Watchful Whites Innings Wins It In 3rdXI Thriller
It’s often said that the best games of cricket are the low scoring affairs, with batsmen eking out runs in difficult conditions, with not enough wickets in hand. Or the drama of last wicket stands to defy the odds (Cardiff 2009). Not everyone enjoys the fleeting satisfaction of an ‘epic’ T20 run-fest. And so it was on Saturday, with Marshfield 3rds XI stumbling in chasing a modest total, at one stage 57-9 chasing 96 to win, and yet ultimately easing to victory.
An already weak looking side was further depleted before the game, with Rich Guy promoted to fill a gap in the 2nds. The toss lost, Jim turned to stalwart opening bowlers of Dixon and Christie. Tidy bowling from the former, with some more variation from Christie, kept the scoring rate low, but Lacock still eased to 33 before Dixon finally broke through, bowling Foley for 15. There was no more relieved man than Chris Ruddell, who shortly before had dropped Foley at midwicket. The new partnership then took Lacock on to 79, and things were starting to look ominous. Christie had been replaced by first young Ben Sinkins and then Ruddell, who now fully redeemed himself. A sharp piece of work with the gloves by Woodman (surely ‘Woodman, first surprised to see the ball in his gloves, and then more surprised as he fell into the stumps’ Ed) saw Cookson stumped for 13, and this was quickly followed by Ben White bowling the dangerous Omer for 43. From a position of seeming strength, the Lacock innings now began to fall away. Ruddell had Culling caught behind and then bowled Gifford and Rose both for ducks. White removed Wise with a lobbed caught and bowled, and bowled Spall, and Lacock were now 92-8, with seven wickets lost for 13 runs. With White bowled out with figures of 3 for 12 off 9 overs, Sinkins returned, but it was to be Ruddell who finished the demolition inducing a lofted drive from Riley which was well caught by Christie, and finally bowling Edwards in his last over, finishing with a magnificent 6-23 from 8.2 overs.
Restricting Lacock to under a hundred, albeit on a tough, damp wicket and with the usual long and lush outfield, was a good effort, but the relatively weak looking batting line-up suggested that the reply may not be all plain sailing. Sadly this quickly proved to be the case. Opening with Ruddell, veteran Creed played strokes from the off, alas the slow nature of the pitch proved to be his undoing, as he had time for three shots on a short-pitched delivery that (eventually) bowled him. Your correspondent now joined Ruddell and the pair settled down to a period of watchful batting, confident that overs was not a problem, but keen to blunt the lively Lacock attack. All proceeded smoothly until Woodman glanced behind square on the off, and set off for the run. Ruddell loudly proclaimed ‘TWO’. On arriving at the bowler’s end your correspondent was confronted with two alarming sights. Firstly, the slow outfield and relatively youthful fielder had turned a possible two into a much safer single, and secondly, charging down the wicket was Ruddell, like a bull elephant on heat. Realising the danger, your correspondent loudly called out ‘no!’, causing consternation for Ruddell but alas no change of pace or direction (see previous comment re elephant…). With the throw reaching the keeper with neither batsmen anywhere near a crease all looked lost, yet still the keeper contrived to break the wicket without the ball and needed to be told to pick up a stump to claim the scalp. Woodman departed, somewhat annoyed.
Sam Duckett joined Ruddell and played a composed innings, before Ruddell was bowled, and shortly after debutant David Thompson departed, and Marshfield were floundering at 28 for 5. Harris and Dixon mounted a slight recovery, enlivened by the Dixon requiring a runner after pulling a hamstring (lack of pre-season conditioning a perennial problem for old stagers). With Harris forbidden from calling following a nasty incident last season, and Thompson fulfilling the runner's duties, chaos looked certain to ensue at some point. The inevitable run-out did happen, but before that Harris had been dismissed, bringing White to the crease. At this stage, with Dixon batting better on one leg than he has for some time on two, and White a player of ability and experience, hope of victory was not misplaced, and the score advanced to 56, with just 40 needed for the win, before Dixon was indeed run out, with the runner Thompson failing to complete a second run (and not helped by the lack of crease markings on the square, as this was the first match played at Tormarton this year).
Both Sandra Rouse and Ben Sinkins failed to make an impact and Lacock clearly felt that the job was done, as Will Christie joined White with 39 runs to be made and only one wicket left.
And now things subtly changed. With a mixture of judicious punishing of poor deliveries, including two boundaries from Edwards’ one and only over, and watchful defensive play, the runs required edged slowly down. As the deficit fell, so the mood in the field changed and Lacock brought back opening bowler Gifford to try to close out the game. As the runs needed fell into single digits, the tide had well and truly turned and now Marshfield eased over the line, with White smashing a cover drive for four to complete a famous victory.
Man of the match goes to Ben White, for an excellent bowling spell and a nerveless and chanceless 30 not out to steal the match from Lacock. Honourable mentions too for Ruddell’s second 6 for in his career and Will Christie, unlucky with the ball, and solid with the bat.
Moment of the match goes to Mark Dixon, for his acrobatics retrieving the ball from the adjacent field. In a scene worthy of Mr Bean himself, his first attempt to climb over resulted in an alarming tilt of the stile, and at one point one leg was caught in the snare of two planks, like the dastardly poacher his ancestors almost certainly were. Hilarity among his team mates nearly turned to concern at one point, as he looked on the point of doing himself a serious injury, but fortunately he managed to extricate himself with limbs, if not pride, intact.
|Type :||League: Wiltshire County Cricket League - Division 7 2019||Date :||Saturday 4th May 2019|
|Toss:||Lacock CC - 2nd XI won the toss and elected to bat||Start Time:||13:00|
|Ground:||Tormarton CC||Rules Type:||Standard|
Result: Marshfield CC - 3rd XI - Won by 1 wicket
|Marshfield CC - 3rd XI||Lacock CC - 2nd XI|
|Score||98-9 (41.2 overs)||95 all out (37.2 overs) 'b' 't'|
|1||J Foley||b Mark Dixon||15||0||0||0|
|2||Jamie Orner||b Ben White||43||0||0||0|
|3||Matt Cookson†||st Tim Woodman||b Chris Ruddell||13||0||0||0|
|4||Tim Culling*||ct Tim Woodman||b Chris Ruddell||2||0||0||0|
|5||A Gifford||b Chris Ruddell||0||0||0||0|
|6||A Wise||ct & b Ben White||1||0||0||0|
|7||S Rose||b Chris Ruddell||0||0||0||0|
|8||M Riley||ct Will Christie||b Chris Ruddell||2||0||0||0|
|9||B Spall||b Ben White||2||0||0||0|
|10||Sean Hughes||not out||2||0||0||0|
|11||Anthony Edwards||b Chris Ruddell||0||0||0||0|
|Extras b (3), w (9), nb (3)||15|
* = Captain, † = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets
33-1 J Foley (Jamie Orner-12*); 79-2 Matt Cookson (Jamie Orner-37*); 87-3 Jamie Orner (Tim Culling-2*); 87-4 Tim Culling (A Gifford-0*); 88-5 A Gifford (A Wise-1*); 88-6 S Rose (A Wise-1*); 88-7 A Wise (M Riley-0*); 92-8 B Spall (M Riley-2*); 92-9 M Riley (Sean Hughes-0*); 95-10 Anthony Edwards (Sean Hughes-2*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||3||0|
|1||Jim Creed*||b A Gifford||5||0||0||0|
|2||Chris Ruddell||b B Spall||4||0||0||0|
|3||Tim Woodman†||run out (Unsure)||3||0||0||0|
|4||Sam Duckett||b S Rose||3||0||0||0|
|5||Charles Harris||b S Rose||2||0||0||0|
|6||David Thompson||b M Riley||1||0||0||0|
|7||Mark Dixon||run out (Unsure)||11||0||0||0|
|8||Ben White||not out||30||3||0||0|
|9||Sandra Rouse||b Sean Hughes||1||0||0||0|
|10||Ben Sinkins||ct A Wise||b Sean Hughes||0||0||0||0|
|11||Will Christie||not out||8||0||0||0|
|Extras b (6), lb (1), w (18), nb (5)||30|
* = Captain, † = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets
7-1 Jim Creed (Chris Ruddell-0*); 14-2 Tim Woodman (Chris Ruddell-2*); 23-3 Chris Ruddell (Sam Duckett-2*); 26-4 Sam Duckett (Charles Harris-1*); 28-5 David Thompson (Charles Harris-1*); 42-6 Charles Harris (Mark Dixon-9*); 56-7 Mark Dixon (Ben White-0*); 57-8 Sandra Rouse (Ben White-0*); 57-9 Ben Sinkins (Ben White-0*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||7||2|