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Whaley Bridge 2nd XI v Buxworth (away) Saturday 25th April 2015

posted 26 Apr 2015, 12:06 by Mike Madden
This was more like cricket in April. A huge downpour in the morning, a number of late cry offs, and a cold, cloudy day in the Peak District. All of this and more formed the backdrop of our trip to Buxworth, where both teams arrived early, unlike the umpire who had been moved to officiate at Old Glossop with no replacement allocated. Fortunately, the game at OG had been called off because of the weather (lucky them!), so he was on his way back to Buxworth, but we started anyway, with Terry Dodds officiating. We had already won the toss and asked Buggy to bat, it seemed sensible with rain about. The plan was that we could chip away and pick up points with early wickets, so at least we would have something to show for it if the game was abandoned. Unfortunately, Buxworth set off like a house on fire, and with no Fid to put it out (although we did try after one of the very late  cry offs), it looked like a big score was on the cards. 53 for 0 off 8 overs, but then the rain intervened. Sadly, it did not last for long, and 15 minutes later we were back out in the cold. A surprised Colin Wild took a return catch to get the ball rolling, then Harry Bold threw in to makeshift keeper Nige Morten for a run out. Our first point, and at 53-2 things looked much better. Another 15 minute break ended with the arrival of the umpire, then the house caught fire again! Ole Madden and Charlie Kitchen replaced Colin Wild and Ed Kitchen, and for a few overs we exerted some control. Looking around the field the captain sought inspiration for his meagre bowling attack, and he found it in the unusual windmills of groundsman Nick Latham. Charlie finished with 0 for 11 off 3, to be replaced by Rigger who trundled through 6 overs for 36. He should have had a wicket, but Nige Morten hurtled toward the ball with gloves flapping in the wind, and duly fumbled the cherry to the ground. That was just one of a number of cases of dropsy, but there was still plenty going on to keep the fielders amused as well as frozen. The drinks break saw a considerable queue for the loo, including the umpire, whilst the dressing room was full of fielders donning extra base layers and jumpers. Then the fun started again. Colin Wild didn't just slip in his run up, he fell headlong down the track. However, his second spell did produce a wicket after a fine catch from Jack Kitchin, a much harder chance than the one he dropped earlier. He finished with a creditable 2 for 71 off 12. Ed Kitchen got a victim lbw to finish with 1 for 57, and Ed was involved in one of the more comical moments. It is often said of Ed that the only way he will stop a ball is if it hits him, and when the Buxworth batsman creamed one toward the boundary, travelling like a tracer bullet at knee height, we wondered why Ed was looking skywards. He had obviously not seen the ball, and it struck his knee with a loud crack. He somehow managed to get up and throw the ball in, but then spent the next 10 minutes rubbing vigorously. Ole Madden was more wayward in his second spell and finished with 0-53 off 7, whilst Ben Stones returned to claim a victim after another good catch from Jack Kitchin. Ben finished with 1 for 52 off 5, but it should have been 2 after he dropped a fairly simple chance off his own bowling. We traipsed off for tea with 285 for 5 on the board, and it could have been worse had Mike Edwards not sportingly retired on 100. Ole, Charlie and Ed all had to go early, but the only change in the batting order was to move Ed up to 4. Harry Bold and Ben Stones opened, and Ben started to find his timing quite early. Harry was caught for 2, then Ivan was bowled for 0, though he did have time to sprint off the field at one point to change back into his cricket spikes that he had changed for normal footwear at tea. Ed's promotion up the order only delayed the entry of number five for 1 ball as he was bowled round his legs for a golden duck. Charlie Kitchen was bowled for 0, then the captain stupidly ran out Ole Madden for 1. Jack Kitchin was caught for 4, and at 30 for 7 we were in a spot of bother, but destined for an early finish. The captain and Nige Morten then started to bring some respectability to the innings, with the captain eventually caught for 34 after a stand of 99. Nige went shortly afterwards, caught for a splendid 53, and the innings was wrapped up when Nick Latham was caught for 2. Colin Wild was unbeaten on 8, a good start to his latest quest for 100 runs, and we had recovered to 140 all out. Two batting points to add to our two bowling points, and we will definitely have better and warmer days.
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