Cajun Spice on a cold day gave the Ploughman’s food for thought. Our opponents were Magdalen CC playing at Kempton Cricket club.
The early afternoon started with Hector ‘the Hannibal’ (player of the match for Ploughmans) stating ‘where the hell are we’, claiming that it was the middle of nowhere. Paddy sub’ed in for Grant for the toss and subsequently lost it. The opposition put us into bat despite them only having 9 players at the start of play. Strange, we thought, but ultimately it led to our downfall. There was a debut for Oliver Tennant (as I like to call the 3rd wheel). Sorry Oli.
Iskander (Isabella) and Tom Lane gave Ploughmans a solid start with partnership of 41 from 8 overs. Tom unfortunately hit a perfectly timed ball to the fielder, who took a low tough catch, scoring 18. This brought in the swashbuckling Suri. Isabella and Suri started the rebuild for Ploughmans, with both hitting some nice boundaries only for Isabella to go out for 30 (2nd highest) after an assured innings. This brought in the skipper Grant at number 4. The pair led a slight resurgence with both batsman in fine form on a slow wicket and taking the time to hit the ball around the park.
However, the regular loss of wickets made us lose momentum throughout the innings. First Suri fell for 28 (3rd highest) with an unlucky bowled and then Grant fell 10 runs later with a loose shot from the toe off the bat being caught for 16. At this point Hector ‘the Hannibal’ and Oli came in to restart the innings. An unlucky debut for Oli who scored 1 but would make up for it later in the field with some solid dives and dedication. This brought in number 7 and the ever-dependable Paddy. The pair resumed their on-field bromance with Hector hitting the boundaries and Paddy skilfully rotating strike and absorbing the pressure. Hector with his flair was able to hit 45 (top scorer) to all parts of the ground and dominated the field.
With a 50 on the card for Hannibal, the Cajun spice wicket decided it had other ideas. Hector got out to a bouncer, which hit his forearm and went onto the stumps leaving a lovely mark as a sign. Unfortunately from the news it was not the only injury he sustained by the end of the long weekend. Unlucky Hannibal. The Hannibal was not to be defeated by the oppo, however, as his anger raged on with his bowling later on. Hector and Paddy made a solid partnership of 37. That wicket brought in number 8 Silva to the crease and with the score at 145 at 30 odd overs. Silva and Paddy looked for some impetus only for the former to be caught for 8. Number 9 bringing in Niraj who despite his heroics and a limited number of balls was only able to push the score to 163 with the ever solid and not out Paddy. Paddy ended up scoring 9 not out and Niraj scoring 3 not out to end the innings for Ploughmans on 163.
The bowling attack was led by Silva and Archie. In the first over Archie bowled a peach of a ball to have the oppo opener out for 1 while the score was on 2. However, the momentum for Ploughmans stopped at this point with the oppo’s main man coming out to bat. Archie bowled some good balls but could not find his rhythm, which led to the oppo number 3 dominating the scoring and some loose balls giving them the momentum and had a first spell of 26 for 1 from 4 overs. Silva offered a lot of control initially and with his consistent line and length got the other opener out for 8 with the score on 38 for 2 in the 8th over.
Archie was replaced by Grant but unfortunately the skipper also could not find his rhythm and control (which he is known for) and was hit for 19 in his 2 overs. He took himself out of the attack and brought on Hannibal. At the other end, Niraj replaced Silva in the 13th over after a good spell off his 6 overs. Niraj got some control in his first over but the oppo batsman took to him and started to dispatch our bowlers around the ground. There is currently a claim by Silva off his bowling that we could have gotten the oppo main man out when he was in his teens but opportunity was not ‘wanted’ enough by Grant or Hector. This will be a long-standing discussion in the pub for a few weeks and led to a long car ride home with both Hector and Silva winding each other up. Very entertaining might I add.
With the thoughts of wickets and low runs considering the skipper brought me on and I struggled with a few wides and no balls this led myself to have an expensive spell of 19/0 off my 2 overs. When I did get it to pitch there were a few close chances but all were chances. In the other end Hector was bowling pace and he was giving the batsmen plenty to consider. Hector getting wound up by the number 3’s gamesmanship led to an inspired Hector and Grant out of the box thinking. With a lovely slower ball the number 3 chipped it straight at Grant, who just placed himself in the exact position, and he was finally out for 82.
However, the damage was already done with the score at 120 in a low scoring match. Archie came back to complete his overs, finishing with figures off 48/1 off his 8. Silva also returned and was rewarded with another wicket being caught and finished the day with a commendable 28/2 off his 8 overs. Eventually the oppo number 4 and 6 knocked the remaining runs off.
There was some good fielding from Oli marshalling the cover boundary and diving around trying to stop the ball. Isabella had an amazing run out with a direct hit from mid-on while Niraj was bowling. However, an overall inconsistent performance on the field with 4 ‘attempted’ catches and some footwork fielding.
At Ploughmans, we always give 100% but today one batsman from the oppo took the game away from us…but not to be defeated, we will keep ploughing back for more victories.