The Plough gathered on what was initially a warm and balmy early afternoon determined to right the wrongs of the past two league games against a savvy Park Hill side. Steve Britto was this week?s nominated skipper and after winning the toss and inserting our visitors, immediately sprung a surprise Martin Crowe would have been proud of by opening up with Barraclough?s darting spinners. After a couple of nervous looseners were dispatched, Barraz got into a good groove and was immediately into the action, picking up one of the openers when a strong LBW appeal was upheld. Indeed, he could have had another wicket in his following over, Student unable to hold onto an edge standing up, a tricky chance, but possibly should have be taken.
At the other end, Matty Ridgewhale was bowling with a potent combination of pace and accuracy, and picked up the other opener who edged a sharply lifting delivery through to the keeper. With a decent pitch and the wind behind him, Ridgway can still get it through at a fair lick. Indeed, he could have had 2nd more or less immediately but simple chance was put down at square leg. The batsmen dropped on 0 went on to make 50. Concentration on every ball is essential.
Ross Lonsdale OBE replaced Barraz and was also immediately into the action, bowling good lines and pace before nipping one back which took the edge, Student the doing the rest behind the stumps. Beasley came on and did what Beasley does, bowl with great control and tying down the batsmen from one end, he was very unlucky not to pick up a wicket as his 10 overs went for a shade over 3 runs apiece. Dots are priceless in this league, well bowled.
This was all just a precursor to man of the moment. Our resident rotund African, fresh from taking 6 for not much last week, was on shortly after the drinks break and after being smashed for a pretty big 6 first bowl, quickly found a groove (of sorts) and picked up another fiver (5 – 17) through a mixture of poor strokes, excellent bowling and another outstanding boundary catch by Barraz (the cow) running in from the boundary and taking it inches of the ground. Well bowled Durex, it?s great having a leg spinner in the side. Matty came back on a nipped another tout to finish with 2 – 19 of his 9. He?ll bowl a whole lot worse and take a fiver for this season.
Park Hill finished on 140 all out.
After an ok tea (much improved but the late arriving garlic bread), the openers and umpires were almost on their way out to the middle when their op skipper refused to lead his team out until the ?rain? stopped. I use the word rain lightly; this was summer in Yorkshire weather as a few of our northern lads immediately told there whimpering leader. Despite games continuing on the other two pitches, a 30 minute delay ensued before they reluctantly took the field. A revised target of 120 of 39 was required.
Barraz and Britto continued their great start to the season with another 50 opening stand, breaking the back of the run chase. Britto departed for a well made 21, he was followed into the hutch by Buckley and Ovens for single figures, both keen to wrap up the game. Student joined Barraz and removed any doubt in the result by hitting a few pleasing shots and helping Barraz pass his 50. Wolledge finishing on 27* and Barraz 54*, another excellent knock from The Cow.
Oppo were a mixed bunch, a couple of nice guys, a couple of c**ks, probably very much like us. Good to get a first league win of the season, which allied with our close losses has us in mid table, it?s now important we string a few wins together on Saturdays. We know small margins (a dropped catch her, a lazy shot there) can make a huge difference, make sure you make the difference in the right way.