Sunday, September 20, 2015

B&PCC 4th XI v Belhus cc 5th Sept 2015

B&PCC 4th XI v Belhus cc 5th Sept 2015

This was always going to be a good game, we like Belhus, they're great bunch of blokes who play the game in the right spirit. This was the last game of the season, they were mid table of the league and safe in their position and we were at the bottom heading for a league below. To be honest this league for the last two years was always a league too far and we only just scraped into it this year through some weird process that I don't actually recall, but we should have gone down last year. So this year we've had a season of games where we were mullered most of the time. We won one game - don't know how and again as with last year it was while we were on holiday?

Leading up to the game with weather as usual was bad - NW winds, heavy rain mid-week, temperature in the 18 degree centigrade region. Friday it stayed dry and it was a bit breezy, so a chance for the wicket to dry out. Saturday morning which was forecast to be sunny with blue sky, ended up being grey with drizzle every now and then.

The good news was that both sons were playing - so Ben played his 2nd game this season.
Dutton had a plan if he won the toss - we'd bowl first - the wicket was wet and grassy and they had a plan too if they won the toss - they'd bat, so they didn't even bother to toss. Dutton had a plan - we were all going to bowl in 4 over spells irrespective of what happened.
Harry Davie and Joe Thompson both bowled from this end (Estate End).

So, on a very damp wicket under leaden skies younger son Joe was set the task of getting their batsmen back in the sheds. He's our opener (14 years old). His older brother Ben (17) who's not played cricket now for a while because he's got himself a "Silvirkrin" played for only the 2nd time this season and so had to bowl 2nd change.
Joe and Liam Harms got off to a good start, Liam especially...

Liam Harms left hand medium fast - Joe Thompson right hand medium fast.

With two wickets for 2 runs off of his first spell of 4 overs 4-2-2-2 one of the maidens being a wicket maiden. Joe was struggling at the other end with new cricket shoes, but still kept it tight going for 4-2-5-0 at the end of the 8th over only seven runs had been conceded which we needed desperately to be the case as we once again had no batting of any real significance other than John Bedford with potential in the form of Lee Dutton and Tony Harms.

1st change brought on older son Ben and Harry Davie. Harry was first up from the Estate End and bowled a superb four overs for only 3 runs including 2 maidens... 4-2-3-0 keeping us very much in the game. Ben coming in not having played any cricket for months went for more... 4-0-13-0, but that still left us in a very good position with the Belhus run rate kept at a ridiculously low rate with only 24 runs made after 16 overs.

Then Dutton got himself and me into the action with me bowling from the Estate End. Dutton speculated that they were giving the younger players a go up front and as the batting went on we'd see the better ones come through with 3 down care of Liam me and Lee were confronted by the first of the better batsmen it seemed. Not that good a situation when this was the first instance where I'd be rolling out my new approach to the crease .

Apart from a couple of wides I did okay coming away with 4-1-4-0 off my first spell. Dutton at the other end with his Finger spin went for more runs but came away with wickets... 4-1-13-2, so despite the fact that we'd gone to slow bowlers the run rate was still low giving us a glimmer of hope, but we knew they had a lot more in the locker including their bloke who we call 'Sidebottom'.

The Sidebottom bloke didn't get to bat that much in the end, but Ruck, Sullivan and Wilson all made valuable contributions that got their score moving towards one whereby we'd struggle to chase it down. Ben Took a wicket hitting Rucks off stump and he was well chuffed as this was the only game this season that he's bowled in. Liam took the wicket of Long (Sidebottom) which was a result because he can hit the ball over the boundary here at Langdon hills for sixes.

But Joe and Liam came back on at the end and both bowled tightly and managed to keep the score respectable.
We then had a lovely tea and came back on to the field to chase 144. With John Bedford, Lee Dutton, Tony Harms and Nick Brown in the team, assisted by Steve Bonnett, there was a chance that this might be do-able. All we had to do was somehow negotiate R.Long (AKA Ryan Sidebottom).

It didn't happen...

I batted at 11 as usual, but went out with positive intent and hit three fours and a single and was looking to go on to beat my all time highest score of 16. But Squires had other ideas and got Ben's wicket caught again by that bloke Long who'd already taken 6 wickets with his bowling and now finished us off with a catch curtailing any chance of me setting a new PB.

Steve Bonnett batted well scoring the highest score with 31 and I came in 2nd with 13 runs.
Despite losing and being cleaned up by R.Long it had been a very good game which it always is with the Belhus boys. Ben enjoyed it despite the loss and hopefully next year he'll play more frequently?  This game being another loss meant that all season we'd won only one game so we'll be moving out of this league back down to a level we might win a few games in! I for one will be looking forward to that, especially as the wickets are often a little ropey and spin friendly.
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