Jeavons Heavens Open To Deny Hill
By: Will Chipperton – Saturday Captain
The first Saturday of the season offered up glorious weather and a wide pool of players to pick from. Inevitably, both of these were out of the window by the time we were due to play our second fixture of the season! After some coaxing and a few hundred WhatsApp messages, we got in our cars, turned on our windscreen wipers and headed to Wallington.
After losing the customary coin toss and allowing the opposition to deliberate, we were given the pleasure of fielding in the dismal and overcast conditions. Bhupesh and Jeavons opened up the bowling and lured the opening batsmen into a number of false shots in the early stages. In the end, both bowlers were rewarded for their endeavours with sharp catches at slip and gully by Mackay and Prem respectively, although both could count themselves unfortunate to have only 1 victim apiece after their opening spells.
Jeavons bowled his 8 overs consecutively and kept things tight, whilst he was ably supported by Barry’s miserly spell. The hosts, clearly frustrated at being bogged down on a difficult wicket, threw caution to the wind and Barry picked up his first wicket after outfoxing the batsman. KP then joined in the fun and, as is often the way and much to the disgust of Jeavons and Bhups, bought a wicket with a rank half-tracker that was ballooned to Bhups at mid-off. Despite the latter’s strong inclination to let the ball fall to safety, he held onto the catch. In fairness to KP, this was comfortably the worst ball of a spell in which he made excellent use of the overcast conditions and challenged the outside edge on several occasions.
Hill really turned the screw after the drinks break as Prem picked up a couple of wickets following some juggling at mid-off from Bhups and after Clare, whose ankles/shins seemed to be magnets for the ball, finally got one at a catchable height! A heavier shower meant taking an earlier tea break, but we quickly picked up the final 4 wickets after the 30 minute break in the slippier conditions, as Bhups blew through the tail and Stupples managed to bowl the only batsman to go beyond 20 through the gate.
With 170 the target for victory, Hill raced to the early 30s from the first 5 overs as debutant Tom knocked a fluid 21 off 20 deliveries to get us off to a flyer. Aarsh joined Stupples at the crease and the pair put on another 30 runs before the latter, playing the unfamiliar role of the aggressor, was bowled on 34. Interestingly enough, anyone who would have taken a speculative punt on him to score the only 6 of the match would have won a sizeable sum, as he picked out the precipitously placed, boundary riding cars with a big slog-sweep. No windscreens were shattered, although Jeavons’ motor was in Stupples’ crosshairs and narrowly escaped, partly due to him using a conveniently placed shipping container as a shield.
This was enough to rouse the previously AWOL Jeavons, or Steve McClaren’s stunt double, from the inner recesses of the changing rooms and he was promptly sent out for an umpiring stint. Evidently willing to play the role of party pooper and keen to exact some revenge on the captain, he called a halt to proceedings with the score at 88 for 2 from 17.1 overs, with the opposition more than happy to write off the game. Despite the frustrations of possibility of claiming Park Hill’s first victory of the season, we did well to fit in almost 60 overs of play and put in another excellent bowling performance.
Fielder of the day: Clare H.