On a day that was tipped to be raining heavier than a cow relieving itself, the weather and cricketing gods decided to gather and tease those involved in Sunday’s game with conditions that initially looked doubtful, but provided glimmer of a chance that the deck could play out. Although Ploughmans had raised concerns both the day of and before that the ground will likely be too wet to play on and pitch wouldn’t hold up, the opposition Verdayne Gardens were having none of it, and so was agreed to have a rain reduced 25 over a side hit out which was probably a fair call in the end. Not only was it a solid contest under challenging conditions, but the club also got to play two newbies Mark Wildig and Matt Pengalese in what was the club’s final game for the season, but hopefully many more to come for these two gents. On to the game where myself who got planted with the role of team Skipper for the day, was in good form early winning the toss and electing to bowl first as per team consensus in the hope of skittling VGCC for a low total and being able to mow it down in reply.
The ol’ combo Liam ‘The Earl’ Gray and Spence opened the bowling and did a marvellous job limiting VGCC to 20 runs off the first 9 overs. The Earl was the first to find the edge on his way to 1/19 off 5 after Leon Parks took a fine catch behind the stumps. The fiery Drew McEwen was on next in what was the best and quickest I have seen him bowl at the club, raising a few eyebrows after getting some considerable bounce off what was a wet and supposedly dead wicket. Drew provided plenty of trash talk to both the oppo and his own team mates, also plenty of buzz like a guy who had just stuck a pair of scissors inside a power point as he motored his way to 2/25 off 5. ‘The Big G-Banger’ Gareth Shaw took a tough catch in the outfield to bring the end of the opposition Skipper Mittesh who was starting to look dangerous, as Uncle Nigel Stevenson bowled serviceably and added a wicket of his own, finishing with 1/22 off 4. Mark Wildig was unlucky not to get a wicket off his first ball and looked very solid bowling in the wet conditions as Gaz Shaw also bowled well in what might have been his last game as he heads back to New Zealand during the offseason. Newbie Matt ‘Rory Burns’ Pengalese who was fresh from Manchester bowled with great zip snaring 1/10 off 3. Sam Russell was unfortunately the main victim of the reduced overs only having 1 over but always creating chances. The good news for Sam is that he has held onto his lead and claimed the best bowler in his apartment award over Spence this season ?
After tea it was onto the run chase and Ploughmans were off to a careful start with Tom Lockhart and Leon Parks opening up. They did a fine job against some sharp, tight bowling from VGCC, as Tom was the first to go on 13. With the pitch doing plenty, Mark Wildig played some good shots in his first game back after 5 years but was caught behind on 8 trying to push the score along. Gaz Shaw found the boundary early but was brought undone by a good ball. Matt Pengalese was not going to die wondering as he made a quick fire 11 before being bowled by a ball that kept low. Drew McEwen was in the usual aggressive mode, hitting the first 6 of the game before getting skittled for a very handy 15 off 8 balls and playing a big part of a 17 run over with Spence that got Ploughmans down to needing 30 off the last 2 overs with an ever so slight glimmer of hope. Spence delivered Ploughmans some more much needed boundaries with an amazing 18 not out off 12 balls as Uncle Nige kept busy rotating the strike. After a great effort by the lads, Ploughmans falling short by 18 runs in the end, but it was a blessing being able to get one last game in and end the season out on the park. It was then off to BoxPark in Croydon for a few pints to end the day and enjoy the rest of the ‘tropical’ weather that England has to offer, whilst reminiscing about what has been an absolute belter of a season, winning Division 1 of the Surrey League and having record availability for our Sunday friendlies over most weekends?.
Till next time,