Sunday saw us playing at the beautiful ground down in Chobham. They have always been a strong side so it was good to see us with strength on paper. Captain Scooper put us in to bat first well welcomed due to the boiling heat. Niraj and Britto saw us off to a good start and saw off their two young fast bowlers.
However they brought on the old wizened seamer, who Britto tried to attack. Unluckily he didn’t quite catch it and a magnificent caught and bowled ensued as he dove to his right one handed.
Fear not though for in strode Paul Hynes, cut off one head and 2 more appear! He looked in fine form as he stroked the ball through the covers repeatedly. Accompanied by a gritty innings from the Mirage at the other end they brought us to a good score. Niraj however soon fell. In came Grant and we had the ‘friends’ at the crease together.
It looked a match made in heaven but unfortunately as Grant bumped one down the ground they had a mix up run call and Paulie had to depart.
Noodle came in and looked solid on the defence. However at this point the innings needed acceleration, something his experience could tell. Sadly as he looked to play a beautiful on side flick he caught it slightly wrong and another excellent catch saw him leave. Grant was also soon bowled by a cruel low sticking ball.
This meant we had Stu and Lonnen batting. And my did the oppo not know what was coming. Some excellent lofted hitting and stroke play saw a fine 30 NO from Stu and 53 NO from Lonnen which gave us a respectable 181 from 35 overs. Maybe slightly light but definitely defendable.
We had a fine tea albeit tense due to the ODI situation at the time and came back out to field. McEwen and Stu gave us plenty of wheels at the start of the attack. They kept it tight and frustrated the batsmen. However both couldn’t quite find the breakthrough despite some very close calls.
Lonnen soon followed and the batsmen couldn’t get any respite. However some poor fielding from myself (claiming rust but really just me being poor) gave them some easy runs. Soon however Lonnen created the chance needed as their strong bat skied it. We looked over to see Paul Hynes, an excellent fielder under it and I relaxed. Possibly from the heat he had an uncharacteristic drop. We didn’t drop however as Lonnen kept on his probing. Soon he got his wicket LBW plum as they come.
Matt Jones was on at the other end. He probed as well as could be done and had a dodgy LBW call against him. However some fine shots from the oppo saw them start to attack. Sensing the need for a wicket Si called to the spinners. As hard as I tried I couldn’t get my length and line and a familiar story of my bowling ensued.
Soon replaced by Noodle for his medium pace.
At this point their bat looked to finish the game fast and despite a well taken caught and bowled from Nick they were already too close. Stu kept his last overs right but they had already done the damage.
A tough loss considering some heroic efforts, especially Lonnen and Stu who did not deserve to lose on the day. At the end of the day we didn’t field or bowl well enough as a team, something we can work on by attending nets on Thursday!
Despite the loss and the frustration from it, the classic plough spirit and banter flowed all day and made it much more bearable. Onwards and upwards. PLOUGH ON!!