Sunday saw ‘Blue’ complete a comfortable, 9 wicket victory against West Byfleet, in a rain interrupted game which will mainly be remembered for an amazing and significant moment in the career of one player: step up young Yanni Baveas, who flew through the Surrey mizzle like a cricketing Icarus to take a sublime diving catch. Great work Yanni! Steve Britto also played.
A 35 over friendly saw Byfleet batting first and lose their first wicket on just 4 runs, very well caught behind by Baveas off Silva to get the Plough off to a flyer. Their next partnership was more useful, taking the score on to 122, but probably too slow and meant that Byfleet had only got to 167 by the end of their overs, a slightly risk averse innings and below par on a benign track which wasn’t offering too much to the bowlers. Silva took two, and Stevenson and Lane were also both at the races, but Nabanjan, Gumpert and Gray all worked hard for no reward, save the great honour of bowling for their club.
On off rain all day provided plenty of opportunities for the Plough to see how many jugs they could drink during the times when the covers were on, and it felt like a mini festival under the colourful ‘away team gazebo’. All that was missing was some balloons and pointed hats.
All in all, it was good effort on the field. Eaton took a couple of decent catches, Baveas worked hard throughout afternoon and kept very tidily as well as taking ‘that catch’, while Microwave skippered with awareness and attention to detail, keeping the oppo’ under maximum pressure throughout.
After home-made teas of varying quality were taken, cricketing thesp Iskander Eaton and Steven Britto opened up, both playing with characteristic patience and concentration. They built up a century partnership and it looked as though the Plough might be on for a 10 wicket win, but Steve edged one to the keeper before we were quite over the line. Tom Lane came in at 3, hitting a peach of a cover drive off his first ball, which must go down as one of, if not the shot of the day.
We knocked off the runs fairly easily in the end, and during the post-match beers Byfleet said they were probably playing at about 3’s standard that day, so let’s hope they up it a notch and come back at us hard next year. The slightly one-sided result aside, it was a good game, played in a competitive but friendly spirit throughout, and a very enjoyable day.
Final word must of course go to Steve Britto, whose punchy 88 was typical of him and of a cricketer who never gives less than 100% for his club. As most of you will know by now, the innings saw Steve reach 10,000 runs for the Plough, an amazing milestone. I’m sure all of you will join me in saying VERY WELL DONE! Thoroughly well deserved. Here’s to the next 10,000. Keep Ploughing On!