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Saturday 8th September v Buxton (home)

posted 10 Sept 2012, 10:11 by Mike Madden
Although Buxton are at the bottom of the league, they had already beaten us at their place so we expected a tough game. I knew that their batting could be fragile, and when the umpire suggested that he wouldn't mind an early finish to go and watch Compstall I thought that bowling first would be a good option. The wicket was firm enough, though in actual fact it was the wrong one as Rigger had cut two either side from which to choose. Unfortunately I was unaware of this, as were the rest of the squad who set about placing discs and inserting stumps with gay abandon. All that was required was to win the toss and the game was in the bag, however the call went against us and we were asked to bat. Peter Crowley played an inexplicably poor shot to get caught out early for 1, and Rob Hill soon followed caught for 3. Harry looked confident but was bowled for 3 by one that kept low, then the captain was given a timely reminder of the perils of batting in division four when he was given out lbw for 28. Reuben was batting well, so well that he decided to dispense with the services of NE Morten who he ran out for 4, though replay evidence would surely have suggested that Sergeant Morten had made his ground. Ole Madden was bowled for 2, then Reuben became the second lbw victim for 13. Gibbo finally found some form, and he and Ben Stones crafted a partnership of 30 to take us to 91, with not a breath back ball in sight, helped by the fast outfield. Ben was bowled for 9, then Ben Bettney notched up easily his highest score of the season. Gibbo was eventually caught for 39, and Ben Bettney was caught for 12, leaving Colin not out 2 and the score on 129 all out. We stretched the innings into the 38th over, still giving Buxton a crucial 7 extra overs. Tea was a sombre affair, with Wild's having run out of ham. Ever resourceful, they supplied us with the finest English corned beef, and at no charge to boot which made it taste even finer. We took to the field with Gibbo and Ben Bettney amongst the stragglers. As I asked Reuben to open the innings he looked surprised, then revealed the cake that he still had in his hand indicating that there could be a problem with this suggestion.  Colin and Reuben kept it tight, but it was Gibbo who made the first breakthrough with a wicket clean bowled. He took another with a good catch from Reuben, then his third after a tremendous return catch. At 45 for 3 Buxton were struggling, but as Gibbo finished his spell of 10 overs 3 for 29 we were short of options. Ben Stones was tidy enough, with four overs for 9, as was Peter with 3 overs for 8, but the visitors were inching ever nearer to their target. It was time for desperate measures, and Ole Madden stepped up. He took his first wicket with a return catch, then he could have had a second until the captain (his dad) refused to dive full length forward and risk spoiling his good looks. In actual fact it was never a catch, but to add insult to injury the ball went for four as the captain lost sight of it in the setting sun. At the other end Colin returned with some menace but little success, eventually finishing with 0 for 24 off 16. Ole continued and got his reward with a wicket clean bowled, finishing with a creditable 2 for 15 off 3 on his bowling debut. Reuben sent down a couple more and claimed the scalp of the Buxton captain thanks to a rare Peter Crowley catch, finishing with 1 for 23 off 8, whilst Ben Bettney was unlucky with his one over for 2 runs. Buxton used up 45 overs in getting to their target for the loss of 6 wickets, and we look forward to the rematches next season.