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Whaley Bridge 2nd XI v Hazel Grove 2nd XI (home) Saturday 21st June 2105

posted 21 Jun 2015, 11:31 by Mike Madden
The drizzle that greeted the visit of Hazel Grove 2nd XI to New Horwich Park did not seem heavy enough to interrupt the game, but it got heavier and heavier, and it soon became clear that the start would be delayed. This gave the freshly demoted Luke Dogg Schnizzle Bizzle the chance to get acquainted with his new team mates, and he quickly established what has become known as the Dogg Pound. I don't think Reuben quite made it into the Pound, but Ivan most certainly did, as did Charlie, Ethan Bruce and Stonesy. The Dogg Pound played indoor cricket with a tennis ball, and I am quite sure that they would have been happy for the result to be decided in a similar game, but eventually the rain subsided and the teams took to the field for a 35 overs per side contest. Whaley won the toss and put the Grove into bat on a wet but true wicket. Runs flowed from both Colin and Reuben, and Ed Kitchen also had little success. Luke had already conceded byes when he started suggesting that he should be in the infield rather than behind the stumps, and as the score passed 50 I began to consider this a viable option. Eventually Tommo switched with him and it brought an almost instant success. Luke bowled with fire and brimstone from one end, whilst at the other the accuracy of Bruce Glover paid off as he fashioned a wicket when Tommo took a simple catch behind. Fate dictated that Bruce's 1 over for 11 would be his only spell that day, and before the new batsman reached the middle we were off for rain and an early tea. The Dogg Pound resumed their games, but not before Ivan had again been warned about his conduct during the tea interval, this time concerning pizzas. It looked as though the ominous clouds would defeat us, but we hung on, and eventually resumed almost an hour after we took the first Grove wicket.

At 91-1 and scoring at more than a run a ball, Grove were on top, but Luke Dogg was about to change all that. The usual plethora of dropped catches was mixed in with a number of misfields, and for once Ivan was not the major culprit. That honour went to Stonesy, who somehow dived out of the way of a ball struck firmly in his direction at midwicket. Luke's first victim was courtesy of an lbw decision, and he looked plumb. Ed KItchen rattled the stumps for his first scalp, and his second came as the result of a good catch from the all action Dogg. The Dogg Pound combined as Bruce Glover took a catch off Luke, and two more came the way of the master hound, one bowled and one lbw. At the other end Ed Kitchen claimed two more victims bowled and lbw, but it was left to the veteran Colin Wild to finish the innings off with a simple return catch. Colin finished with 1 for 31, whilst Ed had 4-41 and the Dogg 4-36 in his first spell for many a year. Grove reached 144 all out, and they gave us an additional two overs to reach our target.

The umpire had given three lbw decisions in the Grove innings, two of which were at best borderline, and I warned our boys about letting the ball hit their pads. Unfortunately Stonesy ignored the warning and was lbw for 0. 7 for 1, and 145 looked a long way away. Reuben was calmness personified, whilst Ivan was fidgeting and hopping around the crease. The partnership grew as we passed 50, and then reached the halfway point in our chase. The asking rate was well within reach, and the visitors were running out of ideas. The score passed 100, and Ivan reached his fifty, just before the hundred partnership and Reuben's 50. The home strait was downhill and smooth as you like, with Reuben ambling to 54 not out, and Ivan slugging his way to 81 not out. We reached our target with more than 7 overs to spare, recording our first 20 point win of the season. We look forward to more of the Dogg Pound next week.