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20 Jun 2012 - Gavan Burden

Team: Alfie Berger-North, Harry Bevan-Thomas, Max Beverley, Angus Chambers, Ryan Gavin, Michael Jacobs, Hugh Jones C, Jack Larsson, Matt Oster WK 1, Callum Turner WK 2, Henry Woods, 12th Man- Tom Spurin

Fresh on the heels of our first win of the season on Friday we welcomed Cowdrey to Orchard Field full of hope on what had been a difficult day as we said a final farewell to young Ellis Andrews A minute’s applause was respectfully observed and with a real sense of purpose our boys strode out into the middle. Having lost the toss ( again ! ) we were told to field and with Matt Oster and Michael Jacob on their way from other events skipper Hugh Jones elected to open up with Angus Chambers and Ryan Gavin, both very good bowlers on their day but inconsistent on others.

Today proved to be the latter and the oppo were soon in their stride and 28-0 after just 4 overs, and our next bowler up, Michael Jacob, went for 11 in his two overs. Enter the other late arrival Matt Oster who proceeded to take a wicket with his first ball and duly celebrated in his usually immodest manner! It definitely stopped the rot for a moment along with two relatively tidy overs from Alfie Berger-North and Jack Larsson but after 10 overs Cowdrey were 60-1 and we were looking a very ragged bunch. Cue a timely “pep-talk” from yours truly at the conveniently called for ( by me ! ) drinks break. The boys were left in no doubt as to the task ahead and with a few wise words ringing in their ears they returned to the fray keen to make amends.

Enter HJ to the attack who conceded just 6 runs from two overs and Henry Woods who with his delightful line and length had the batsmen in all sorts of trouble. Things were indeed looking up and with a wicket in each of his overs HW finished with the brilliant figures of 3-0-6-3. Callum Turner having kept tidily for the first 10 overs, now put in a terrific three over spell producing a wicket and also only giving away 6 runs, with Harry Bevan-Thomas providing great support from the other end with equally impressive figures of 2-0-5-2. So from 60-1 after 10 overs Cowdrey added just 27 more runs for the loss of 6 wickets to finish on 87-7. Considering that 30 of those we gave them in extras, and 25 were in the opening 10 overs, you start to understand your writer’s frustration but pleasure at such a magnificent fight-back.

And so after another sumptuous spread of home-made cup cakes ( thanks Jacqui ) and biscuits, sausage rolls and other delights ( thanks also to Michelle, Rachel and Anna,) the boys were suitably fortified ( after another team huddle of course ! ) to head back out and try and win the game.

They knew it was well within their capability but would the top-order finally step to the plate or once again flop badly and put pressure on the rest of the batsmen ?

Well, cometh the hour skipper HJ had his sights definitely on a big total and with his usual straight bat but with better timing and power that we’d been working on, we saw an innings of real importance under pressure, ably supported by CT at the other end. After 4 overs we were dishing out the same punishment we’d suffered as the openers set about the attack sensibly but with disdain when required. HJ showed his full range of shots and was soon raising his arms aloft with a score of 25* that had set us on our way in a real skipper’s innings.

Cue MO who also owed his team a decent score and who soon set about the Cowdrey attack with great confidence along with CT, with terrific running between the wickets from this irrepressible pair. Both players hit three boundaries and matched each other shot for shot looking likely to still be there at the end until a change of bowling saw them both go in rapid succession for a terrific 20 each. Enter HB-T who you would have bet on to see us home but who went quickly for just 1 to a peach of a ball that clipped his off stump, to leave AC and JL to pick up the remaining few runs and seal a wonderful, and one stage highly unlikely, victory.

Apologies to those who didn’t get a chance to bat as this week our top-order did the job, but I was again proud of you all for a terrific fight-back, and batting display. Well done too to Tom Spurin who not only fielded well for us as 12th man but also for the oppo when they lost a player through injury. And to Zak and Sam who came along in great squad spirit to cheer us on.

A tough call for man of the match this week. Great bowling from Henry and Harry which stemmed the flow of runs, and terrific batting again from Matt and Callum, but for his tight bowling, 25* and solid captaincy on what was a tough evening I have this week awarded it to Hugh. Well done young man.

And well done to you all on a deserved second win. No time to be complacent though as we’ll have to put a complete performance together next week when we travel to league leaders T Wells……………

Man of the Match – Hugh Jones