This week we travelled to 3rd placed Spelthorne knowing a win would secure promotion to the high flying division 1! Symo taking a particular interest knowing a role in div 1 waited for him….umpiring !
Knowing we had a strong team the plan was to bat first, pile on the runs and then bowl tight and build the pressure (a tactic that has worked all season). Sadly this fell through as I lost the toss and they decided to bat first.
We opened up with Mo and Bhups who both bowled simply fantastic spells. Both gave the batsman precious little and the lack of opportunities to score brought our first wicket. Their opener (& potentially danger man) gone for 5, bowled by Mo. Bhups continued to bowl very well with little luck! With score around 20-1 off 12 overs I brought myself on (to try and stop the unfair rumour that I just bully the lower order batsman J) and luckily had instant success picking up 2 quick wickets. Mo continued to bowl extremely well and bowled 9 over straight for a miserly 14 runs and 1 wicket. Well bowled – really set the benchmark!. With myself picking up a couple more wickets, Jeavons bowled his standard solid spell from the other end. He gave the batsman absolutely nothing and nipped out a few wickets in the process. At some point during these middle overs their one big hitter came to the crease (those who played the first game will remember he carted me for 2 HUGE sixes). In all honestly I only kept myself on as the amount of abuse I would have got if I bottled it would have been too much. Safe to say he carted me for 2 huge sixes AGAIN but all in all he struggled to get myself and Jeavons away. Jeavons in particularly used all his experience to which the batsman had no answer. He fell for 25 in the end LBW to Jeavons! With them really struggling at 75-9 Bav was came into the attack and picked up the final wicket of the innings with his 3rd ball. Another C&B. If only he could catch off team mates bowling, Jeavons’ blood pressure would be much lower.
They were all bowled out for 79 and to be fair it was a great effort on a pitch that was decent enough to bat on.
Chasing our lowest score of the season (I think), there were still nerves around as Mo seemed to constantly ask ‘What happened against West Byfleet’. Again, I still can’t bring myself think about it let only talk or write about it.
Adam and Bhups opened up against some good bowling from Spelthorne. Adam left well and Bhups batted sensibly (ish). Bhups then fell to a disgrace of a shot (17) – trying to smash a full straight ball through square leg – Bhups – there are plenty of teams in div 2 who would love that attempt – We are NOT one of them! Adam continued to look solid from the other end and saw off their main bowler very well. At the fall of Bhups’ wicket, Mr D Stupples came the crease to continue the solid start. For some reason we were all still unnecessarily nervous on the side-line (again, West Byfleet flashbacks). Adam starting to open up whilst ‘dead bat Dave’ continued to bore the hell out of the cricketing world! Adam fell for a well-made 22 (caught at mid-on trying to get the game finished) which brought Alwyn to the crease. His 3rd ball smashed over the bowlers head for 4 to ease any lingering nerves in the rest of the team. Alwyn then hit a 6 and a few more lovely shots and before we knew it we had won the game at a canter and SECURED PROMOTION to DIV 1! Stupples finishing on 13 n.o off2000 balls and Alwyn on 17 n.o. All jokes aside Stupples played a solid innings, in which to be fair, I did send him in for – well batted. Alwyn – as always, well batted. Really impressive given the lack of regular cricket you play!
Just to mention our general fielding once again was really good – some great energy shown throughout the side. Even some of the more ‘experienced’ guys.
A quick mention to Chip for umpiring both ends for the majority of our innings – cheers for that! Symo – your role under threat!
So this victory meant we are officially promoted and we now only require 3 bonus points (if we lose) next week. Let’s finish with a win and finish well clear of 2nd place!
A big thank you to everyone who has contributed to a great season and helping us secure promotion! Our hugely strong squad has really been what has made the difference!