Yes, No, Yes, No..............Err Sorry!
For our final home league game of the season, and for the second week running, Marshfield 3rds found themselves playing a team needing to win the game to secure promotion, this time NAGLO 2nds. Also for the second week running we were looking to avenge a heavy defeat from earlier in the season, this time by 8 wickets. Well at least the Prof was back from his “business trip” to the States to bolster the batting (and bowling if you believe what he tells you, however the less said about the catching the better), which meant that my services would not be required, either as opening batsman or match reporter, thank goodness for that on both accounts I hear you say.
Therefore imagine my surprise when my well timed arrival at the ground 5 minutes before the start is greeted with a “hurry up, you are opening the batting”, from skipper Comrade Hodder, who has already lost the toss, with NALGO, clearly looking to wrap up their promotion in record time, asking us to bat first. Where’s the Prof? Well it turns out that the Prof has managed to injure himself whilst in America taking part in a “team-building” game of football, and has dropped out. Football in the cricket season, he really should know better!
Therefore some 10 minutes later (3rd team games never start on time!) it is Ilo and myself walking to the wicket to start the innings, on what can only be described as a very hot afternoon. To begin with things go well, Ilo hits a couple of crisp boundaries, and Mr Extras is already ticking along nicely and by the 7th over we have reached 20 runs without incident. However on the last ball of the 7th over Ilo tries to hit over mid-off for another boundary. Unfortunately fielding at mid-off is Jamei, by far the tallest fielder, who duly takes the catch above his head. Ilo departs for the pavilion in a grump, and en route makes an attempt to break the World Record for bat throwing, presently held by our very own Jim Creed (set in Bradford on Avon circa 1990). As possibly the only person who witnessed both attempts I don’t think he quite manages it, but it is an impressive effort!
This brings Guy Lowin to the wicket, at the non-strikers end for the new over. Now it is important not to do anything stupid for a while. 6 balls later I hit one backward of square, followed by a period of mind reading between Guy and myself, and a late decision to go for a run. It is fair to say that I think it is unlikely that either of us will ever make a career out of mind-reading, as it did not go well. I made it, but Guy, running up the hill to the danger end did not, and is run out without facing. Sorry Guy. 20-0 has become 20-2, and it is soon 26-3 when Terry is bowled by Jamei, and we are on the ropes.
Enter Comrade, who starts at his obdurate finest to steady the ship, but the overs are starting to tick by. As an observation, if they had played cricket in Stalin’s Russia, Hodder’s picture would have adorned posters throughout the land for showing exactly how this decadent Western game should be played, and he continues to take no risks.
Dicko now comes to the wicket and starts playing some text-book cover drives (honestly), but unfortunately keeps finding the field. However some do eventually bring reward, and when he is out to a sharp C & B to Mangi for 11, the score has moved on to 57-4. Enter Comrade, who starts at his obdurate finest to steady the ship, but the overs are starting to tick by. As an observation, if they had played cricket in Stalin’s Russia, Hodder’s picture would have adorned posters throughout the land for showing exactly how this decadent Western game should be played, and he continues to take no risks. I make an attempt to increase the scoring rate, and Mr Extras is still going well, but a tired shot brings my innings to an end caught at square-leg and it is 86-5 with 12 overs to go.
Willsy immediately tries to up the tempo, and Comrade suddenly emerges from his shell and they put on 30 quick runs before Willsy is bowled for 12, and Comrade follows not long after for 21. By now the opening bowlers have come back on and runs are harder to get, but Tim, George, Charles and Threaders ensure that we use all our overs, and we finish on 132-9, ironically the same score we managed in the away game, and possibly a few short of a really competitive total, but nonetheless a good recovery from a poor start.
An excellent tea is then taken provided by Sandra and Charles, before we enter the field in still very hot conditions, but now with the threat of rain in the air.
Dicko and Ilo open the bowling, but despite beating the bat on numerous occasions, edges through the slips and catches not quite going to hand or landing between fielders, we cannot get an early wicket. Comrade then brings on George from the top end and myself from the bottom end but still no breakthrough. By now rain is starting to fall and NALGO fearing an abandonment go for broke. After a particularly bad over from myself (it was far worse than “worst ever over” bowled a few weeks ago), Comrade finally brings himself on, and immediately gets a wicket, bowling Sandeep for 22. However with the other opener Vakhariya being particularly severe on any loose bowling the score had already reached 88.
As a last throw of the dice Comrade brings Dicko back from the top end, but it is Comrade who gets the next wicket, when Vakhariya’s luck finally runs out and he is caught by George in the covers for 81, with the score on 118. NALGO’s skipper Raja quickly becomes Comrades third victim when he is caught by Terry in the gully, and at 122-3 there is almost a chance. However with the rain now past, the next 2 batsmen grind out the last dozen runs in the gathering gloom, and NALGO reach their target in the 35th over to win by 7 wickets. Dicko bowls his full 12 overs for just 22 runs, with no luck whatsoever, while Comrade bags 3-32 off 9.
So NALGO get the victory they needed to secure promotion, and we slightly improve on the previous result. I actually think that with 20 more runs, and a little more luck early on in the field, this was actually a game we could have won, but just as last week we were unable to get the crucial wickets when we needed to, so we came up short in the end.
MOM this week goes to Comrade Hodder, for 21 runs and 3 wickets.
|Type :||League: Wiltshire League Division 6 - 2015||Date :||Saturday 22nd August 2015|
|Toss :||Swindon Nalgo CC - 2nd XI won the toss and elected to field||Start Time :||13:00|
|Ground :||Withymead||Rules Type :||Standard|
|Marshfield CC - 3rd XI||Swindon Nalgo CC - 2nd XI|
|Score||132 for 9 (45 overs) 'b'||136 for 3 (34.1 overs) 't'|
|1||Rob Iles||ct Unsure||b Venkat||11||2||0||0|
|2||Andrew Pierce||ct Unsure||b Mr Jamei||39||4||1||0|
|3||G Lowin||run out (Unsure)||0||0||0||0|
|4||Terry Bishop||b Mr Jamei||1||0||0||0|
|5||Mark Dixon||ct & b ? Mangi||11||1||0||0|
|6||Gary Hodder*||b Venkat||21||4||0||0|
|7||Andy Wills||b ? Amit||12||1||0||0|
|8||Tim Woodman†||run out (Unsure)||2||0||0||0|
|9||George Pollitt||not out||3||0||0||0|
|10||Charles Harris||ct A Raja||b Mr Jamei||0||0||0||0|
|11||Mike Threadgill||not out||3||0||0||0|
|Extras b (9), lb (2), w (14), nb (4)||29|
* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets20-1 Rob Iles (Andrew Pierce-3*); 21-2 G Lowin (Andrew Pierce-3*); 26-3 Terry Bishop (Andrew Pierce-7*); 57-4 Mark Dixon (Andrew Pierce-21*); 86-5 Andrew Pierce (Gary Hodder-4*); 117-6 Andy Wills (Gary Hodder-17*); 124-7 Gary Hodder (Tim Woodman-2*); 125-8 Tim Woodman (George Pollitt-1*); 125-9 Charles Harris (George Pollitt-1*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||11||2|
|1||B Sandeep||b Gary Hodder||22||0||0||0|
|2||A Vakhariya||ct George Pollitt||b Gary Hodder||81||0||0||0|
|4||A Raja*†||ct Terry Bishop||b Gary Hodder||3||0||0||0|
|5||? Rohan||not out||6||0||0||0|
|6||Venkat||did not bat|
|7||? Amit||did not bat|
|8||Mr Jamei||did not bat|
|9||? Mangi||did not bat|
|10||? Sandi||did not bat|
|11||Unsure||did not bat|
|Extras b (1), lb (1), w (5)||7|
* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets88-1 B Sandeep (A Vakhariya-61*); 118-2 A Vakhariya ( Vineet-8*); 122-3 A Raja ( Vineet-9*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||2||0|