6th Game – Eaton Bray

“A thrilling day at Eaton Bray”

 

Before captivating you with a report on an extraordinary game against Eaton Bray, the previous game against Old Bradwell deserves a mention. What a waste of day, no one was in form and the only honourable mention goes to Phil Tensfeldt who showed some ability with the bat.

Now with that out of the way back to the game in question and the report you have been all waiting for. The C’s were struggling with availability for this game against a good side who had won three games on the bounce. In came Jawad Shah (Joe), Ghaf, Callum and Adam all debuting for the 2s side this season. Having had his sides batting exposed last week Jay was all too aware of the risks posed by his aggressive cricket attitude of batting first however, seeing the road that was on offer at Eaton Bray it was not unsurprising that the hosts elected to bat having won the toss.

Jay got his troops together in a huddle realising he was missing Callum (who came in the 4th over) and Steve (who came a little after due to work commitments) and gave his final instructions. Opening with Doc on one end and Raj on the other, both bowlers immediately got into their groove bowling good line and length deliveries. The Eaton Bray openers were watchful and played some nice shots taking on the bad deliveries and leaving the good ones. Doc was bowling beautifully when he enticed the opposing skipper to hit straight to mid-on where Jay dropped a simple chance. That did not deter Doc as he carried on bowling a good spell and was rewarded when a leg side delivery was edged behind to Simmo. Credit goes to the opposition skipper who walked even though the umpire was not ready to give him out. A great opening spell by the duo ended with 12 overs gone and 50 runs on the board. Jay then decided to put himself on together with Callum and in his second over got Marum cutting a ball that was superbly caught by Omar at point. Yes, Omar caught that one handed and through the course of the afternoon saved around 12/16 runs in that position. Yes, I am talking about Omar Shah the one I bought a bat off for £5, the one who normally plays for the other side in the field, anyway I digress. After bowling a loose first over Callum got into his rhythm and bowled a maiden in his 3rd over however, he surprised Jay by requesting to come off due to tiredness. Good spell from the young colt hopefully he will keep on bowling like this in the future. In place of Callum on came debutant Joe with his 6ft 4inch height. He bowled some good deliveries but on the whole struggled having come back into cricket after a year and was taken off after 3 overs. On the other end Jay kept on keeping it tidy and was unlucky not to have been given a plumb lbw decision. Despite good bowling the opposition was 99 for 2 at the drinks break. After the break it was time for Ghaf to come on who bowled some good balls amongst a few bad deliveries and when he was unable to take a wicket he was withdrawn for Steve. On the other end Jay gave Doc another 2 overs to take a wicket however that also proved fruitless and the opposition had plugged their way to 144 – 2 in the 30th over. With 14 overs to go the C’s were looking at the prospects of chasing a score well in excess of 200. Golden arm Omar was then summoned by the Captain to bowl his low fast slingy yorkers. It proved to be a master stroke as Omar bowled the opener and had batsman number 4 caught behind for well-deserved 50’s. Jay directed Omar to keep it on the stumps and he duly obliged resulting in another bowled delivery. Omar then got another victim lbw and Jay also bagged another wicket bowling the opposition number 8 batsman. In amongst a few tough drop catches Omar got his maiden five for and celebrated like a jack in box (literally). Jay also threw the ball to Adam Janes who reliably informed the skipper he had taken 2 wickets in 2 balls in the previous match. Adam bowled a lovely line of off spinners and was rewarded when he had the batsmen caught on the boundary. With a run out by Callum, Eaton Bray finished on 205 all out, a score despite being over 200 was a relatively par for the pitch it was played on.

As the majority of the team were observing Ramadan, there were plenty of cakes and sandwiches left much to the delight of the opposition.

After the interval and a pep talk to both Phil and Omar (the openers) the C’s set out to chase down a good target. Phil played with some ease in so far as he was not overly troubled with the oppositions bowling. His aim was to see off the opening bowlers and he did just that by leaving deliveries that were not in line with his stumps. Omar on the end much to the surprise and delight of Jay was blocking good balls and punishing bad balls. He played some nice shots including one crunching six on the on side. Both openers got the score to 34 -0 in the 12th over when in the following over, Phil was caught behind for a creditable 4. Whilst it was only 4 runs Phil did a perfect job of taking the shine of the ball and seeing out the early threat. In came Ghaf at 3 and as per usual he started his innings of with a boundary. Along with Omar the score began to motor along and when Omar was bowled for a well-made 44 the score was 68-2 off 19 overs. Jay was number 4 and immediately played some nice flowing drives and ran well between the wickets. At drinks the score was 82-2 and Jay spoke to Ghaf to “take it easy” and “nothing aerial”. After a nice straight drive down the ground for 4, Jay then succumbed to an off spin pie bowler who tossed it up and in his attempt to hit inside out, Jay found the fielder at cover and departed for 13. Joe was in at number 5 and did not stay for long trying to hit the spinner and getting bowled in the process. Simmo then joined Ghaf and it is at this point the duo started to play some lovely flowing cricket shots. Ghaf played his usual textbook drives with the odd hoick added in and Simmo played wonderful sweeps coupled with some nice cut shots. The partnership yielded 79 runs and when Simmo was bowled for an excellent 28, Jay sensed that there was an opportunity to win the game with the score at 166-4 at the 39 over mark. In came Steve and his positive energy shone through leaving 36 runs to get in 4 overs. With two senior players on the wicket Jay umpiring advised Steve to give the strike to Ghaf and he duly obliged allowing Ghaf to hit through the line for some sumptuous t20 hitting. Steve himself proved to be the ultimate rider of pressure when he ran a 3 and also cut a boundary leaving 1 run required of 6 balls and what a last over it was.

Steve was on strike for the last over.

Ball 1, play and miss and no run.

Ball 2, play and miss and no run.

Ball 3, full delivery hitting Steve on the foot and ankle region with leg stump slightly visible. The batsmen run through and the appeal is made by the opposition for lbw. Jay umpiring sensing his duty to fair play gave Steve out to the delight of the opposition.

Ball 4, Doc hits to cover and no run (this is where Jay was thinking crumbs shouldn’t have given that lbw).

Ball 5, Doc square drives to the boundary for 4 to win an epic game. The C’s chased down the target with 1 ball to spare.

Captains Corner

This is my 3rd rollercoaster game I have been involved in this season, 2 as captain and 1 as a player and I don’t think I can take much more of this! Where do I start! Two turning points in this game, firstly the fact that we restricted them to par score on the wicket which was mostly due to Omar’s accurate bowling and secondly the partnership between Ghaf and Simmo, the catalyst for the win. It was a great team effort on a long drawn out day and credit goes to the boys who were observing Ramadan and playing through the whole day. Credit also goes to the young two colts Callum and Adam who both bowled well. I also think the 2s have new cheerleaders in Doc and Raj, they have trademarked a passionate cry / cheer / noise that makes the team smile.

Now man of the match time. It is very difficult to pick a winner with the obvious two front runners Omar and Ghaf. Omar bowled wonderfully and got 5-32 of 8 overs and a well-made 44. Ghaf on the other hand made 94 not out. With the captain’s exclusive authority, man of the match for this game goes to Ghaf as without his 94 not out the C’s would have at most got a losing draw.

I hope all the players continue to play with the same passion that we showed today and it is further hoped that we show some consistency on our quest for promotion.

Next week see’s the C’s hosting Milton Keynes City who are currently number 2 in the league. Let’s hope for a similar showing from the 2’s again!