As you all had ball-by-ball coverage (well near enough) from Chris K, I can keep it relatively short. Thanks Chris – the whatsapp updates are much appreciated mate.
Sunday saw us taking on Old Wimbledonians – a team we hadn’t played before. With a couple players running late and my inclination to field with 9 hovering at zero, their captain kindly agreed to let us bat first. Muhammad, on debut, and Blakey opened and saw off the first over. The 2nd over sparked a mini collapse – what’s new I hear you ask? Well the standout feature of this Park Hill collapse was the ridiculously innocuous nature of the bowler – a gentle ‘spinner’ off one step who couldn’t turn a doorknob nevermind a cricket ball! Anyway, he yorked Blakey before Rich nicked off to slip (a good catch to be fair) two balls later – both gone for quacks. Dan walked to the wicket, broad shoulders n’ all, to join Muhammad only for the latter to be caught for 14 four overs later. At 18-3 after 6 my thoughts of a first win were diminishing fast! BUT, my worries were entirely unfounded – Dan and Bhups went about consolidating the innings and building a fantastic partnership. With Dan rotating the strike with excellent running between the wickets and Bhups hitting the bad balls to the boundary, the score swelled at a healthy rate. A brilliant 4th wicket partnership of 141 (Prem will be scouring the records to see if any were broken) eventually ended with Dan trying to up the scoring rate with 4 overs to go. A very well made 29 and exactly what was needed – top knock mate – what would we do without the Ransom family?! Prem, itching for some time at the crease after Saturday’s resounding win, came in and made the most of the opportunity with a 2nd ball duck and unfortunately Chris K came and went just as promptly. All the while Bhups carried on his merry way reaching a brilliant ton and thereafter decided to put his foot down (properly down). I joined Bhups and tried to give him as much of the strike – a strategy which paid off with 18 runs off the first four balls of the penultimate over before he holed out on the boundary to a decent catch. He eventually ended with 119 – a superb innings! Barry joined me at the crease for the last over and with runs on the board we saw the innings out and even managed a miniscule flurry. In the end we scored a very defendable 184/7 from 35 overs.
After a leisurely and enjoyable tea, we went about defending our total with Jamie and Mike opening the bowling. Their openers got off to a decent start, being 39-0 after 7, before Mike struck with a perfect in-swinger and clean bowled one of the openers. While the remaining opener continued to score freely, we realised he only had one shot – the cover driver – so we loaded the offside and the result was almost immediate – after going into his shell for a few balls, he nicked one off another perfect delivery from Mike leaving them 65/2 after 13. Both Jamie and Mike bowled decent opening spells – Mike found some good form after not bowling for a year and Jamie was very unlucky not to pick up a wicket bowling some threatening stuff. First change saw Barry and Prem come on to bowl – Prem soon settled into a good line and consistently beat the batsmen for pace while Barry picked up a key wicket in his 3rd over, well caught by Bhups. However, their 4thand 5th batsmen started to settle in and build a solid partnership and at 127/3 after 22 they were very much in the hunt so I felt we needed a wicket – enter the club’s newest recruit, Muhammad. With reports of some rapid stuff from Tuesdaynets, I wasn’t to be disappointed…he bowled superbly, getting rid of their best batsmen in his 1st over – a wicket maiden. A little bizarrely, said batsmen seemed to put the mockers on himself by saying that he was looking forward to facing some pace – unfortunately (for him) he was no match for our new speed merchant. With Prem keeping things tight at one end and Muhammad picking up a wicket in every over bar one, we steadily took control of the game. Chris K and Barry brought us home with a couple of very tight overs, including another wicket for Barry, to secure a well-deserved win and my first as captain. They finished up with 165 for 9 from their 35 overs. Overall a very enjoyable day – great weather, nice ground, decent oppo and a solid victory for the Sunday XI – well done all.
FOD: Bhups for two excellent catches – one in particular in the slips which had no place whatsoever in Sunday cricket!
MOM: Muhammad for a great spell of bowling and invaluable contribution on debut. (Bhups and Dan obviously get honourable mentions for a fantastic partnership)
As always, a few thank yous: to Dan and Mike for their help in the field, Prem for filling in at short notice and Rich for finding us a very good fixture – definitely one we’ll look to keep for next season.
I will update playcricket ASAP but in the meantime here are some of the highlights:
Muhammad 5 – 11 (6)
Mike 2 – 40 (7)
Barry 2 – 43 (5)
2 catches a piece for me and Bhups
Up the Hill!