Yet another brutally strong Ploughman’s Sunday side made the long trip to Mordor this weekend. A nice pitch greeted us and skipper Paul Hynes had no doubt he wanted us to go out and post something big to defend, which is exactly what we did.
The brilliant combination of the composed Paddy and quick scoring Hannibal Lector were sent out and reached 40 for the first wicket with relative ease, Hector being the victim for a valuable 28. Wickets breed wickets and a collapse looked on the cards after two further dismissals in quick succession; Paddy for a patient 11 and Tom Lane was gone for a duck, although I must say it was an absolute jaffa that I’m sure would’ve had Joe Root himself… or maybe he nibbled at his 3rd ball miles outside off, I can’t quite remember.
Despite Suri coming in at 3 and guiding the ball around the field, the 3 quick wickets meant we needed something special to get close to the score we had hoped for at the start of the day. Up stepped the skip. Hynesy rarely looked in any trouble and steamed his way to 50, before a tight and effective spell from Max Gumpert (playing for Morden for some reason) slowed the run rate and took the scalps of Joan Rivers and Logan. Once Max had bowled his 8, Paul and Student ploughed on and took us close to 200 before Silva came in at 8 with his tail wagging. Towards the end of the innings, Paul completed what was a vital knock in great style smashing the only six of the game over the bowlers head, followed by a 4 to bring up the ton. Congratulations. The fun was over once he was caught, with Hopper and Niraj seeing out the last few balls picking up a handful of runs each. The Plough finished on 230-9.
For some reason, before coming in to field we pretended to act like a proper team and stood around the bat taking catches, maybe it was to encourage the oppo to put down the sandwiches and come out to bat as it was already heading for a late finish, or perhaps we knew the Gumpert brothers were waiting to have a go at the chase. Logan was up first with the ball and his first few overs in particular really troubled the batsmen and stemmed hopes of early runs, but it was Student who really put the pressure on. Back to back wickets in the second over saw Max come in at 4, and we still knew to have any chance of winning this game we needed the Gumpert brothers’ wickets. Max confirmed this when he guided the hat trick ball away for 4 runs. Game on.
A stinging combination of power and precision meant Morden brought the game well within reach, before the major breakthrough of Fred came from Niraj’s brilliant spin spell which surely deserved more than it got. The game didn’t end there though, and Max Mordened on (doesn’t work nearly as well) threatening to take the game with him, firing his way to a fine 76 and a notable 59 run stand for the 4th wicket – despite being dropped at long on. It was Matt Hopper that dismissed him with some fine bowling finding the edge of the bat and then on to Paul at slip. Hopper too deserved much more than 1 but along with Niraj took the most important of the day. Hannibal and Silva then came on, the former trying his luck with some leg spin. It worked a treat and following a maiden in his first, Hector ploughed through the Morden middle order picking up 4 for 20, a top effort. This was of course supplemented by some neat bowling from Silva and the final wicket came from a tough chance at point for Joan Rivers. He took his second catch of the day superbly and helped add Silva’s second wicket with 2-19. Ploughmans CC took the game by 27 runs.
It was a game played with great spirit and both sides posted good scores playing really positive cricket. Thanks to the hosts who were very welcoming and even provided a beer or three at the end.