07/05/16

1st Game- Westcroft 2s

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New season new hopes- With the sun beaming down and the Caddington pitch looking vastly improved (for this time of year) the 1st IX faced Westcroft 2s knowing they would be in for a tough game with the opposition winning the league the previous season.

 

Allan, the 1st team skipper was feeling confidant despite the strong opponents, lost the toss with the opposition skipper (eventually) opting to bowl first.

Enter a new opening partnership Anees & Carl.. who both had impressed the skipper with some solid batting and great attitude in pre-season. With a brief team talk from the skipper (get the shine off the ball, last until 15overs and see where we are) the opening pair did exactly what the skipper asked.. Only attacking the ‘bad’ ball and defending the straight one. With some lovely drives coming from both players Caddington found themselves at drinks with the all their wickets in-tact, something of a rarity in recent times!

 

The old saying ‘drinks brings wickets’ came into play with Anees missing a straight one and leaving the crease with a very commendable 34- A deserved ‘well done’ from the skipper and great support from the team, it was himself who took to the pitch next. Unfortunately the new partnership didn’t last long with Carl going the following over with a well taken catch which was a certain boundary! However, Carl again had done his job and it was now up to the talented ‘Ghafy’ to make his mark on the game.

 

Allan and Ghaf stopped the rot with the former hitting some trademark straight drives and Ghaf having a swing- despite being told numerous times to ‘calm down’ by the skipper.. he soon found the middle and hit some nice boundaries over the bowlers head. Ghafs eyes lit up one too many times to a slow spinner and he was stumped for a respectable 21.

 

The skipper- unknowingly was approaching his 50.. carried on with Shahbaz in at No5. Shahbaz gave a great ‘prep talk’ with the skipper and it was agreed we would carry on the same vain with no ‘silly’ shots- Baz was defending his end superbly allowing Allan to surpass his 1st 50 off the season. With the score 160/3 from 32overs, Shahbaz was caught at mid-on with a hard earned 8 runs to his name. Allan was greeted by Aftab who was advised to ‘play his own game’ with the skipper confidant that the remaining batsmen could push the score beyond 220 and (hopefully) out of reach from Westcroft. The opening bowler- Who thought he was quicker than he is (sounds familiar) came back on.. but with some short bowling that was ‘sitting up’ he never really troubled. Allan decided to ‘push on’ and hit consecutive boundaries before being bowled for 56. Aftab soon followed for a typically quick 15 leaving James ‘Laney’ and Mitul at the helm. Now.. we all know Mr Lane can hit a ball ‘a bit hard’ but after he hit the biggest 6 I’ve ever seen down the ground (which was found ¾’s down the farm field) C’s were sitting comfortably at 171/5 with Mitul playing some nice technical strokes and Laney smashing boundaries all around the park. No more wickets fell.. and with the C’s gaining maximum batting points finished on 228/6.

 

C’s opened the bowling with Bradley coming down ‘his’ hill and Mitul from the other end- The former was struggling to find his rhythm and was getting ‘picked off’ from the (as expected) slow pitch.. Mitul was having more success and was bowling some good length balls which the Westcroft batsmen were struggling to get away. A bowling change from Braddas end was enforced as the skipper brought himself on only to again struggle with the slow pitch.. getting hit for 10 runs from his 1st over.. and a young Duncan dropping what seemed a ‘dolly’ from his 2nd.. he soon decided to bring on the ever reliable Robbie ‘Coops’ Cooper after just 2 overs. This worked a treat as his trademark away swingers soon slowed the run rate to a cruel. Ghaf was brought on in place of a decent opening spell from Mitul who finished on 0/23 from his 7 overs- With the lack of pace on the ball the pressure quickly built and the wkts started to fall with Coops bowling through his 10overs finishing on 4/31 (having also clean bowled the Westcroft skipper who was proving a very good bat for 67). Ghaf working hard from the other end.. for the 1st time in a century.. was actually making it turn managing to clean bowl the 2nd opener who had crept up to a respectable 36.

 

Carl replaced Cooper and was ordered to continue the same style as the vice skipper which he duly did taking their no7 with the help of a STUNNING catch from Bradley- that’s right.. Bradley, he must of taken some fielding tips from his brother who had come down to watch.

 

Westcroft realised they were not going to reach the Cs total and for the last 10/11 overs decided to ‘pad out’ the rest of the innings- The skipper through everything he had at the tail-enders but a-lass it wasn’t meant to be with the opposition going ‘full Mark Rich’ with the bat finishing on 178/9.

 

Notable bowling at the end came from Anees (1 for 2) Aftab (2 for 12) and Bradley who couldn’t quite get the final break through.

 

Captains corner

 

2nd season in charge with renewed confidence after a solid pre-season.. I couldn’t have asked for any more. Westcroft are going to be ‘up there’ and to come so close to a (deserved) win shows how we are pulling together. On another day the catches would have been held- But some great catches were also made (Brad/Carl) so I can’t complain too much.

 

With a little more awareness in the field I’m confidant we’re going to have a strong season- Man of the Match goes to Anees for his 34 runs, sharp fielding and his 1wkt for 2 runs.