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2nd XI v Chapel (home) Saturday 31st August 2013

posted 2 Sept 2013, 13:02 by Mike Madden
With accusations of underperformance ringing in collective ears following the latest instalment of website debate, and the captain's assertion that we owed Chapel one after failing to reach a paltry total in 51 overs earlier in the season, no one should have been surprised at the fireworks that ensued. Chapel won the toss and elected to bat on an unusually central strip that looked very good for batting. One of the old guard, Colin, suggested that there might be something in it, but it really did look like a "road". Added to that, the Chapel ranks were boosted by many more seniors than the last time we met, including the veteran Nick Pearson, wily spinner Todd Candlin, and opening spearheads Dom Ferdani and Kingy. All this was music to Peter and Elliot's ears, and they combined early on to have dangerous batsman Nick Pearson caught behind off a bottom edge. Shortly afterwards Colin struck twice, both clean bowled, and although the first was fortuitous we were definitely on top. Peter struck again with another clean bowled, and at 18 for 4 we were looking at an early finish. "Catches win matches" as the saying goes, and we then proceeded to drop a hatful. Gareth Hill was the first culprit, and possibly the second, whilst Bruce put down a difficult chance at point. Ethan Williams and Gareth Hill replaced the opening bowlers, but the score had started to race. Ethan could only get one hand to a chance at midwicket that went begging, and his bowling came to an end with 0 for 18 off 2. Gareth had 0 for 21 off 3, and these two were replaced by Ole Madden and Ben Williams. 0 for 24 off 4 and 0 for 17 off 3 respectively did little to stem the tide, and neither did Bruce Glover's 0 for 14 off 2. Ivan Heathcote provided just 1 over for 16 runs, including a wide that was still rising without bouncing as Elliot leapt to clutch it. Colin returned and toiled without success, including two flashes past slips and a third that the captain got one hand to but failed to hold. Misfields were evident everywhere, particularly at deep midwicket where Ivan appeared to be fielding from on the bank. With the score reaching 173, Peter finally came back with avengeance, and no doubt an eloquent epistolic rebuttal in his mind. He bowled the two batsmen doing the damage, and then completed his jug with another clean bowled. He claimed a sixth with an lbw decision, and he was in seventh heaven when he dislodged the stumps of skipper Mike Edwards. Colin finished with 15 overs 2 for 55, but Peter was undoubtedly the star, with 7 for 43 also off 15. The total of 215 for 9 was daunting, and the captain repeated the adage that "catches win matches", only in this case it simply wasn't true.

The captain opened with Elliot, and they rattled the score along at a good rate. It soon became the highest opening partnership of the season, and was only broken when the captain had the misfortune to be run out at the non strikers end, as Elliot smashed one back that clipped the bowler's finger before crashing into the stumps. 94 for 1 has so often become 130 all out, but not today. Elliot passed his fifty, ably assisted by the calming influence of Sam Slack. He gave a chance or two, but he reached his ton with a shot through extra cover for 4. He was caught for 101, but we had reached 173 with loads of time left, and with instructions to Sam to see it through. Predictably, Sam was caught and bowled next ball, leaving Ben Williams and Peter Crowley in control. Strangely, the result was never in doubt, and we cruised to victory with Ben and Peter unbeaten on 18 and 19 respectively. It was a magnificent 7 wicket victory, with ten full overs remaining, and we can look forward to the visit of Birch Vale next week with renewed confidence.