The year: 2017, the month: August, the date: 8th August, a Saturday, and one that promised by way of the met office blaring sunshine with spots of isolated rain.
The fixture painted a day of for every Ploughman to improve his figures. The opponents, Spencer, bottom of the league and openly admitting to have chosen the wrong league to enter their side which admirably aims at developing younger talent; there is clear and applaudible success in this endeavour if no success on the scoreboard thus far this season. The Ploughman started as if this was a game already won with some late arrivals and hurried match preparations. With a slowly increasing 8 players the Plough took the field and Barraclough opening the bowling, his stuttered run up and controlled tight bowling allowing the delayed Ploughman the chance to arrive without any major trouble to the scoreboard.
The met office ran against form and were entirely correct with their isolated showers which took the players off with heavy rain and hail. With the game shortened and a full complement of Ploughman the game began anew. The pitch with its wet surface was a dream for the heavily spin ladened plough line up and they began a well-controlled bowling performance with tight fielding all round. Ash bowled some blistering spells which harboured all the merits of great skills, solid yards of pace and dangerous variation; he received two wickets for his trouble with two maidens off 7 overs. Ajit Prasaad and Barraclough complimented each other nicely throughout the day extensively creating a drought at one end with spells that really deserved wickets and did come with close chances as well as one wicket for Prasaad.
The captain Pretorius bowled an 8 over spell of blistering off spin, the ball spinning round corners consistently beating the bat or flying through the gap between bat and pad. Wickets came and rightly so, Pretorius tore through the top and middle order of Spencer taking 4 wickets until it came to ball… 7.5 of his allotted 8 overs; the players in, 10 men around the bat, energy and tension was thick in the air. Pretorius offered up a ball that demanded play from the batsman, and they obliged rather nicely driving on the onside of the wicket but this was not a day that allowed any quarter to a team that stood in the way of a determined Ploughman side and Pretorius launched himself horizontal across the bowling crease and intercepted the ball. Pretorius received 5 wickets, 2 maidens, 14 runs and badly cut elbow from his 8 overs. Bala Krishna promptly finished off the bowling with a varied 2 overs which yielded 2 wickets. Spencer found themselves bowled out 131.
The tea was excellent, pizza, spring rolls, some of the best sandwiches in south London and a strong compliment of sweets. Your reporter here has always been partial to a cherry Bakewell. Solid 7.5/10
A word from the captain that this game still needed to be won and the Ploughman were out and batting. Barraclough and Tissatto appeared to have taken the words to heart and began an onslaught of the opposition bowling. Both driving well and dealing in hard hitting boundaries they stayed well above the required run rate and moved the game away from the opposition.
One of the notable young talents off the opposition was the bowler Jackson who landed a swinging ball on a good length at off stump at a metronomical rate. Tissatto who looked incredibly steady and confident as per his usual batting demeanour leant into an elegant offside drive as he had been doing all day with great success but this time finding the fielder at mid-off. Barraclough pushed on and had apparently decided fours were no more his most efficient way of scoring runs, he took instead to sending the ball high over the boundary. One off spinner who incurred the wrath of Barracloughs willow declined the offer of another over from his captain. Risley who had replaced Tissatto ticked the strike over at the other end allowing an imperious Baraclough to continue his love affair with the boundary rope. Baraclough hit the winning runs of the game and finished on 73*. Tissatto looked very good for his 25, Risley scored 11*. Jugs for Duray and Baraclough, a good win for the Plough.