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Sat 31 May - 2nd XI v Halstead II

Posted on 2nd June in 2008, 2nds Match Reports

Following the first team’s exploits last week, we knew that the way to defeat Halstead was to allow them to amass a large total and then to outscore them. Half the plan worked well.

Cunningly disguising our intentions, Brad Simms and Dave Fletcher kept Halstead on a short leash by bowling a tight line, and the first 12 overs realised just 28 runs and 2 wickets. After 32 overs the score stood at 145 for 6 and Halstead were looking at a total of around 180 – 190. But then we sprang our trap, allowing each of the last 8 overs to go for between 10 and 20 runs. Halstead were visibly shaken but our fielders were delighted, so much so that George Rivett and Will Westacott each ran 20 yards to embrace as Halstead’s final boundary trickled past their toes and over the line.

The uninformed observer might have been of the opinion that our bowling in those last 8 overs was too short and that our fielding lacked a certain degree of commitment, but what does the uninformed observer understand of strategy and tactics? We had Halstead just where we wanted them, on 246 runs with our reply to come.

Rather unsportingly, Halstead now declined to play the role assigned to them and they bowled tidily throughout our innings. Wet, long grass in the outfield did not suit our batsmen either. Many shots that would have yielded boundaries on another day pulled up short. Over half the runs that came from the bat during our innings were singles. Paul’s elegant placement earned him a much lower return than he deserved, though he still accumulated 45 out of 79 before he was the third man out after 25 overs. In the meantime, Will had gone for 10 after a promising start and Darren had played a Boycott-like innings that yielded 12 runs in 14 overs.

When our chairman strode to the crease, after Darren’s departure, he immediately took the executive decision to run Paul out. This brought the freeswinging Brad to the other end (how much would a new jockstrap cost?), and when Brad departed, after a brisk 14, Montie joined Martin to keep up the new tempo. Our captain also contributed a brief cameo at the end, which included at least two conventional sweep shots and one reverse sweep, so he was happy.

The slow start to our innings meant that it was unrealistic to think of overhauling Halstead, so the middle order set their sights on picking up some batting points. We had scored just 59 runs from the first 20 overs but added 99 runs from the second 20, finishing two short of the160 that would have brought us our second point.

This was a match of four quarters. We contained Halstead for the first half of their innings with a splendid spell from Dave Fletcher (2 for 28 from 9) and generally tidy bowling from Brad Simms, Darren Fletcher and Jack Rivett. After six overs, Brad had taken 1 for 13, but his figures were rather spoiled by an onslaught on his last 3 overs that yielded one more wicket for 36 runs.

In the second half of their innings, Halstead gradually picked up momentum until no-one seemed able to contain them. Jack, who was 1 for 34 after 7 overs, conceded a further 21 in his last two overs, and young George who was 0 for 17 after 4 tidy overs conceded 19 runs in his final over. Darren went for 20 in his last two overs, finishing with 0 for 34 off 5.

With one or two senior figures occupying fixed positions in the field, it is obviously important that the younger and more mobile of us are prepared to fling ourselves around, particularly when the going gets tough. Brad distinguished himself with his swooping, one-handed pick-ups and returns (though he was less successful at plucking the ball out of the air with two hands). Darren took one splendid catch, Chris made some sharp stops, and Martin kept well. Elsewhere there was at least one sub-RTFA moment. Even Ray - if only on the basis of reaction times - wouldn’t get out of the way of the ball. Take the bruises! They’re a badge of honour to be worn during the week.

By the end of the first 20 overs of our innings the result was determined, but the enterprise shown in the final quarter was good to see, so at least we finished on a bright note.

- Wyn

(photos to come when Wyn finds his camera cable)

5 Responses

  1. safehands says:
    June 3rd, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Once again Wyn is the star of the show - and no mention of his most impressive get back to fitness sprinting on the boundary which was clearly inspired by what he saw on the field. It looks like he’ll soon back on the hallowed turf displaying his full repertoire of glides from the bat and cunning googlies.

  2. Pat says:
    June 3rd, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Oh well, there’s always next week. Great report Wyn. And well done Ed for the great work you are doing with the web site.

  3. Ed says:
    June 3rd, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Cheers Pat! Another top notch report from the village scribe as always. Well done for your umpiring as well mate.

  4. Hatchethands says:
    June 3rd, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    I just wish the 1st team reporter was able to type as fast as Wyn.

  5. Ageing Hack says:
    June 4th, 2008 at 12:07 am

    Apparently he still has a job, which rather slows him down. But as the credit crunch continues …….