 3, looking steady, playing him-self in with a nice 4 early on. Matt departs a few over later leaving us on a precarious 15 of 2, at this point we needed a ‘Steady Eddy’, someone who would calm the waters with positive calling, running the first one hard and backing up putting pressure back on the oppo. Unfortunately we had Prem at 4 and with unconfirmed reports that he’d been involved in 3 runout the pervious day it was squeak bum time for the new captain.
But my worries we unfounded, looking solid, and with only one controversial decision towards him, he and Rich were looking look, with a succession of cracking 4s from Rich things were going along quite nicely with the usual extras helping the score tick along to a healthy 53, until (it was on the cards) a runout. A little tickle behind from Prem a yes call from Rich which saw him steam down to the danger end, unfortunately that’s where Prem was staying not having heard the call. That was the end of Rich for a well made 24 or 29 depending on how you read the last digit.
In came the remodelled Blakey, looking solid in his defence and cracking a lovely 4 to get of the mark, meanwhile at the other end Prem had woken up smashing a big six over fine leg, just starting getting in to his stride. Blakey added a few more before getting bowled by their first change bowler, in next was Venu who unfortunately didn’t trouble the scorer. Will strode in next looking confident after his knock the previous week, keeping out the good balls hitting the bad. Prem continued to collect runs until he was trapped leg before for a well made 33. I was in next, and with 20 odd still to get could I see us though till the end, nobody was sure especially me. Fortunately I hung around and with Will scoring a majority of the runs we knocking them off with 5 overs to spare.
A good all round performance with everyone contributing to the win, and with the bonus of finding a a nice bunch in Gully. Well done everyone. Onward to Putney this weekend with Damon back at the helm.
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