“Cricket – bloody hell”
To borrow from Sir Alex – ‘Cricket, bloody hell…’ Marshfield 3rd’s came within a whisker of bringing off an improbable victory over Trowbridge 3rd’s, losing by one wicket after only posting a meagre 62 runs.
There is a streak of madness in all third team captains – whether it comes with the job, or whether it’s always been there in those who rise to the calling is hard to say. Unlike the advice to test match captains on whether to bat first on winning the toss (“on a good pitch, yes, on a dodgy pitch, with cloud cover and everything in the bowlers favour, think about it really hard… and then bat”) it’s more often the case of putting the opposition in to ensure the game lasts beyond tea. Third team batting performances can often be brittle, and collapses, once started, hard to stop. Who can ever forget Warminster 2015? Not Hodder for one. And yet they keep doing it.
Why did the skipper choose to bat on this occasion? Was it a hunch, did it look like the pitch might ‘do a bit’ early on then flatten out or was it just trying to get the game over in order to watch the footy at Broadleys? So toss duly won, and a few of the 3rd’s swiftly raised up the batting order. Recall if you will the batting of the previous week (‘the strongest 3rd team Marshfield have ever put out’), and how it faired. This line-up on paper was much weaker. Chris Ruddell, more accustomed to batting in the lower reaches of the order found himself opening with Willsy, fresh from cycling the length of France in order to buy onions for tea.
The opening overs were negotiated with minimal alarm, however a distinct lack of runs was evident. With the score on 9, Willsy departed for 1. Chris was joined by Terry who was also dismissed for one. Callum struggled manfully for a 15 ball duck, bringing Dicko to the crease. Clearly the bowling was tight and the pitch not playing well. At drinks Marshfield were scoring at less than a run per over. Dicko’s frustration was building, missing out on a full toss led to him missing the next ball altogether and he left for a hard-earned 4 from 33 deliveries. Chris finally departed after a dogged innings of 7 off 84 balls (‘Threadgillian’). So yours truly, with thoughts of Warminster style ignominy, arrived at the crease with the score 24-5. Will Christie, who had been in good form early in the season also departed for 1, 26-6. Hussain clearly realised that the only way to proceed involved the long handle, decided instead to just use the pad in front of middle and was dismissed lbw for a duck, 31-7. Tim Hawke too struggled and was caught for 0.
Now finally a decent stand. With a combination of watchful defence and a bit of slogging the captain kick-started the scoring. Suddenly it began to look as if the first batting point may be in reach. Changes to the bowling helped, as the first four bowlers had all bowled incredibly consistent lines and moved the ball in both directions. The fifth and six bowlers were less accurate and some bad balls were punished. With the score at 59, Al Chivers perished for a duck, leaving Marshfield’s hopes in the hands of young Charles Harris.
With time running out, the skipper caller Charles through for an unwise run which he could not complete, leaving yours truly stranded on 28 not out and a total of 62 just shy of an awful score.
Was this a 62 all out pitch? The bowling was tight and pitch low, but more application should have resulted in more runs.
A nice tea curtesy of Andy ‘Onions’ Willsy was consumed and then Trowbridge embarked on what looked a trivial run chase.
The skipper looked to his pace twins of Hussain and Dicko, hoping to exert some early pressure. It rapidly became apparent that the low target and tidy bowling was causing the visitors some problems.
For once Dicko was getting his rewards for a nagging line and length, with one opener bowled, then Chris taking a catch and a third falling to lbw, not playing a shot. Very quickly Trowbridge found themselves at 15-3, which became 18-4 as Hussain ran out the other opener. Hussain now joined the party and he too picked up an lbw and then Callum took an excellent catch at long off. Suddenly Trowbridge were 24-6, and 63 looking a very distant prospect.
If Dicko and Hussain could have bowled more overs it is likely that Marshfield would have won this match. However both bowled their nine and were perforce replaced by Will and Al Chivers. Will’s first over was tidy, but unfortunately Al struggled to find a rhythm and went for a very costly 11 runs. The skipper had no choice but to replace him with Chris Ruddell. Try as they might wickets dried up and Trowbridge moved to 52, within 11 runs of the win when Will induced a skier to midwicket taken very well by a diving Hussain for 52-7. This rapidly became 58-8 as Chris got one through a gap. So 5 runs needed, or 2 wickets. Fielders were now all on the one, with the tension palpable. Four more runs were added and at 62-8 all looked over, but there was a late twist with Charles Harris taking his first catch since his schooldays of Will Christie for 62-9 – scores level. Could Marshfield yet emerge with a tie? Alas not – a smash through midwicket brought the winning run.
What more can be said? A seemingly tedious chase at tea generated a fantastic game of cricket, and gave those playing the match an insight into what some of those glorious Ashes tests of 2005 would have been like to play in. Marshfield’s batting was poor but they redeemed themselves with the ball and in the field and in the end Trowbridge would consider themselves fortunate to escape with the win.
The Paul Hollywood tea-makers award goes to Willsy for the care taken not to contaminate food that Hussain might eat with ham, only to be told that as it is Ramadan, Hussain wouldn’t be eating any of it. Not even the onions.
Champagne moment to Charles for taking his first catch since his boyhood to make it 62-9.
Ace lensman Terrance Bishop snapped a few photo's of the "Action" during our innings...click on a thumbnail for a bigger picture.
3rdXi V Trowbridge 10-16-17
3rdXI V Trowbridge 3rds , Tormarton 10/06/17
|Type :||League: WCCL Division 8 - 2017||Date :||Saturday 10th June 2017|
|Toss:||Marshfield CC - 3rd XI won the toss and elected to bat||Start Time:||13:00|
|Ground:||Tormarton CC||Rules Type:||Standard|
Result: Trowbridge CC - 'A' XI - Won by 1 wicket
|Marshfield CC - 3rd XI||Trowbridge CC - 'A' XI|
|Score||62 all out (39.4 overs) 'b' 't'||63 for 9 (27.1 overs)|
Marshfield CC - 3rd XI Batting
|1||Andy Wills||ct Vishal Unsure||b Ritesh Pal||1||0||0||15|
|2||Chris Ruddell||b Vishal Unsure||7||0||0||84|
|3||Terry Bishop||b Ritesh Pal||1||0||0||6|
|4||Callum Duckett||b Ritesh Pal||0||0||0||15|
|5||Mark Dixon||b Sohan Premchandani||4||0||0||33|
|6||Will Christie||b Sohan Premchandani||1||0||0||6|
|7||Tim Woodman*†||not out||28||4||0||37|
|8||Hussain Saeed||lbw||b Vishal Unsure||0||0||0||7|
|9||Tim Hawke||ct Ritesh Pal||b Vishal Unsure||0||0||0||3|
|10||Alan Chivers||ct Unsure||b Vishal Unsure||0||0||0||18|
|11||Charles Harris||run out (? Pravin)||1||0||0||13|
|Extras b (4), lb (2), w (13)||19|
* = Captain, † = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets
9-1 Andy Wills (Chris Ruddell-3*); 12-2 Terry Bishop (Chris Ruddell-4*); 12-3 Callum Duckett (Chris Ruddell-4*); 24-4 Mark Dixon (Chris Ruddell-7*); 24-5 Chris Ruddell (Will Christie-0*); 26-6 Will Christie (Tim Woodman-1*); 31-7 Hussain Saeed (Tim Woodman-6*); 33-8 Tim Hawke (Tim Woodman-8*); 59-9 Alan Chivers (Tim Woodman-26*); 62-10 Charles Harris (Tim Woodman-27*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||6||1|
Trowbridge CC - 'A' XI Batting
|1||Hayden Lloyd||run out (Hussain Saeed)||4||0||0||0|
|2||Sahil Basandrai*||b Mark Dixon||0||0||0||0|
|3||Ritesh Pal||ct Chris Ruddell||b Mark Dixon||7||0||0||0|
|4||Sohan Premchandani||lbw||b Mark Dixon||0||0||0||0|
|5||Srikanth Raya||lbw||b Hussain Saeed||1||0||0||0|
|6||Swamy Gare||ct Hussain Saeed||b Will Christie||11||1||0||0|
|7||Vishal Unsure||ct Callum Duckett||b Hussain Saeed||2||0||0||0|
|8||? Pravin†||b Chris Ruddell||14||1||0||0|
|9||Graham Booth||not out||6||0||0||0|
|10||Bhaidas Masule||ct Charles Harris||b Will Christie||0||0||0||0|
|11||Phil Rutland||not out||0||0||0||0|
|Extras b (2), lb (1), w (12), nb (3)||18|
* = Captain, † = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets
5-1 Sahil Basandrai (Hayden Lloyd-1*); 15-2 Ritesh Pal (Hayden Lloyd-2*); 15-3 Sohan Premchandani (Hayden Lloyd-2*); 18-4 Hayden Lloyd (Srikanth Raya-0*); 20-5 Srikanth Raya (Swamy Gare-0*); 24-6 Vishal Unsure (Swamy Gare-3*); 52-7 Swamy Gare (? Pravin-11*); 58-8 ? Pravin (Graham Booth-2*); 62-9 Bhaidas Masule (Graham Booth-5*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||3||1|