By Gary Norman

After a cancellation and an abandonment, both weather induced, the 1s traveled to Studham hoping for some cricket but not really expecting a win. Hopes rose on arrival however, as it was apparent that a) the opposition were short of players, and b) some the players who were there didn’t look too familiar.

Dale, standing in for the ‘holidaying’ Allan as skipper lost the toss and the C’s found themselves fielding. Vish and Kyle opened the bowling and did so with a high degree of control against two of Studham’s regular first teamers in the Thorne brothers. The strip wasn’t offering much for the bowlers, but such was the accuracy of the two openers that by the time the dangerous skipper (Chris Thorne) who averages over 50 this year went for an eighteen ball duck, caught by Ghaf off of Kyle’s bowling, the score was only 8 and the run rate was only a fraction over one an over. Young Rigby came in next and was lucky not to be gone without scoring as he was dropped by Paul at first slip before he had scored a run.

The run rate continued to meander along and by drinks Studham were 46 for 1 and barely troubling the scorers. By this time Vish had bowled his ten overs straight through and was replaced by Mitul, with Robbie bowling from the other end. The hosts attempted to increase their rate, and this was probably the cause of the other Thorne brother losing his wicket for 36 when he nicked off to Lee when attempting to cut a shorter delivery from Robbie. The C’s then did their best to keep Rigby at the crease by dropping him a further two times before Ghaf finally held in to an outside edge at gully off the bowling of Mitul, and he was gone for 20 with the score at 65 for 3.

65 for 3 quickly became 67 for 5 as firstly Boyce shuffled across his crease and was trapped LBW by Robbie for 2, followed by Mowlem (L) who went first ball to Mitul when he edged one to Simmo at slip. Studham the staged a late revival with the rather ‘intense’ Steven Mowlam and the aloof Bostock hitting some nice shots and running well to get the hosts up towards a defendable target. Mowlem went late on for 24 and Bostock was unbeaten on 46 to set the C’s a target of 143 for victory from their 44 overs.

After an enjoyable tea (complete with excellent strawberry topped, cream scones) it was time for the run chase. With a depleted Studham leaving plenty of gaps in the field, and a decent track this was shaping up to be an easy(ish) run chase for the C’s. Zaheer, obviously hadn’t read the script though as he was out without troubling the scorers when he edged one through to the keeper. This brought Carl to the wicket to join Dale, and after a few plays and misses from the skipper, the two settled into some rhythm.   Carl had to leave early and it showed as he scored a swift 22, including a couple of lovely drives, before being deceived by a Thorne (C) slower ball and finding himself bowled with the score on 36 for 2.

Ghaf then entered the fray and Dale upped his scoring rate as the visitors moved towards the target at a decent pace. Thorne and Rigby bowled well first up and Studham were excellent in the field, especially the wild-eyed Steve Mowlem who seemed to want to attempt a run out every time the ball came to him, but when Mowlem (L) came on for Rigby the rate picked up again as his bad balls were invariably punished by Dale and Ghaf. Dale eventually succumbed to Thorne when he was caught by his (unknowing) nemesis Mowlem for 30, but by this time the C’s were over halfway to the target and still had 25 overs to go. Bostock replaced Thorne and bowled a tight line initially, but with Ghaf now playing with more freedom and Jay looking to get things over with quickly, the outcome was inevitable. Bostock did feel aggrieved not to have Ghaf LBW (he wasn’t out by the way, and I was umpire so I can vouch for this) and let his feelings be known, but other than that the only question remaining was whether Ghaf would attain his maiden fifty before the target was reached.

With just nine runs required to win Ghaf was still five short, Jay hitting a boundary didn’t help his mood. In an attempt to get his pal on strike, Jay ran himself out for 24 in the next over, and there were still five more run required with Ghaf on 47. Kyle blocked out an over, leaving Ghaf to hit the winning runs and reach his 50 at the same time with a straight drive to end the game with more than thirteen overs remaining.

So the C’s recorded their first win of the season, and with the table showing that they are now out of the relegation places, they may well be turning the corner to better things.

As for man of the match, even though Vish bowled a very tight spell, going for just 17 from his 10 overs and Jay, Dale and Carl batted well, it has to go to Ghaf this week for 2 catches in the field and an unbeaten 50 all without eating or drinking anything!!