It was a scorching hot day as the Plough took on Gymkhana in what will soon be a regular top of the table battle at the summit of the Surrey Cricket League. There was some early confusion about the start time as “someone” had told the oppo the start time was at 13.30. Theories abound as to whether this was due to Logan’s southern hemisphere time keeping or that Brentford were fluffing their chance at promotion to the Premier League.
The Plough fielded a team with a bowling attack that sat 9 deep and batsmen who would look at home in the top four at almost any club in London queuing up to number 9. It was therefore with some justified confidence that the team took to the field following the skipper Bolsh (the Bush)’s decision to stick them in (and agree to an ambitious 45 over game). The skipper saw no need to break up his highly successful new ball partnership with Liam ‘Grayzer’ Gray, which has seen the club gain successive promotions. It is a tried and tested formula; one swings it in sharply while the man who looks like he’s bowling leggies in a hurry is actually curling them away with pin point accuracy. At one stage the score stood at 1-0 off the first four overs and the day was not about to get any easier.
To everyone’s surprise and in a foretaste of what we can expect with neutral league umpires (even when they rock up in the same car as the oppo’s skipper) the first time Bolsh wrapped an opener on the pads the finger shot up without a second’s hesitation. It was a warning shot one of our openers would have done well to heed… “FETCH THAT!!”! Not to be out done by his new ball comrade, Liam nipped in picking up their numbers 2 and 4 cheaply.
The numbers 3 and 5 then cobbled a bit of a partnership together making 68 and 44 respectively. But it wasn’t to last. First big puff daddy had one out pumped straight down the throat of long off and then an average bit of fielding on the boundary saw Lonnen get in on the act as well, claiming the prize wicket who was on 44 off 27 balls at that time. Numbers 6-10 only contributed 24 runs between them, Puff claiming two more either side of a sharp run out from backward point by Mr. Matthew Hickson (more to follow about him shortly).
At the half way stage the target stood at 184. Not a mammoth total, but on a pitch that was slightly tacky and would have looked more at home in early May than the middle of July, we were in for a competitive 2nd half.
The early season nerves weren’t helped when the usually solid as a rock Steve Britto got pinned in front first ball of the innings. We need not have worried. Logan strolled out to join the Kiwi batting behemoth and both of them tucked in to the bowling attack. They helped themselves to boundaries and maximums with an ease that allows those of us that populate the lower middle order to wonder whether there is time to sneak to the bar and back for a beer before we even have to think about putting our pads on. Although Logan eventually got trapped in front this only brought the oppo more misery as Big Pauli Hynes came out to join the fun. He really was not interested in 1’s or 2’s, this is a man who deals in boundaries. Both of them smashed the bowling all over the park, Matt ending up with 76 and Pauli 43. Although they both ended up losing their wickets, the game was all but over by this point.
Yours truly holed out to long on like a 12 year old in a school boy cricket match but luckily Barra and Ovens came together in a brisk final stand to comfortably knock off the runs, setting up a 5 wicket win.
The umpire was so impressed by our performance it is even rumored he’s put a tenner on us at the local bookies to lift the trophy when league cricket is allowed to resume.
Top game. Top Players. Top blokes. Top club.