In Plough’s previous encounter earlier on in the season with the Challengers, the Plough managed to beat them comfortably.
However, this time it was a quite different story. It was another beautiful summer day to play cricket in London, down in the Sutton Grammar School Ground and the toss won by the Challengers and they chose to field first. As always, Britto was ready to go face the new ball. He was accompanied by Stu. Britto and Stu saw the plough off to a good start. Unluckily Stu was caught behind as he was trying to attack their opening bowler. In came Mr Hynes; he and Britto managed to build up a strong platform for the Plough. The Challengers dropped too many
easy chances but their field placement was quite accurate and this limited Plough’s number of boundaries in the middle overs. Although the Plough kept the scoreboard ticking over. Mr Hynes and Britto managed to score 42 and 43 respectively. After the departure of the set batsmen, Barras and
Freddie took over the scoring runs for the Plough. Barras was getting back to his old style and managed to score handy 24 runs. Freddie kept the scoreboard ticking as the Plough desired. Duray, Lonnen and I only managed to contribute in single digits as we were trying to attack their last few overs. In the last couple of overs, Bolshaw and Freddie managed to score big enough to bring the Plough Final score into 200s. End of the first innings, Plough CC was 206/7 (Freddie 47 N.O. & Bolshaw 20 N.O.).
We had a nice tea, solid 7/10 – the tea included samosas, spring rolls, fruits, sandwiches, and desserts (Cake, chocolate etc.).
Plough started their second innings in the old fashion way. Our opening pair (Bolshaw and Spence) limited their runs in beginning with good bowling. Spencer had the first blood for the Plough. Unfortunately, he was taken off for two beamers, Pretorius stepped up to finish off the remainder of the Spencer’s over with another wicket.
Then came Challengers big gun, Mr P. Singh. He opened his account of runs by dismantling Pretorius’ second over to all ends of the ground. He was a strong batsman and most of his runs came from boundaries. However, he was given a couple of lifelines, which turned out to be costly for the Plough. As Mr Singh was scoring very rapidly from the other end, the Plough bowlers managed to take out his batting partners. Liam ‘007’ Gary bowled a beautiful delivery to send back their ‘lollipop’ left-handed batsman. Tom Lonnen was bowling aggressively at the other end and kept their set batsmen in check. There were few good shouts for LBW and caught behind appeals but they went on deaf ears. As always, we knew that it’s going to be near impossible get anything from their umpires.
Bolshaw, returned back to the action by sending their set batsmen back to the pavilion. He didn’t need any appeals as he managed to take out their stumps. Challengers need to 20 or 30 runs to get home with 5 wickets in hand. They looked very comfortable and smug about the required target. But they underestimated the Plough spirit. Plough never gives up, as the Plough went on the attack. While Bolshaw kept attacking from one end, Freddie bought back Pretorius from the other side. He made his return by taking back to back wickets with one beautiful wrong’un that spun between bat and pad to clip leg stump and a flighted delivery which missed the outside of the bat and I got my daily dose of stumpings. At this point, Challengers needed 5 runs to get with 3 wickets. Bolshaw took another beautiful catch from his own bowling, making this match more interesting. At the end, Challengers made it home nervously, as their winning runs came from an extra.
This was Plough’s first defeat in the league season. But the Plough kept their head and spirit high and never gave up the game at any point. As you can see that in the game scorecard. It was a solid effort from the Plough to secure maximum bonus points. As we say, ‘The Plough March on’ and this game is behind us now. We are still the team to be beaten in this league, so let’s be ready for next challenge.