Match Report – Ploughboy becomes Ploughman
Tsonas goes bang, bang, bang!
All the talk during the week by cricket pundits was of a long awaited debut of opening batsman and future club legend Alex Hickson, who signed with the club back in March this year but was yet to make an appearance citing tumultuous off-field circumstances. But it was another Australian who stole the show on Sunday. One Steven TL (Tigerland) Tsonas. Tsonas was the anchor of an outstanding batting performance by the Ploughmans who defeated Member’s End by 75 runs. His innings was a coming of age journey in the middle which had critics saying it was as if they were watching a boy become a man.
The Ploughmans won the toss (I assume) and elected to bat and new man Alex Hickson opened with childhood friend and mentee Stuart Campbell. The two looked comfortable as they steered the team through the first 4 overs before disaster struck with Hickson chopping on for 9. When asked after the game whether he was happy with his debut performance he said “I batted at the hardest time of the day when the ball was doing all sorts, left, right, up down. I came onto bowl in the third last over when their gun batsman was on 90 and yeah I took some treatment. I could make excuses, but I won’t.” Remarkably Hickson was able to make numerous excuses before explaining he would not be making any excuses.
Tom Lockhart came to the crease and made a hard fought 0 off 76 balls before being bowled. It was a gritty personal performance that really put Plough under the pump. In came Logan Cassin to the crease for an extremely entertaining, quick-fire 32. Cassin treated the Member’s End bowlers with what can only be described as an arrogant disdain. It was brilliant to watch. He put the bowlers to all parts of the ground, dismantling the attack and farming the strike so to quench his unquenchable thirst for boundaries. At one point opener Campbell did not face a ball for 4 overs. It was boundary after boundary until the last ball of each over when Cassin would pick off a single. He was dining out. He eventually fell for 32 to a good catch at mid-off. If not caught the ball would have rolled its way to Brixton station it was hit that hard. Gareth Sutton followed shortly, stumped without troubling the scorers and that bought Tigerland Tsonas to the crease. The young man looked immediately comfortable as he dispatched anything short over the rope. Tsonas and Campbell formed a nice partnership in the middle overs before Campbell was eventually out, bowled.
Campbell’s innings was an extremely composed knock. He picked off the bad balls and gave no chances until he was undone for 50. He manipulated the field and provided a steady hand when others were falling around him. When asked after the game whether he thought he could improve on any aspects of the game he replied “No”.
Tsonas continued to gain momentum at the crease while Kesh Wanigasekara (10) and Yanni Baveas were both dismissed (0) soon after Campbell’s exit. Baveas was out LBW to a beautiful piece of bowling and umpiring. The umpire (James Tisato) and the bowler (who I can only assume was a long-lost cousin of Tisato) combining well to trap Baveas in front. After the game Baveas, had this to say “I look forward to the roles being reversed and one day I hope to be umpiring out in the middle when Tisato is hit on the thigh-pad and the opposition appeals. I relish that opportunity to uphold the laws of the game… and give him out.”
Chris Silvapulle was the next man in and the punishment re-commenced for Member’s End. He and Tsonas combined for a club record breaking 8th wicket partnership, with both men providing an exhibition of stroke-play. Tsonas was eventually dismissed for a dominant 84. Simon Carson and Nigel Stephenson provided good support at the end of the innings and the Ploughmans finished 9 for 246 with Chris Silvapulle unbeaten on 35.
Member’s End innings never really gained any impetus thanks to great spells by 5 out of 6 of the Ploughmans CC’s bowling attack. Tsonas, Silvapulle, Sutton, Stephenson and Campbell all bowled extremely well through the innings, offering very few poor deliveries and making Members End work hard for their runs.
Tsonas opened the bowling and he immediately had the ball talking. Fresh of a spiritual awakening he experienced at Ministry of Sound the weekend before, Tsonas was approaching his cricket like a man who had experienced 6 or 7 epiphanies at 4am at The Box. He and Silvapulle bowled well in partnership and snuffed out any chance of an unlikely victory before it could get going. Sutton and Stephenson then consolidated their work, combining well. The two both deserved a couple of wickets but the catching from their teammates let them down.
It was a solid bowling display from the Ploughmans and they were able to reduce Member’s End to 171 for 7 from their 40 overs. A shining light for Member’s End was their No.5 batsmen, who scored a half-century.
Who’s Hot – Who do you think? Tigerland, a fighting fury he’s from Tigerland. Steven Tsonas.
Who’s Not – Debutant Alex Hickson. Chased a wide one and refused to take any responsibility for his own poor performance.
By Alex Hickson