Match Report: 1st May 2021
The Saturday league season is off and running after a year hiatus with Covid-19. Start time of 1pm with a meet time, at the home ground, of 12:15. Traffic delayed a few. With the toss having been done some time was bought with us having lost the toss and being inserted into bat. Present and on time was our top order, 1-4. The opposition were very eager, and the game started on the dot at 1pm with the openers of Bhupesh and Dave Stupples. Early season rust, good bowling conditions and a less than favourable pitch was evident with the run rate. In these conditions the best advice being banded about was batting the overs and putting on a competitive score.
With some tentative play the score moved slowly. With the hope of pushing on the run rate Dave looked to take the attack to the opposition. Disaster!!!! David skies the ball straight up in the air. Unfortunately, common sense prevailed in the opposition ranks as they left the catch to the keeper. Shame as a lifeline was what Dave was hoping for to get time in the middle and get back to the form of last season where he balanced control and aggression. Fingers crossed for our opener to get some luck in future games. At the fall of the first wicket our Captain strode to the middle with a few practice shots and calmness personified, must be the vegan diet. What followed is possibly a good advert for us all to join the vegan train. Though at the fall of the first in the 8th over we had scored 17 runs what was to follow calmed the bench. This was one side of Park Hill. Calm batting, playing the ball on merit. Bhups and Al building a partnership of note. Amongst the rotating of strike with singles there were some sublime caressing of 4’s to the boundary. As the innings progressed I, umpiring, was getting ahead of myself and was seeing the possibilities of the onslaught from the lads in the final 10 overs. Even my thoughts bring bad luck because the next over Bhups, on 46 looked to cover drive the ball for 4, unfortunately played the ball onto his stumps. Therefore, in the 26th over the score went to 114 for the loss of the second wicket.
With 14 overs the captain needed able support. Unfortunately, what followed is the other side of Park Hill. In the following 12 overs, as we did not bat the overs, we lost 8 wickets for the total sum of 55 runs. A great start was squandered. Though a rapid demise in the batting there were some littered good shots in amongst the falling of regular wickets by Tom with a sublime drive and Barry with a sumptuous cut to the boundary. The notable mention goes to the captain who played beautiful for 72 before falling. This may likely not be the last time this season we have a collapse. However, what was evident is that we needed the additional batsmen. I am a Sunday player making up the numbers and my contribution of zero could have been far bettered by a regular Saturday player. Let us not let the team or the club down, in the words of Delia ‘Let’s be having you’ for future games in the season. I say this because this was a game that we could and should have won as we were only shy of about 30 runs. This is evident from how far we pushed the opposition in the game.
With the target set at 170 the teams went to lunch to regroup. The match was not lost. Required some tight bowling and good fielding. With a pep talk and belly full we took the field. Opening partnership of Ian and the captain, obviously wanting to set the tone. The tone absolutely started well with great line and length at bowling, expected of Ian but party joined by Al. With the odd speculative and lucky hoiks by the Opposition the team kept it tight. The opening partnership was exerting pressure on the opposition. The other factor that was building the pressure was the good fielding. The person setting the tone in the field was Claire with her putting her body on the line. The team followed suit with no easy runs given away. Though at times I think Al thought there were long lens cameras on him after his batting performance as he made some unnecessary gazelle-like movements to field the ball.
Such was the strong opening overs by Al and Ian that the opposition after 10 overs were 29 for 2. With the bowling changes the pressure was being exerted with some great bowling by Prem, Claire and Barry. The difference between the two teams was that the opposition bedded down and made their 3rd wicket partnership count by getting their team close to their target with the 3rd wicket falling in the 33rd over with the score on 153. Bowlers did their best and the fielding was good by Park Hill, with some difficult catches dropped. With only 17 required in the final 7 overs a final gamble was made with Bhups coming on to try and make something happen, he had not bowled due to a back strain and with it being early in the season unnecessary risks with his health was not taken.
A loss but a good fight was put up by the team. Positive signs for the season ahead. Let us make it easier for the captain by getting more of the club member pool of 30 players putting their hand up. Thanks to all who played. Up the Hill!!!!!!