7-fold Improvement In Batting Just Not Quite Enough
When we played Warminster away earlier in the season, we won the toss, chose to bat and were rolled over for a paltry 24. This time, the oppo skipper called correctly and decided that his best chance of any sort of game was to let us field for a few hours, and so we did. Selection saw Hodds still in charge, Ilo up to the 2s, Dicko sent back to the 3rd’s, and the returns of Senior Roper, Tim Woodman as stumper, and your scribe, who arrived too late to witness the first two overs bowled by Dicko and Piercy (down and up, respectively).
I did, however, enjoy the rest of a fine – but wicketless – opening spell from Dicko and a smart c&b by Andy Pee to remove the first Warminster wicket for not very many. An initially streaky, but increasingly fluent partnership then evolved that was finally brought to an end when first-change Big Chris induced the more dangerous no. 3 to skew a chance to point that the Bishop of Box unerringly clutched to his bosom. At the other end, Gary was keeping it tight but no further breakthrough was achieved until the recall of Dicko who finally snaffled a victim, another miscued skier that the skipper took rather nonchalantly. To everyone’s surprise, the younger professor was then asked to have a bowl up the hill and was immediately confronted by a large and very dangerous-looking left-hander. After ominously patting back his first two balls, the third was smashed back at the bowler who (of course) caught the ball just down to his right… stunned silence except for the dropping of jaws and the popping of eyes. The look on the poor batsman’s face would have killed a whole regiment of death-eaters.
One more wicket apiece to Dicko and prof. jnr. soon followed courtesy of well-held catches by Wills and Big C, respectively, and things were looking up. However, Dicko’s last over was bowled to the Warminster’s swashbuckling no. 8 and we were soon collecting the ball from the car park. Piercy was called up as down-the-hill replacement and suffered similar treatment. At the other end, the skipper (probably correctly) decided that a change to Big C might be the least expensive way to finish off the oppo innings. And so, after a fashion, it was (if you don’t count the sixes…). Piercy finally bowled the opening bat, who had stuck around like a limpet for nearly 40 overs and then had Mr Carnage (41 off not many) snaffled at deep gully by TB (who else?). Big C picked up the remaining two wickets, both to well-judged catches in the deep by Senior Roper and the Treasurer.
Warminster all out 184, then, in 43 overs, and full bowling points for MCC. Remarkably good catching by the chaps and the only chance that went down involved a fielder wearing those great big gloves, so it's no wonder the poor guy dropped it. A definitely chase-able total, made just that bit harder by a few expensive overs when we had recaptured (momentarily) the upper hand. Tea was a fine joint effort between the skipper and the senior professor of cakeology (sticky buns particularly yummy, in my opinion).
The Marshfield innings got off to a bad start with the loss of a quick wicket that led to the shocking sight of Preston’s finest marching out at number 3. Although the skipper had told his openers to aim for 60-1 after 20 overs as an initial target, Dicko and the remaining opener managed to reach the target score after only 10 (cruising past our ‘Nelson’ of 24 against this opposition in very short order on the way). With the Chairman looking on, some very un-3rd XI cutting and driving was on show. Needless to say, it couldn’t last and a less-than-sharp single was enough to do in the fragile Lancastrian hamstring, the owner of which took himself off in temporary retirement. This unfortunate occurrence provoked a mini-collapse and in a few blinks of an eye, MCC had slipped to 106-7; even the re-appearance of Dicko, that lasted just a single delivery, was unable to stop the rot.
The latter task fell to Hodds and Greeny, both of whom buckled down in very un-3rd XI fashion and sensibly attempted to see off the Warminster first-change bowlers, who were proving to be much more effective than the opening attack. Gradually, though, the score started to creep up and, with 10 overs remaining, the rate required was about 5. With the skipper in senior, mentor mode, an attempted acceleration ended with young Matt being bowled (148-8) after his best effort with the bat so far this season. A busy Tim Woodman arrived to inject some fresh energy but this promising partnership came to an abrupt halt with the demise of the Hodster, for a conscientious 37. Last man was the Senior Prof., meaning that two medicinal chemists (think ‘Breaking Bad’) were at the wicket facing an ever-growing run rate. The last over began with an unlikely 15 needed; Threaders set his initial sight on a 5th batting point but this proved impossible as he perished playing an ugly smear and we were all out for 172 off 44.4 overs.
An honourable defeat by 12 runs in the end, although there was much chuntering about “a good opportunity missed” and a lot of “if only’s”. For example, if the MCC 2nd wicket partnership had lasted even another 5-10 overs, then the oppo’s spirit might have been extinguished completely… Ah, well, there’s always next week. MoM awarded collectively to the team’s catching which achieved a level that I’ve never seen in the 3rd XI since I began playing for the club. Can we bag a win next week now that there’s a bit of momentum? It’s time, after all…
|Type :||League: Wiltshire League Division 6 - 2015||Date :||Saturday 11th July 2015|
|Toss :||Warminster CC - 3rd XI won the toss and elected to bat||Start Time :||13:00|
|Ground :||Withymead||Rules Type :||Standard|
|Marshfield CC - 3rd XI||Warminster CC - 3rd XI|
|Score||172 for 10 (44.4 overs)||184 for 10 (43 overs) 'b' 't'|
|1||Dale Anderson*||b Andrew Pierce||61||0||0||0|
|2||Paul Cornock||ct & b Andrew Pierce||5||0||0||0|
|3||Bron Wood||ct Terry Bishop||b Chris Revell||34||0||0||0|
|4||Callum Widdows||ct Gary Hodder||b Mark Dixon||16||0||0||0|
|5||O Mans||ct & b Richard Guy||0||0||0||0|
|6||Josh Haine||ct Andy Wills||b Mark Dixon||5||0||0||0|
|7||Jordan Ashman||ct Chris Revell||b Richard Guy||8||0||0||0|
|8||J Abraham||ct Terry Bishop||b Andrew Pierce||41||0||0||0|
|9||Sam Pike||ct Andrew Pierce||b Chris Revell||8||0||0||0|
|10||J Comey||ct Martin Roper||b Chris Revell||6||0||0||0|
|11||Jasper Pike||not out||0||0||0||0|
* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||0||0|
|1||Richard Guy||b Callum Widdows||42||8||0||0|
|2||Martin Roper||b J Abraham||0||0||0||0|
|3||Mark Dixon||ct O Mans||b Dale Anderson||21||3||0||0|
|4||Andrew Pierce||lbw||b Dale Anderson||14||3||0||0|
|5||Chris Revell||ct Unsure||b Dale Anderson||8||1||0||0|
|6||Terry Bishop||b Callum Widdows||5||1||0||0|
|7||Gary Hodder*||ct Unsure||b Josh Haine||37||5||0||0|
|8||Andy Wills||ct Unsure||b Dale Anderson||0||0||0||0|
|9||Matthew Green||b J Abraham||12||0||0||0|
|10||Tim Woodman†||not out||11||0||0||0|
|11||Mike Threadgill||b Bron Wood||4||0||0||0|
|Byes (12), Leg Byes (3), Wides (1), No Balls (2)||Extras||18|
* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets10-1 Martin Roper (Richard Guy-9*); 67-2 Richard Guy (Andrew Pierce-0*); 83-3 Andrew Pierce (Chris Revell-1*); 94-4 Terry Bishop (Chris Revell-3*); 100-5 Chris Revell (Gary Hodder-1*); 101-6 Mark Dixon (Gary Hodder-2*); 106-7 Andy Wills (Gary Hodder-8*); 148-8 Matthew Green (Gary Hodder-37*); 153-9 Gary Hodder (Tim Woodman-3*); 172-10 Mike Threadgill (Tim Woodman-11*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||15||0|