Few would have criticised Ploughmans CC for taking their foot off the gas after their record-breaking League win last weekend, but the men from Dulwich hold themselves to a higher account than most. It was business as usual on Saturday for the XI in yellow and blue.
The Ploughmen lost the toss in what could have seen a catastrophic coup of the team’s new leader James Tisato before his regime began, with some of the discontent remarking before the game that if he lost the toss they would be relocating the team to Nairobi so as to continue under the tutelage of former captain Freddie Mills. Remarkably, the opposition captain saw something in the wicket that no-one else did and put the Plough into bat on what looked to be a decent track.
Logan Cassin and Steve Britto opened the batting and negotiated a tricky partnership of bowling early with the wicket not playing as well as on-lookers first thought. The ball was up and down like a fiddler’s elbow early on as the two openers guided Plough to 0 for 41 before Britto eventually fell to a mistimed hook shot. Chris Ovens was the next man in and immediately went about upping the scoring rate with Cassin, turning the screws on a Wimbledon Corinthians CC team who were quickly coming to terms with the proposition of chasing a lot of leather for the full 40 overs. The two combined for 92 before Microwave was eventually caught at point leaving his innings undercooked on 38.
This brought the arrival of a steely-eyed Paul Hynes to the crease. From ball 1 of their partnership Hynes and Cassin looked to take the attack to Wimbledon, dispatching a number of balls over the rope, bullying the opposition attack like the Aussie’s bullied England in the 2013/14 5-0 Ashes romp. Eventually Casino was dismissed for 75 with the score 3 for 186. Cassin batted extremely well, punishing anything short like an amusement park ride with a height restriction. He also showed a great deal of toughness playing with a finger that looked like a split banana. Earlier in the week the doctor had ordered him to sit out 6 weeks of cricket due to his finger, to which Cassin replied, “but the Plough need me” to which the doctor replied, “who are the Plough?” to which Cassin got up out of his chair and left the hospital and reported the doctor to the NHS.
Hynes continued his innings in partnership with skipper Jimmy Risotto and the two steered Plough to a seemingly unassailable 296 from their 40 overs. Hynes finished unbeaten on 92 and Pasito finished on 37 not out.
Plough had reached their 296 finishing the innings 3 down and only requiring contributions from the top 5 batsmen. At tea, Steve Britto, the only batsmen in the Plough’s top 5 to fail with the bat, remarked that number 6 batsman Alex Hickson would not have to wash his whites mid-week, having made no contribution and being unlikely to get a bowl because there was no turn in the wicket, according to Britto who did not get through the opening bowlers or face any spinners in his innings of 16.
The reigning premiers took the field for the second innings with the confidence of a team pumped up by a bowling attack comprised of the likes of Bolshaw, Lonnen, Hockings, Cassin, Hickson, Lockhart, and to a lesser extent Spence. Lonnen and Bolshaw opened the bowling and had the ball moving side to side like Kevin Peterson in an England, South Africa series. Lonnen in particular bowled exceptionally well, and was making Wimbledon’s batsmen disappear from the crease quicker than he disappears from WhatsApp groups that censor vitriolic rants. He was as economical as Duray at a Leed’s train station, taking 3 for 18 off 8. Hockings and Spence came on first changed and were tidy again, frustrating the opposition out of the contest with some disciplined bowling.
Next onto the scene were Cassin and Hickson (despite the protestations of Britto). The pair bowled well with Cassin probably getting 4 overs too many and Hickson probably getting 4 overs too few. But the pick of the bowlers was still to come. In the 36th over skipper James Staccato threw the ball to Tom Lockhart. Soon enough he had the Wimbledon team scratching their heads as to why he hadn’t bowled sooner (at least before Spence). Lockhart took two quick wickets to wrap up proceedings quickly and secure another win for the Champions of Surrey, ensuring Plough went unbeaten for another week. It was a great spell of slow-medium bowling showing all manner of variations that ultimately proved too complex for the Wimbledon batsmen. All in all another great win for the Plough that had pundits asking will this club ever lose another game again.
Who’s hot: Tom Lockhart
Who’s not: Steve Britto
Tip of the week: If the game gets suspended for a rain delay, don’t sit with your team under cover. Tough it out in the rain at the fine leg boundary until the rain stops and show the boys that a bit of mental fortitude goes along way in this game.