11/06/2016

6th game- Olney Town 2nd XI

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Cs welcomed Olney on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.. On a day where England were making their bow at Euro 2016. It was agreed between the 2 sides that an earlier start (12.30pm) would take place in-order to watch the footy.

Allan won the toss and elected to bat 1st feeling confidant after 2 wins on the bounce- It was himself and the ever improving Jamie Chesterman to open as Anees was not available. Cs skip faced the 1st over with no trouble at all.. cheekily pinching the strike with a single from the last ball and then again from the 2nd over, much to the amusement from the wkt keeper.

After 7 overs the pair were ticking the score along at around 3 an over.. however Allan was to be undone in the 8th via a sharp delivery from Sparrow who had replaced the opening bowler after just 1 over due to arriving late. Allan played his previous deliveries well but a straight ball which moved just enough from the seam, found his outside edge and was taken superbly by young Watson- diving one handed behind the stumps.

Dale Skeath was in next- hoping to kick-start his season but was unfortunately gone for a duck with a well taken catch by Wright, much to the disappointment of Dale who just can’t get going at the moment. Gary Norman was in at 4, making his 1st appearance for the 1s this season after knocking some good scores for the 2s. He was ordered to ‘stop the rot’ as the score was now 20/2 from 10overs.

The new pair soon settled with both players playing their shots and knocking some much needed boundaries through a tough outfield- which had struggled to be cut fully due to it still being damp. It must be said the wkt on the other hand looked beautiful again.. credit to the groundsmen!

Gary fell for 26.. and was extremely unlucky after ‘nailing’ a cover drive which was a certain boundary only for mid-on to ‘pluck’ the ball over his head for a well taken catch. However Gary had done his job with Jamie.. getting the Cs through to drinks with no further loss. Jamie was obviously enjoying the pitch and was really starting to show what he is capable of… only to be undone by an inside-edge which cannoned into his stumps, much to his frustration for 39 with the Cs now 80/4 from 26overs.

Allan was still feeling confidant- as although it was a much changed side.. there is plenty of talent through the whole squad this year. Aftab was in next at 5 and was advised that the skip would be happy with 140 and to keep the score ‘ticking over’, knowing he probably had a stronger bowling line-up than batting which could rescue the game. Aftab took this onboard well.. playing some steady shots with Kyle Blaney trying to hold up the other end, but unfortunately Kyle was undone by a good delivery by the “Os” skipper for 0.

Aftab was bowled for a useful 14 and young- gun Duncan Robertson was in at 7. Duncan was caught down the ground for 2 having ‘checked’ his drive to the grateful hands of the fielder.. it was noted had Duncan gone through with his shot with confidence, it would have probably been a 6- wally! I’m sure his game will only improve with age as he has come a long way since last season.

Vishal ‘Vishy’ Songara was now at the crease.. with 1s debutant Haroon Haq in at 9. It was to become a useful partnership with the former knocking 24 with some cracking cover drives and hard running from the pair. Vish is not re-known for his batting but he showed good ability and spirit to push the Cs towards their target of 140.

Haroon hit a big six down the ground.. but was caught trying the same thing for 9. Robbie Cooper hit a quick 5 runs- succumbing to another superb catch in the slips after a thick edge.. and Crump Snr finishing 1* after blocking out 2overs from the opening bowler who had returned for his 2nd spell. Crump Snr was seen waving has bat around as if he had knocked a 50 cheering that he had ‘outscored Dale’ for the 1st time!

So Cs reached their target and starting their bowling with 141runs to defend.. but they had to bowl well as Olney had an 8 extra overs to play with. They opened with a fired up Kyle Blaney with Robbie coming down the hill in place of the missing Brad- Much to Coops delight.

Both bowlers started superbly, hitting the mark with their very first ball. Kyle with his sharp deliveries and Robbie with his trade-mark swing.. both batsmen were struggling to get off the mark as Robbie bowled 4 straight maidens. Before Olney knew it they had used up their 8 extra overs with only 8 runs on the board- Great start backed up by sharp fielding.

Aftab was brought on for Kyle, who had worked tirelessly up the hill with tight dot-ball bowling, took a wkt with his 4th ball- caught and bowled to get the much needed break-through as it appeared Olney were already ‘padding out’ their innings. Robbie continued the pressure-building finished his 10overs with 8(!) maidens for just 5 runs… I’ve never seen figures like it with no wkts before, ridiculously unlucky but the constant pressure building would soon take its toll.

Aftab took his 2nd wkt in 3overs via a well taken catch via Jamie- who looked surprised as anyone as the ball was hit pretty hard towards his head! Allan was now bowling down the hill but at first struggled to find his length.. being hit for 2 4s in his 1st 2overs, relieving a bit of pressure from the Olney batsmen. However the skipper soon started to cause problems with his quickest deliveries of the season so far (as pointed out by Jamie) and cleaned up their no 5 batsmen and followed up trapping their no4 LBW for 22runs his following over. Dale was brought on in-place of Aftab, who was rested due to the start of Ramadan, carried on the pressure-building with a mixture of spin/quicker deliveries causing all sorts of problems. He should have got a deserved wkt if it wasn’t for a dropped catch from Vish on the boundary- ending his spell of 6 overs for just 9runs.

Vish was brought on for the tiring Allan and Haroon was thrown the ball the other end. The later was asked at the start of the game what his bowling was like.. who explained ‘yes I can bowl a bit.. medium pace’. To the surprise/delight of his team mates it was soon obvious Haroon was a very useful bowler, to match his sharp fielding, he quickly got in-amongst the wkts taking 4 in just his 7over spell with the help of some well held catches from Duncan/Jamie/Aftab.

The Os opening batsman was still at the crease with 40overs played.. but wasn’t troubling the score. Deciding to defend virtually every delivery with the odd decent drive coming. Cs had a quick huddle during one of the wkts and acknowledge he was a good player and adjusted their field accordingly, allowing the singles when needed in-order to attack the tail enders. It was during one of these singles which was to be his downfall, calling for a run which was never there and was run-out via a direct hit by Jamie. The Cs knew this was the catalyst they needed as Allan returned to the fray clean bowling the young No11 with a peach of a slower delivery. It must be said the idea came from Kyle so some of the credit must go to him.

Cue pandemonium amongst the Cs players- A great feeling it must be said as it showed how together the entire squad is with Olney being bowled out for 110. Man of the Match goes to Haroon Haq, his sharp bowling for 4wkts really made the difference when it mattered.. he was also quick in the field which only contributed to the pressure-building.

Captains Corner

Fantastic victory with a much changed squad- It was great to see the players stepping up didn’t upset the balance of the side which shows great character and strength through the entire club. It’s a privilege leading the team out each week with such great support from the entire team.

Up next is top of the league Edlesbrough.. massive game. If we win we go top..Something I feel we deserve to be with us unbeaten this season.

Great stuff guys