3rd XI secure Friendly Win In Eventful Game
To misquote Sir Alex – “Cricket, bloody hell...” And so to the new season for the 3rd’s, and a new captain looking to build on last year’s curate’s egg. Clearly deciding to tear up the well used plan of 2015 and start from scratch, on winning the toss Captain Pierce elected to bat – an unusual decision that left some regulars wondering if this was a ploy to get the cricket out the way as quickly as possible, in order to settle in for a long hot afternoon of drinking at Broadleys (also known as doing ‘the Warminster’...) And yet the new approach bore handsome fruit. Dicko, promoted to open with Willsy despite last week’s rather short innings (at least the strike rate was up there...) produced a passable impersonation of a batsman. Together the openers had surged past the aforementioned Warminster score (24 all out) to 36 before Willsy felt the need for a sit down and surrendered his wicket. Would this lead to the customary 3rd XI collapse? Not a bit of it. Striding confidently out was James Howarth, a giant of a man (taller than big Chris?) and looking every inch a fast bowler, but who turned in a batting performance of grace, technique and timing, with some exquisite drives down the ground. Together with the dogged (dog-eared?) Dicko the score moved smoothly on, past the 100 and into almost uncharted riches. Having reached his maiden Marshfield half-century James perished fairly soon after, tamely looping a catch back to bowler for a good 69. It would be an unkind correspondent who pointed out that with the score at 125-2, Dicko sat on just 23. Someone always needs to hold up an end. Terry Bishop added a breezy 11 before falling to a neatly taken catch at gulley and Dicko was joined by Tom Wallis in only his second Marshfield game (and first for the 3rd’s).
At this point two things happened. Firstly, recognising that perhaps the ship needed steadying, Tom settled to play himself in. Secondly, Dicko recognising that the onus was now on him to score started to play with more freedom (or at least started to miss the fielder at extra cover...). Although initially happy with the look of Tom’s batting, captain Pierce started to fret as the he failed to get off the mark for some time. Clearly influenced by the sheer quality of the big hitters yet to come (no – I don’t know either) he exhorted Tom to get on with it - with immediate effect. Next ball – a mighty four! What a way to get your first runs for the side. Next ball – out! And the first victim amongst many for what must surely have been a ringer. Clearly Keith Moss for Bradford was bowling on another level, for what happened next was almost unbelievable (unless, of course, you follow the exploits described herein on a regular basis). Hussain Saeed strode confidently to crease, took guard then found himself striding back barely seconds later, having decided against using the bat to prevent the ball gently hitting the stumps. Kent Collins to the rescue (of which more later). Surely it wouldn’t take a superman to prevent the hat-trick? Just get a bat on ball? Sadly not – Kent too neglected the most basic approach of hitting the ball, and he too trooped slowly off.
And so your correspondent arrived at the crease, for the first time in a long (and not distinguished career) with a bowler hoping to take his fourth wicket in four balls. Luckily, by the time I arrived, Moss had stopped bowling vicious, spitting off-spinners, and settled instead for long hops outside off stump, so your correspondent was able to ease off the mark.
Suddenly Marshfield were had gone from 125-1 for 159-6, but of course once the collapse starts, it is very hard to arrest and so it proved. Dicko was next to fall, still reeling from having batted all the way through to drinks (!) and beyond. He fell once again to the demon Moss, skillfully avoiding his first jug of the day, four short of a well‑deserved 50. Charles Harris too elected not to use the bat and Moss had his five for not that many, including a hat trick, and then two more in two balls.
Time for captain Pierce, and the first ‘ask the Umpire’ of the season. The skipper was trapped plum in front of middle stump on the heel of a boot by a ball of such sluggish nature that the question was later asked ‘if it had gone on to hit the stumps could you be sure that the wickets would have been broken?’ Even Threaders seemed not to know if that would be a reason to turn down the appeal, but Willsy officiating raised the finger, bringing Mike to the crease. Ever helpful, your correspondent conspired also to fail to use his bat and so once again Threaders left with a star after his name. Quite the collapse, from 125-1 for 172 all out, but at least a total had been posted, and with runs on the board you can only ask the question of the opponents.
The skipper was trapped plum in front of middle stump on the heel of a boot by a ball of such sluggish nature that the question was later asked ‘if it had gone on to hit the stumps could you be sure that the wickets would have been broken?’
And now it looked as if all might be for nought, as rain arrived, gradually building in intensity and with thunder rumbling overhead. When the rain stopped, the pitch had standing water, and many captains would have opted for the pub. After all we had all had a bat, and a magnificent Threadgill tea – did we really need to field too? Piercey clearly felt the 3rds needed the practice and so by the leaving the pitch to dry for 30 minutes and some judicious use of scrounged sawdust, play was able to resume at 5.00 pm.
Opening the bowling was Tom Wallis and with him Threaders. Both produced tidy spells of bowling in tricky conditions, slippy underfoot and with a wet ball. Threaders kept the score down well, yielding just 14 from his 5 overs while Tom proved more threatening, eventually picking up 3 for 8, in 7 overs. It could have been even better as Hussain had missed a regulation catch at midwicket before taking a much harder one later, an excellent diving snaffle.
James Howarth had taken over from Tom and produced a hostile spell, regularly indenting the now softened pitch and achieving some good lifting deliveries. Hussain bowled well and broke the burgeoning 4th wicket partnership of 51 by removing the dangerous looking J Moss for 41 with a decent return catch. He ended with 1 for 37 off 8 overs. And now as quickly as Marshfield had subsided, so too did Bradford. Dicko, ‘steaming’ in from one end, and eventually Captain Pierce from the other, mopped up the tail in short order, Piercy 2-7 from 3 overs and Dicko with 4-22 off 4.3 overs. This later included 3 wickets in 4 balls. Clearly Dicko must be found guilty of jug avoidance on two further counts – 4 wickets and missing out on the hat-trick. His conscious must guide him, but he knows what needs to be done.
This report cannot pass without mention in dispatches of Kent Collins. Fielding is a crucial part of the game. A good fielder can save a few runs in an innings, a great fielder perhaps 20-30 runs. All great fielders will have the dive in their arsenal, the gallant leap to try to arrest the ball, with no heed paid to the price the body might pay. This was the attitude shown by Kent, but perhaps next week the dive might best be deployed before the ball has left not just the playing area but has gone over the wall into the turkey/goose paddock too. Perhaps it’s the military background but in haste to retrieve the ball from the paddock, Kent somehow managed to catch a foot on a strand barbed wire, and plunge head first towards an obvious face-plant. Clearly his teams mates first concern was for his health and well-being, at least after they had stopped wetting themselves with laughter. It did not pass un-noticed that Kent shares a name with another figure often to be seen flying through the air in a horizontal manner, although his name‑sake seems to have mastered landing slightly better...
So a fine debut to James Howarth, my MOM, despite a strong challenge from Dicko, and surely a man who has played his last for the 3rds. Incidentally this has led to Dicko’s new insult - “I’ll be seeing YOU next week”, to all those whose performance will not be troubling the 1st/2nd team selectors next week.
Lastly – well done to Captain Pierce, reputedly already claiming ‘fatigue’, on a first win. But just what’s the issue with keys?
|Type :||Friendly||Date :||Saturday 7th May 2016|
|Toss:||Marshfield CC - 3rd XI won the toss and elected to bat||Start Time:||13:30|
|Ground:||Tormarton CC||Rules Type:||Standard|
Highlights :MCC James Howarth 69, M.Dixon 46 & 4.3-1-22-4, T Wallis 71-8-3 BoA K Moss 8-2-26-5 (inc Hat Trick), J Moss 41
|Marshfield CC - 3rd XI||Bradford-On-Avon CC - 2nd XI|
|Score||172 for 10 (37.2 overs) 'b' 't'||108 for 10 (34.3 overs)|
|1||Mark Dixon||ct D Jones||b Keith Moss||46||5||0||0|
|2||Andy Wills*||b D Tadman||16||2||0||0|
|3||James Howarth||ct & b Matt Knight||69||7||4||0|
|4||Terry Bishop||ct L Fanon||b J Tadman||11||2||0||0|
|5||Tom Wallis||b Keith Moss||4||1||0||0|
|6||Hussain Saeed||b Keith Moss||0||0||0||0|
|7||Kent Collins||b Keith Moss||0||0||0||0|
|8||Tim Woodman†||b D Tadman||7||0||0||0|
|9||Charles Harris||b Keith Moss||0||0||0||0|
|10||Andrew Pierce||lbw||b J Moss||0||0||0||0|
|11||Mike Threadgill||not out||1||0||0||0|
|Extras b (1), lb (3), w (12), nb (2)||18|
* = Captain, † = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets36-1 Andy Wills (Mark Dixon-14*); 125-2 James Howarth (Mark Dixon-23*); 141-3 Terry Bishop (Mark Dixon-28*); 159-4 Tom Wallis (Mark Dixon-45*); 159-5 Hussain Saeed (Mark Dixon-45*); 159-6 Kent Collins (Mark Dixon-45*); 168-7 Mark Dixon (Tim Woodman-4*); 168-8 Charles Harris (Tim Woodman-4*); 170-9 Andrew Pierce (Tim Woodman-5*); 172-10 Tim Woodman (Mike Threadgill-1*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||4||0|
|1||M Goodall||lbw||b Tom Wallis||14||0||0||0|
|2||Keith Moss||ct Hussain Saeed||b Tom Wallis||6||0||0||0|
|3||Matt Knight||b Tom Wallis||1||0||0||0|
|4||L Fanon||b Mark Dixon||19||0||0||0|
|5||J Moss*||ct & b Hussain Saeed||41||0||0||0|
|6||H Allen||ct & b Andrew Pierce||2||0||0||0|
|7||D Lyevella||b Mark Dixon||0||0||0||0|
|8||D Jones †||ct Andrew Pierce||b Mark Dixon||0||0||0||0|
|9||B Newmarch||b Andrew Pierce||4||0||0||0|
|10||J Tadman||b Mark Dixon||0||0||0||0|
|11||D Tadman||not out||14||0||0||0|
|Extras b (3), lb (2), w (1), nb (1)||7|
* = Captain, † = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets21-1 M Goodall (Keith Moss-5*); 24-2 Keith Moss (Matt Knight-1*); 24-3 Matt Knight (L Fanon-0*); 75-4 J Moss (L Fanon-8*); 89-5 L Fanon (H Allen-2*); 89-6 D Lyevella (H Allen-2*); 89-7 D Jones (H Allen-2*); 89-8 H Allen (B Newmarch-0*); 90-9 B Newmarch (J Tadman-0*); 101-10 J Tadman (D Tadman-14*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||5||0|