3rdXI Off To A Typically Disappointing Seasons Opener
A grey, blustery day brought the 3rd XI to their opening match of the 2017 season at Bathford’s scenic but severely sloping field. A short boundary up the hill on one side of the wicket, a longer one down, where the short grass on a hard and bumpy outfield promised a challenging afternoon even for the renowned, fleet-footed 3rd team regulars. The toss was duly lost by this year’s V-C who was standing in for the absent (new) Skipper, otherwise engaged in celebrating the local University’s 50th birthday party – how this provides a plausible excuse for an obvious dereliction of duty is no doubt a matter to be taken up at a future committee meeting.
Willsy and your correspondent opened the batting in an uncharacteristically productive fashion, rattling up 46 at about a run a ball before the sailor-skier-skiffler succumbed to a straight one. The Preston Express (sic) was a surprise number 3, but soon looked the part with some even more surprising cover driving. Unfortunately, however, a call to take a regulation single resulted in an entirely new way to be dismissed: the “walk out”, effectively a ‘run out’ in super slow-mo. Almost immediately, the V-C departed to an awful shot leaving Bish and Hodor to rebuild, a job that seemed well under way 52 runs later when the score had reached 113.
Sadly, Terry chose this moment to stand in front of his stumps and allow the ball to hit his leg rather than the bat. A few balls later, Gary failed to get either bat or pad remotely near a very slow straight one and was embarrassingly bowled for an effortless 35. Time for another reconstruction, this time in the hands of Chris Ruddell and the redoubtable Charles of Harris, a combination that produced solid defence, some of the most appalling running between wickets ever seen, and a period of calm when a little more urgency was needed.
Encouraged by some less-than-subtle advice from the sidelines, Charles got the message and got out. Tim Hawke, who had better radar, bludgeoned an impressive swipe for a boundary but then succumbed when attempting a reprise, bringing Piercy to the middle and the watching crowd to the edge of their seats. A short, but memorable innings did not disappoint: first, running a 3 (regrettably only byes, but imagine the heavy breathing involved!); second, a routine block followed by inexplicably falling flat on his face; third, missing a straight one that clattered into the stumps; and, fourth, given the undisturbed scorer, recording a nice -20 in the fantasy league.
Presumably unintentionally, this cameo from the Club Treasurer brought Mini-Chops to the rescue and the young man proceeded to clobber a series of boundaries in a chanceless and serene innings of 24 not out off only 15 deliveries, securing a 5th batting point for the side and seeing us to 179-8 from 45 overs, 5 batting points, and the opportunity to indulge in the plentiful tea provided by our hosts.
The opposition response began in time-honoured fashion with Dicko reeling off the maidens and, encourgingly, young Will also preventing the ball from being hit off the square. Frustration levels increased and eventually Bathford’s younger opener (by more than 50 years compared to his partner, it appeared) presented the North End noodler with our first wicket of 2017. The number 3, however, arrived with a different mind-set and, although mostly respectful to the tiring Dicko, who finished with 9-6-17-1, Mini-C and Chris Ruddell were much more harshly treated.
By now, Bathford had quickly caught up with the run rate at which point the experienced heads of Hodor and Piercy were called upon to regain the initiative. As some degree of order was regained, the Club Treasurer removed the danger man with an impossibly athletic caught and bowled of a sweetly struck straight drive. Cue howls of delight and, well, disbelief, I suppose, coupled with some hope that we might regain the upper hand.
Unfortunately, this was not to be. The senior Bathford opener was joined by a sensible colleague and the pair embarked on a substantial stand, chipping away at the target and accumulating the necessary 4 per over without taking any silly risks and pushing the opposition score past 150. By now, Gary H had completed a perfectly respectable, but wicketless, 9-over stint for just 28, and Piercy had been given a breather. Mini was recalled down the hill for his last 2 overs and he immediately made a breakthrough, swiftly followed by the 2016 3rd XI Bowler of the Year finally removing the obdurate opener. Another couple of wickets were also claimed but the needed meltdown never materialized and our opponents passed our total with 11 balls to spare, and we went down by 4 wickets.
A disappointing outcome, then, and primarily due to a batting performance, which lost its way in some important middle overs, and meant that we ended up probably 40 runs short of what would have been a defendable total. The fielding was generally of a high level, it must be said, with stand-out efforts by Charles, Tim Hawke and Chris R who patrolled the bumpy outer regions of the downhill side of the pitch for most of the afternoon. MoM to Mini-Chops for his efforts with bat and ball, as well as a committed job in the field. Champagne moment to Piercy, of course, for what may well turn out to be the catch of the season!
Some Pictures of the match "action", click on a photo for a larger image.
Match Action : 3rds v Bathford, 06/05/17
|Type :||League: WCCL Division 8 - 2017||Date :||Saturday 6th May 2017|
|Toss:||Bathford CC - 2nd XI won the toss and elected to field||Start Time:||13:00|
|Ground:||Wynne Wilson Memorial Ground||Rules Type:||Standard|
Result: Bathford CC - 2nd XI - Won by 4 wickets
|Bathford CC - 2nd XI||Marshfield CC - 3rd XI|
|Score||180 for 6 (43.1 overs) 't'||179 for 8 (45.0 overs) 'b'|
Marshfield CC - 3rd XI Batting
|1||Richard Guy*||ct Sol Faragher||b Steven Hunt||33||7||0||45|
|2||Andy Wills||b Darrel Watts||6||1||0||25|
|3||Mark Dixon||run out (Alex Garrett)||7||1||0||13|
|4||Terry Bishop||lbw||b Steven Hunt||17||2||0||50|
|5||Gary Hodder||b Jujhar Garcha||35||8||0||45|
|6||Charles Harris||b Alex Garrett||6||0||0||26|
|7||Chris Ruddell||not out||18||3||0||42|
|8||Tim Hawke||b Daniel Hunt||4||1||0||5|
|9||Andrew Pierce||b Daniel Hunt||0||0||0||7|
|10||Will Christie||not out||24||5||0||15|
|11||Martin Roper†||did not bat|
|12||Unsure||did not bat|
|Extras b (14), lb (1), w (12), nb (2)||29|
* = Captain, † = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets
46-1 Andy Wills (Richard Guy-33*); 59-2 Mark Dixon (Richard Guy-33*); 61-3 Richard Guy (Terry Bishop-17*); 113-4 Terry Bishop (Gary Hodder-35*); 119-5 Gary Hodder (Charles Harris-6*); 133-6 Charles Harris (Chris Ruddell-18*); 138-7 Tim Hawke (Chris Ruddell-18*); 152-8 Andrew Pierce (Chris Ruddell-18*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||15||1|
Bathford CC - 2nd XI Batting
|1||M G Noel||b Richard Guy||51||4||0||111|
|2||Jujhar Garcha||b Mark Dixon||6||0||0||30|
|3||Alex Garrett||ct & b Andrew Pierce||42||8||0||40|
|4||Darrel Watts||b Will Christie||36||4||0||53|
|5||Sol Faragher||b Richard Guy||4||1||0||6|
|6||Mark Palmer||not out||18||4||0||12|
|7||Ben Musson||run out (Gary Hodder)||0||0||0||4|
|8||K Moggridge||not out||4||0||0||6|
|9||Tom Watts||did not bat|
|10||Daniel Hunt*||did not bat|
|11||Steven Hunt||did not bat|
|Extras b (7), lb (2), w (7), nb (3)||19|
* = Captain, † = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets
21-1 Jujhar Garcha (M G Noel-0*); 83-2 Alex Garrett (M G Noel-0*); 152-3 Darrel Watts (M G Noel-51*); 156-4 M G Noel (Sol Faragher-4*); 158-5 Sol Faragher (Ben Musson-0*); 164-6 Ben Musson (Mark Palmer-18*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||9||1|