3rd xI vital signs improving?
After three consecutive defeats, the 3rd XI visited our title-race nemesis from last season, Potterne’s 4th XI, at the delightful Bishops Canning CC. With only 10 team members present-and-correct at the appointed hour, the Captain, having won his fourth toss in succession, invited the opposition to have a bat (an odd decision, you might think, but read on…).
So it was that Dixon and Smith (H) then rattled off 13 overs of accurate, but luckless, bowling and conceded only 36 runs in the process [thanks to T. Bishop once again for the amazing statistical data]. Potterne’s openers had by now decided that they could take some liberties and adopted a more proactive approach, which eventually led to first-change James Roper collecting both their wickets. At the other end, Cameron Walker had begun what turned out to be an excellent spell of leg-spin bowling, demonstrating considerable subtlety in terms of flight and pace.
The Potterne skipper, however, was quite adept at smacking the bad ball to the boundary and offered catches only in the general direction of his opposite number. The first nearly produced the champagne moment of the Century but, alas, the contact of Captain Dixon’s diving body with the firm turf of Bishops Canning CC served to dislodge the ball from his hands. The second “line-drive” was expertly tipped over the bar in the general direction of the long-on boundary (save of the season?). It was left to young Cameron to serve up a juicy long hop which the opposition’s captain planted safely into the bucket-hands of James Roper at deep mid-wicket, just a few inches in from the rope.
An excellent second spell from Harry Smith that finally saw Dicko cling on, at the second attempt, to a gentle looper (which, as one G. Boycott would have remarked, “my granny would have caught that with her eyes shut”), backed up in fine style by Roper, Dixon and Ed Allen (who took his first senior wicket well-caught by Cameron), meant that Potterne were never able to maintain any scoring momentum and their innings closed at 195-8 after 45 overs. It was during the last 5 overs that our 11th man, one James Creed, finally showed up just in time to hoover down a significant fraction of a rather nice tea. The obviously star-struck Skipper was in such awe of this appearance that he immediately positioned Sir James (as we were instructed to call him) at first slip – yes, in over 41! – keeping the rest of us plebs running around like mad as we had been all afternoon. Not to be outdone by the Captain’s appallingly obsequious behaviour, Professor Threadgill, who fielded like a gazelle, it must be said, had by now perfected his cap-doffing skills (produced just before returning the ball to the keeper from long leg) and was able to show the young ‘uns exactly how respect was to be conveyed to his Royal Creedness.
Marshfield’s innings began soporifically and our first run was recorded off the 29th ball bowled. This sizzling scoring rate was maintained until the 13th over when the VC attempted to wake up the crowd by getting out for a quick-fire 10 off 36 balls; Redman was second out having made 13 off 58 (as G. Boycott might have said, “now, that’s proper batting, that is”). While Cameron was displaying some excellent technique at number 3, James Roper decided to get on with it and hit a quick-fire 16 at a run-a-ball, before launching an Exocet missile-like line drive that Potterne’s long-on rather unsportingly clung onto a foot inside the boundary.
Encouraged by this change of pace, Mouldy marched in and proceeded to test the hypothesis that every ball received can be swept to leg. While this is clearly a flawed technique, it is definitely true, when contact is made, that the ball will end up somewhere between long-stop and mid wicket. This unorthodox approach, coupled with Cameron’s more classic take on the art of batting took the 3rd XI to 110 in the 38th over when the younger member of the partnership succumbed for a hard-earned 37. Enter King Creedo who, undaunted by a run rate exceeding 10 per over, proceeded to smash 39 off 26 balls, including a couple of 4s in the general direction of point that involved much whirling of arms while (un)balancing on one foot with the other waving majestically in the air. The Mouldster was also inspired at this point to diversify his batting to include a second type of scoring shot that no-one could remember having seen before. Sadly, though, just as an air of panic had begun to set in amongst the opposition, both partners perished (Mouldy 33 off 37, the wagon wheel is more of a ‘spoke’, I’d say) and, despite attempts to hit out by Ed and the Skipper, our innings came to a close at 176-8 off the allotted 45 overs, Harry Smith having brilliantly secured our 4th batting point off the very last ball.
Thus, a defeat by 19 runs, but much positive feeling in the post-match debriefing at the local beer shop. A truly heroic effort in the field (perhaps Lord Creed might be less Lucan-esque next time?), a great attitude by old and, especially, young team members alike, a man-of-the-match performance from Cameron Walker, and an overall solid bowling and batting performance (when was the last time that the first 6 batters in Marshfield’s 3rd XI all made double figures?). Could this be our viridis surculus moment that we’ve been waiting for? Tune in next week to find out…
Click Here For Tels Titanic Stats
|Type :||League: Wiltshire League - Division 6 - 2012||Date :||Saturday 2nd June 2012|
|Toss :||Marshfield CC - 3rd XI won the toss and elected to field||Start Time :||14:00|
|Ground :||Bishops Cannings CC||Rules Type :||Standard|
Highlights :A wicket apiecefor Cameron Walker and Ed Allen on their 3rd team debuts. James Roper taking his 1st three wickets. 38 runs in 27 balls by Jim Creed
|Potterne CC - 4th XI||Marshfield CC - 3rd XI|
|Score||194 for 8 (45 overs) 'b'||176 for 8 (45 overs) 't'|
|1||Kevin Gover||b James Roper||26||3||0||49|
|2||J Hodder||ct & b James Roper||34||6||0||69|
|3||B Thurlow*||ct James Roper||b Cameron Walker||49||5||0||58|
|4||R Green||lbw||b Mark Dixon||10||0||0||35|
|5||S Hunt||lbw||b Harry Smith||9||2||0||16|
|6||R Pembroke||ct Mark Dixon||b Harry Smith||0||0||0||2|
|7||H Merritt||ct Cameron Walker||b Ed Allen||14||2||1||6|
|8||Bradley Whitbread||ct Andy Wills||b James Roper||5||1||0||6|
|9||David Evans†||not out||8||1||0||11|
|10||Kieran Dickenson||not out||7||1||0||18|
|11||L Cutler||did not bat|
|Byes (6), Leg Byes (5), Wides (21)||Extras||32|
* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||11||0|
|1||Richard Guy||ct J Hodder||b Kevin Gover||10||1||0||36|
|2||Robert Redman||ct B Thurlow||b J Hodder||13||1||0||58|
|3||Cameron Walker||ct David Evans||b Bradley Whitbread||37||2||0||87|
|4||James Roper||ct Bradley Whitbread||b J Hodder||16||3||0||17|
|5||Martin Ould||ct S Hunt||b H Merritt||33||4||0||37|
|6||Jim Creed||ct S Hunt||b Bradley Whitbread||39||8||0||26|
|7||Andy Wills†||not out||2||0||0||5|
|8||Mark Dixon*||b H Merritt||4||1||0||3|
|9||Ed Allen||ct J Hodder||b H Merritt||0||0||0||2|
|10||Harry Smith||not out||4||1||0||1|
|11||Mike Threadgill||did not bat|
|Byes (2), Wides (15), No Balls (1)||Extras||18|
* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets18-1 Richard Guy (Robert Redman-8*); 38-2 Robert Redman (Cameron Walker-15*); 64-3 James Roper (Cameron Walker-24*); 110-4 Cameron Walker (Martin Ould-23*); 158-5 Martin Ould (Jim Creed-37*); 160-6 Jim Creed (Andy Wills-0*); 171-7 Mark Dixon (Andy Wills-2*); 171-8 Ed Allen (Andy Wills-2*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||2||0|