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Sat 23 August - 2nd XI v Four Elms II

Posted on 27th August in 2008, 2nds Match Reports

There was a rumour that Jerry Stanyard and Nick Walker (London) might have been playing for the seconds this week but apparently they were called into work to help look for something: I forget what, but apparently it carried the batting and bowling statistics, DNA profile, bank account details and conviction record of every player in the Kent Village League.

So, the eleven selected made their way to a Four Elms ground that was basking in sunshine. We batted first, and Paul and Alex comfortably scored at 5 an over. A bowling change meant that the profitable supply of extras diminished and the scoring rate began to fall. Alex was dismissed for an enterprising 39 in the 17th over, and Paul, for a typically stylish 35, in the 27th over. By now the run rate had fallen to around 3 and what followed was not so much a story of the foreign legion as of the lost legion. In a collapse of staggering proportions, the remaining 8 batsmen contributed only 30 runs in 10 overs before we found ourselves all out for 130.

There were two run outs – neither of them involving the Usual Suspect. First Martin Bowden came charging down the wicket calling so loudly that poor Rupert was frozen to the spot. As Rupert didn’t leave his crease, he was the survivor after he found himself sharing it with Martin with the bails removed at the other end. Rupert was however run out when batting with the Next Most Likely Suspect, though not having witnessed this myself I am unable to give an accurate account of what occurred.

Pike’s figures of 9-5-4-18 and Patel’s of 6.4-2-3-18 tell the rest of the story, though neither was unplayable. A low bounce and mounting desperation to push the score along contributed to the debacle. The good news of the latter part of our innings was that the returning Graham survived without breaking anything (including his duck).

130 seemed an inadequate total to defend, but two quick wickets for Martin Bowden gave us some encouragement. Conlin and Hills, the numbers 1 and 4, then compiled a partnership of 50, which was only broken by introduction of Rupert’s wily spin bowling. He dismissed Hills with the first ball of his first over and Conlin with the first ball of his second. Four Elms were however ahead of the required run rate and the three next batsmen chipped in with contributions of 18,14 and 11 respectively. Despite tight bowling by Sims (8-1-26-0), Bowden (9-2-17-2), Peck (5-0-16-0) and Hoffman (4-0-16-0), the match seemed to slip gradually from our grasp. But Rupert the destroyer kept pulling us back into contention, taking wicket after wicket, to finish with splendid figures of 9-0-32-6.

The run rate slowed and slowed, but Four Elms always looked the more likely side to win. At the beginning of the last over Four Elms were on 128 for 9. With one ball to go the scores were tied. Captain Brown brought the field right in.

As in a slow-motion scene from the end of a movie, Ageing Hack bowled the final ball, it’s gentle trajectory bringing it finally into contact with a swinging bat. The startled Hack managed to clutch the return catch and a tie had been snatched from the jaws of defeat.

Amongst the less obvious statistics of this game, we conceded half the number of extras that Four Elms gave away. In part this was due to generally tidier bowling and in part to a good performance behind the stumps by Martin, who dealt well with the odd rogue ball and had a catch and a stumping to his name by the end of the game.

A splendid afternoon’s cricket.

- Wyn

4 Responses

  1. Hatchethands says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Wyn, I do not believe that there is a stick of memory large enough to hold the conviction record of all KVL players. Especially with some of the criminal umpiring decisions made this season.
    An LBW by a local farmer springs to mind.

  2. Ageing Hack says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    As I understand it he has asked for 374 similar offences over a number of years to be taken into consideration.

  3. Ed says:
    August 29th, 2008 at 8:09 am

    This sounds like it was a great game. Well done Rupert The Destroyer!

  4. Duracell bunny says:
    September 8th, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Those figures earned Rupert second place in division 5’s bowling figures this season, James Trick also came second in his division and 5th across all divisions, for his performance at Bidborough. Well done both of you.