What started as a pretty dull drizzly Sunday morning ended with a superb demolition of half decent opponents down at the Hollies thanks to a couple of fifties, a couple of unbelievable catches and solid fielding.
With the obligatory bacon sandwiches and general groans of the hangover from the night before, Ploughmans went out to do the toss. The plan had always been to bowl first, and our captain, The Earl, decided to tactically lose the toss, with the oppo choosing to put us in to bowl (the influence of this decision may have had something to do with them having around 8 players to start the match). The match would be played as 35 overs a side due to a delayed start.
Edgware CC opened with a lefty and a righty, which proved relatively fruitful albeit with a lot of edges away for boundaries. The opening bowling partnership didn’t provide too much sting as both opening bats negotiated the new ball bowling of Hector and Gurtaj to get to 49/0 off the first 10 overs.
The breakthrough finally came when an inspired bowling change from the Earl, where he brought himself on, led the right-handed opener to chip out straight to the very grateful hands of AJ Prasad.
At 18 overs, the game went to a drinks break with Edgware on 99-1, firmly in control of the game. This was however, to prove the pivot point for our bowlers.
Now sometimes you see something pretty special on a cricket pitch, be that a ton here, a fifer there or an amazing direct hit run out. Today it turned out to be a catch which was the centre of attention in the first innings. AJ Prasad, in the first over after drinks, lofted a tempting ball up to their number 3 batsman who delivered a stinging strike into the off side straight out of the middle. Tom Parrish, fielding at a short mid off, seemingly faster than a fly, dived to his right, and with a left hand outstretched managed to pluck the ball out of the air. When they stick, they stick!
This provided the momentum for the Plough to relatively cheaply work our way through the remainder of the batsmen. Another unbelievable catch from Parrish, diving forward to scoop the ball just before it hit the floor, got the left handed opener out for 87, and it was the catching that kept going, with the ever solid Max Gumpert, Nabanjan and Silva getting in on the catches to reduce their batting innings to just 180 all out. A couple of the aforementioned names also chipping in with a couple of wickets with their bowling.
AJ Prasaad, although relatively expensive, finished with a pivotal 3-fer, and the captain Grayzer finished with very economical 2-fer having, so importantly, broken the opening partnership.
After a short break for some dodgy sandwiches, and for “Gizzy” Gumpert to complain a little more about the whiskey antics of the evening before, it was time for our batting innings.
Silva and Paddy strode out to the middle, knowing that a total of 181 off 35 overs was not to be sniffed at and it would take quite a bit of patience on the somewhat unpredictable bounce of the Hollies.
After a slow but solid start, Silva knicked off the opener to the keeper with a tentative shot, this left us on 7/1 off 5 overs and brought Suri Poleboina to the crease. Paddy meanwhile was playing a patient and very solid innings, hitting a couple of absolute peach cuts, finishing with 23 off 44 balls before being trapped LBW. Paddy and Suri put on an amazing 79 run partnership to quell the rather excitable oppo and leave Ploughmans 86/2 off 16 overs.
Max Gumpert then came to the crease, his usual wanderings up the pitch evident from the third ball, and the usual brutal swing of the bat wasn’t too far behind. Max and Suri played solidly together, providing much boundary themed entertainment for the spectators and players alike.
Suri played a rather magnificent innings, his history of T20 cricket really shining through as he pulled and cut away boundary after boundary, bringing up a top scoring 58 before being caught out at long on attempting to smash away another boundary.
With the score now 115/3 after 21 overs, the ball was well and truly in Ploughmans court, it was ours to lose. Max, with one brutal carve of the bat after another dispatched the relatively calm bowling attack, and new man Rahul Saha was not hanging around to let him do all the work, with a swift 31 not out after only 19 balls.
However, it was to be Max who hit the final triumphant shot, not only winning the match with a bludgeoned 4 straight down the ground, but also bringing up his 50 in usual style.
There is a lot to be said for our fielding in this match, with a run out and 6 of the oppo being caught which proved to be the difference on the day. A big win by 7 wickets, with 5 and a bit overs to spare, and some demolition batting at the end meaning a very comfortable win for the Plough.
Same again next week boys. Plough On!