We all descended on Putney and arrived at the Church with no ground in sight, apart from Tom Lockhart who was trying to put his key in the wicket, while the rest of us walked through the Putney Common onto their field. Although it was an overcast day to start with and the outfield appeared damp, the pitch was dry and resembled what you may find in Eden Gardens. Nevertheless it was great to be playing on a turf wicket.
Joe Hockings and Matt Hopper got proceedings underway after Simon lost the toss, although had he won it we would have bowled anyway. The new recruit from down under Hopper took a wicket in his first over with the catch being taken at cover by fellow new recruit Iskander. Although the ball had some revs on it, he showed his calmness and took it comfortably. Putney were going at around 5 an over early on. Both bowlers bowled well with Joe bowling right through with figures of 1-18 from 8 overs including 3 maidens – at times his bowling was too good.
Harry came on as the batsman were timing it very well and we thought this may be a way to slow them down. In his third over he managed a breakthrough with a sharp catch taken by Paul Hynes at slip. This saw Putney fall to 4/60 after 15 overs as Grant took a wicket at the other end. Grant continued and kept it tight, finishing with 1-26 from 5 overs, as our other new recruit Tom Lane came on and bowled 4 overs 0-18, at a time where they were trying to increase the run rate.
Trent and Simon came on and built pressure from both ends until a few decisions and a dropped chance didn’t go our way. This is when our captain stood tall and created the damage with the ball, picking up the prize wicket of their top scorer by an outstanding catch from Paul Hynes running backwards to take an Aussie Rules style mark to send him on his way. Simon finished with 4-41 from seven straight overs.
Matt Hopper came back on at the end and took another two wickets and finished their innings in the 39th over to be all out for 238, Matt finishing with figures of 3-67 from 7.1 overs.Ben Hamilton was very tidy behind the stumps on a difficult wicket which had variable bounce which at times made things tricky.
After a quick dash to the local Offy for some supplies, our batting innings started with Trent and Iskander who got off to a quick start before Trent departed with the score on 32 in the 6th over. This saw Ben Hamilton join Iskander at the crease and they both worked the ball around various parts of the ground and put on 63 for the second wicket until Ben was given out LBW for 35 from 33 balls. Tom Lockhart and a Harry Davies fell in quick succession to their new quick bowler who was bowling very sharply.
This then brought Paul Hynes to the crease at a crucial time when we needed to rebuild after being 4-114. At this point we were still on track with the run rate needing to remain at 6 an over. Iskander brought up his maiden 50 for the club after seeing off the opening bowlers and also the 1st and 2nd change bowlers. The pair added 75 runs for the 5th wicket until Iskander was caught at cover for 59.
Paul continued to put the Putney attack under pressure playing glorious drives and cuts to the boundary. Putney had no answer bowling to Paul. Grant joined Paul and did a great job rotating the strike until he was caught by a one handed speckie on the boundary. From the sideline we all thought it was going to clear his head until the fielder plucked it out of the air and managed to hold onto it as he hit the ground still inside the boundary rope.
Tom Lane joined Paul and continued to rotate the strike and also putting the ball away to the boundary. We needed 33 off the last 3 overs when Joe Hockings was promoted to number 9, and after a few powerful shots from Paul we needed 16 off two overs. Unfortunately Paul was run out in the penultimate over for 63 from 60 balls – an incredible innings given he played Saturday and managed a combined 110 runs from both innings.
In the end, Putney won by 5 runs. With over 450 runs scored on the Putney wicket this was a fantastic day of cricket and contributions made by all. We were invited back to their clubhouse which saw a post match presentation where gowns were issued and shots and pints enjoyed by all.