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2nd XI v Buxworth (home) 2nd July

posted 3 Jul 2011, 05:24 by Mike Madden
It was a splendidly warm day as our local rivals Buxworth arrived at Horwich Park, and although the wicket was a little green I had no doubt that I would be batting if we won the toss. Most of the team arrived early and assisted with setting up the ground, except for Slacky who was engaged in traditional farming duties, and Caddy who was unaware that cricket now starts at 1.30.

As the coin went into the air the Buxworth captain called "Heads", and "Heads" it was. I anticipated a long, hot day in the field, but the next words that Terry Dodds spoke were "We'll have a bowl". I was quite euphoric as I returned to the dressing room, and our boys were more than happy to pad up.

The ball swung early on, and TR Wild misjudged a slow swinging delivery to be caught for 0. Matt Morten attempted to smash the ball everywhere but was bowled for 5, then captain MMM was also bowled for 16. When Peter Crowley was bowled for 2 we were 27 for 4, with Caddy and Harry Bold at the wicket and the prospect of an embarrassingly early finish definitely on the cards. Their combined age was 78, with Caddy having the vast majority of these, and it Caddy that dug in, with Harry giving him good support. Threes were turned into twos, and twos into singles as the heat got to our president, but gradually they began to post a score. Harry was harshly adjudged lbw for 8, but by then a 50 partnership had been recorded. Graham Hill strode to the wicket in a flat cap cocked at a jaunty angle. His back foot batting style can be problematic, but on this occasion he seemed to relish the less than pacy Buxworth attack. Caddy was bowled for 42, then Sam Slack came in and started where he left off the previous week. Sam was caught for 19, and as Nick Howe went in to bat I warned Matt Morten, who had never seen Nick bat before, that he should sit tight for a couple of balls or he would miss the inevitable entertainment. Nick did not disappoint, smashing his first delivery back past the bowler for 4. In the next over Nick swung and missed at one ball, then crashed the next for another four over midwicket. It couldn't last, and it didn't last, as next ball he was bowled for 8. Colin has been threatening to explode with the bat for a while, and he lofted a huge six over long off. Three balls later he was caught, and Fid came in with the score on 132 for 9. There could have been a run out off almost every ball that he and Graham were together, and it was no surprise when Graham was indeed run out for 15. Fid was unbeaten on one, and we had somehow amassed 136 all out, giving Buxworth an additional 8 overs in the process.

TRs early call for pizzas proved to be a sound one, though less sound seemed to be Terry Dodds request for the heavy roller. As Chris Smith fired up Bertha during the tea interval, both teams discussed the dubious merits of this, then I looked at Fids plate to see whether he would be ok to open the bowling. With the intention to give Harry Bold a bowl, TR took the gloves, and we set up a reasonably defensive field in the early stages.

The decision to prefer Fid to Slacky with the new ball turned out to be correct, as after his first over he had reduced Buxworth to 5 for 2, with a TR Wild catch and a clean bowled. In his second over things got worse for the visitors as Fid bowled two more of their batsmen, and at 12 for 4 we were on the attack. Colin induced a false stroke and Matt Morten took a simple catch, so half of the Buxworth team were back in the shed with the score on 18. There was a bit of a recovery as latecomer Chris Hall swung the bat, but Fid struck again for the fifth time, and the fourth clean bowled. Slacky replaced Colin, and the previously free flowing Mr Hall was bamboozled by his swing and variation. Slacky claimed his first of the day, caught by TR Wild, and such was the force of the delivery that TR found himself knocked backwards off his feet. Harry Bold came into the attack at a crucial time, but once again the Buxworth batsmen had no answer. Chris Hall had by now passed 30, but he regularly spooned the ball into the air, just out of reach of our fielders. Sam got another wicket clean bowled, and at this point Caddy, who had categorically stated that his bowling career was officially over after just 1 over in a recent third team game, started wheeling his arm around as if to give the captain a hint. The captain was having none of it, and when TR Wild took a low catch off Harry to dismiss the Buggy dangerman, Caddy retreated to slip and his arm stopped whirling. It was soon all over as the captain took a catch of Harry, and the Buxworth innings ended on 69. It was a fantastic 67 run victory, and one that secures our place in the top half of the table for another week.
Bowling Figures
C. Wild 7 2 16 1
J. Fidler 9 2 24 5
S. Slack 6 1 16 2
H. Bold 3.4 1 8 2