And now, the end is near….
Saturday 31 August, the last match of a disappointing season for the mighty 3rds. We were definitely going to be relegated – but by how many divisions? Would Dicko manage to snaffle sufficient rabbits to get his name on the club’s trophy board again? Would your correspondent score his maiden 50? Would he bowl for the 3rds for the first time this season? Could we actually win a match? Was Comrade Captain a good enough tosser to ensure that we fielded first? Questions, questions, questions. “Several”, “yes”, “no”, “no”, “no” and “no” were the answers.
The MCC team eventually managed to find the Southwick ground, a new ground for most players, although the Rouse / Harris vehicle did arrive on the stroke of 13.00. Comrade Captain duly lost the toss and Beehive put us into bat on a warm humid day with a very damp pitch. What were they thinking? Surely they didn’t think that our batting line-up was weak? Surely their bowlers wouldn’t be able make the ball swing both ways? Surely the wet mud of the pitch wouldn’t give variable bounce? Comrade Captain’s mind was immediately taxed by the question of the batting order. Openers: “Threaders of course” but who else? His eyes swept round the changing room until they came to rest on the sacrificial lamb – Dicko.
So, with instructions to be on 60 without loss at drinks, your correspondent and his assistant opener strode to the wicket. Six balls of competent swing bowling later, the assistant opener strode back to the pavilion, having lobbed an easy catch to mid-off. Scowls from Comrade Captain. Our promising new boy, Ian Valentine lasted a little longer and looked almost like a proper batsman until he also succumbed to a catch. Your correspondent, meanwhile, had settled into thirteen overs of steady defensive strokeplay, having worked out that both bowlers were bowling away-swingers. On seven, including a deftly late-cut four through gully, he was the victim of dastardly trick by the second-change bowler, an in-swinger!
The innings was stiffened by solid performances with the bat from Willsy (13), Terry (22) and Chris Middup (13) before normal service was resumed. Uncle & nephew pair Gary and George batted carefully to take us to the 39th over. 88 for 7 was not too bad at this stage, with six overs to go – a target of 110 might be enough under the conditions. 88 for 7 turned into 88 all out. A first-baller for Charles was followed by competent batting from our newest player, Nicola Rouse for a few balls. Unfortunately, Sandra, at the non-striker’s end, was caught napping when her daughter smote the fourth delivery firmly to backward point and called for the easy run that it should have been. Oh the ignominy – run out by one’s own daughter! Your correspondent did not quite hear the “full and frank exchange of views” that followed.
And so I face the final curtain….
The innings closed on 88 all out off 39.4 overs, not too a bad performance under the circumstances (chief batter absent broken, humid weather, wet pitch).
Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew; When I bit off more than I could chew….
Over a substantial tea (too substantial if we were going to bowl and field well), the position was reviewed by the committee of ex-captains. Under the conditions, was 88 enough? What was their batting like? Would Dicko, or one of our strike bowlers, make a major breakthrough?
Probably not. Dicko started by sending down a few overs of straight but sub-slow balls, which the batsmen inexplicably treated with respect. At the other end, Ian V, remembering the substantial tea, served up three overs of cafeteria leg-spin. Comrade Captain then reinforced the value of this bowling change by going for fifteen off two overs. After the Beehive openers had been allowed to get to nearly half the target without loss, Ashley Rendall missed an easy one and was bowled by Dicko.
My friend, I'll say it clear….
Then came the shock of the season – Dicko held a catch! Admittedly it was off his own bowling but it was a catch nevertheless. He bowled one more rabbit to overtake Piercey’s total for the season. No chance for Mr. P to reply – the non-League football season was under way and he was away. George Pollitt snapped up a much harder C&B to give us glimmer of hope with four wickets down.
The tension built as Beehive suddenly found batting more difficult as Comrade Captain turned to his secret weapon – Nicola Rouse. She had bowled well in the Nets but could she do it with proper batsmen? Three very straight, medium-paced overs gave her figures of one wicket (the South African w/k comprehensively bowled) for seven runs, the best average and the best economy amongst the six bowlers on the day. We had lost – before the scheduled drinks break – but were not too downhearted. There is always next season, when we would expect to be playing against most of the same teams only a few divisions lower. There is always the end-of-season fish supper, too!
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain….
High/low lights (which is which) of the day: The mother / daughter run out, Nicola’s bowling, Dicko just overtaking Piercey for the bowling title.
One for the Wiltshire League statisticians: Is this the first time that an uncle / nephew pair and a mother / daughter pair have played in the same team in the League?
We did it our way
|Type :||League: Wiltshire League Division 6 - 2015||Date :||Saturday 29th August 2015|
|Toss :||Beehive Southwick CC - 2nd XI won the toss and elected to field||Start Time :||13:00|
|Ground :||Beehive Southwick CC||Rules Type :||Standard|
|Beehive Southwick CC - 2nd XI||Marshfield CC - 3rd XI|
|Score||89 for 5 (21 overs) 't'||88 for 10 (39.4 overs) 'b'|
|1||Mark Dixon||ct Adrian Day||b Pete Andrews||4||1||0||0|
|2||Mike Threadgill||b James Dennison||7||1||0||0|
|3||Ian Valentine||ct Unsure||b Steve Taylor||6||0||0||0|
|4||Chris Middup||b James Dennison||13||2||0||0|
|5||Andy Wills||run out (Unsure)||13||1||0||0|
|6||Terry Bishop†||ct Unsure||b Ben Clift||22||4||0||0|
|7||Gary Hodder*||ct Adrian Day||b Ben Clift||8||1||0||0|
|8||George Pollitt||b Steve Taylor||8||1||0||0|
|9||Charles Harris||ct Unsure||b Adrian Day||0||0||0||0|
|10||Sandra Rouse||run out (Unsure)||0||0||0||0|
|11||Nicola Rouse||not out||0||0||0||0|
|Extras b (5), w (1), nb (1)||7|
* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets4-1 Mark Dixon (Mike Threadgill-0*); 16-2 Ian Valentine (Mike Threadgill-5*); -3 Mike Threadgill (Chris Middup-0*); 27-4 Chris Middup (Andy Wills-4*); 56-5 Andy Wills (Terry Bishop-7*); 75-6 Terry Bishop (Gary Hodder-1*); 88-7 Gary Hodder (George Pollitt-8*); 88-8 Charles Harris (George Pollitt-8*); 88-9 George Pollitt (Sandra Rouse-0*); 88-10 Sandra Rouse (Nicola Rouse-0*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||5||2|
|1||Ashley Rendall||b Mark Dixon||25||0||0||0|
|2||Dan Thomas||ct & b Mark Dixon||16||0||0||0|
|3||Grant Savides†||b Nicola Rouse||14||0||0||0|
|4||Martin Pletts||b Mark Dixon||0||0||0||0|
|5||Nigel Reeves||not out||17||0||0||0|
|6||Ben Clift||ct & b George Pollitt||1||0||0||0|
|7||Rich Hudd||not out||14||0||0||0|
|8||Adrian Day*||did not bat|
|9||James Dennison||did not bat|
|10||Steve Taylor||did not bat|
|11||Unsure||did not bat|
|Extras lb (1), w (1)||2|
* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets41-1 Ashley Rendall (Dan Thomas-16*); 54-2 Dan Thomas (Grant Savides-13*); 54-3 Martin Pletts (Grant Savides-13*); 62-4 Grant Savides (Nigel Reeves-6*); 63-5 Ben Clift (Nigel Reeves-6*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||1||0|