After our run chase the previous week, Nick was back out in the middle to carry out his feud with the coin on what promised to be a lovely day. Sadly, the coin still had the upper hand on the new skip and the oppo decided have a go with the bat first.
A great start from a new opening pair of Ken McGrath and skipper Nick saw the opening partnership of Holybourne scratching their heads to find significant runs on the board. Limited in runs, and ideas, they were beginning to get frustrated and push at shots outside the off-stump. Impeccable line and length from Ken found a fairly thick edge which seemed bound for a member of the slip cordon, only for Nick’s impressive effort to lead to our first drop of the day! A change in bowling saw a rather cagey return to my old stomping ground. With intent to make an impression early, both my rhythm and accuracy wavered, allowing the oppo to build confidence, as well as their run total on the board. Duly, Ken unearthed a well- deserved breakthrough and a strong opening bat made way. Harry came in a steadied the ship well before drinks, with the oppo’s best bat being dropped off his bowling by Jezza! With the luck of the B’s in the field this year, there was only one way to follow this up – Harry dropping the same man off his own bowling.
Nevertheless, after drinks the second wicket fell and great spells from Rich H and the Cole’s followed, with Andy taking a wicket in a short spell. The oppo turned back the clock to a village cricket version of Cool Runnings, finding singles and two’s where there seemingly were none. Rich H also provided his own throwback moments – taking us back to the days of Pele, with his footwork in the field! All-in-all, a fairly tidy performance in the field; Holybourne buffering their score with their Jamaican like sprinting.
Tea’s were impressive, with a good spread put on by Holybourne and a clear crowd favourite – pre- prepped cuppa’s. Having refuelled after a long time in the sun, Andy and Trev set out to chase down the decent score set. With a very solid (and pretty quick) opening pair of bowlers, Holybourne took Trev in the second ball of the innings. The dismissal was a sign of things to come, with the ball keeping very low coming down the slope. The skip came in and, after looking comfortable for a few overs; Andy sadly fell to their opening attack too. Nick and new Ben looked like building a strong partnership, playing some lovely strokes and dealing with their openers well. It was a slightly slower ball which nipped in a tad that took skip out of the equation, and wasn’t their bowler happy about it! After new Ben fell, the middle order gave it a go to get some much-needed batting points, but fell away reasonably quickly. After showing off his footwork in the field, Rich H proved his dexterity with the bat, putting in a fine performance, reaching his 50 swiftly. Entering and enduring a tough crowd in the Holybourne field, my attempts to save face after my bowling were short lived. Harry found his first runs for the season but was dismissed having looked in good nick with his charging forward defensive! Ken, steady as always, put up a strong last stand with Rich H, before falling to a very dubious bump ball, with Holybourne’s opening bowler showing his lack of class again.
Eventually, we fell around 40 runs short, having put up a noble fight – finishing just in time to catch the Champion’s League Final!
Author: Old Ben