On the hottest weekend of the year, the Ploughman Gold XI, fresh from a delicious team
(and Fred) breakfast courtesy of Leo Connolly, welcomed Edgware CC to the DSG. Or rather,
we welcomed the 3 oppo who arrived on time, and grudgingly accepted the other 8 who
rocked up 40 minutes later. I still wouldn’t be able to tell you for sure if they had 11 for any
portion of the afternoon, but either way we had a game of cricket.
Skipper Leon Parks lost the toss, and we were put out to swelter in the heat, with a pitch the
8 batters in the team looked gleeful about, and the bowlers, especially seamers, looked
tired with before a ball had been bowled.
Rolph and Lonsdale took the new ball, and it proceeded to be a run heavy period for
Edgware, smacking the ball around the Hollies as our bowlers tried to grab anything from
the wicket. (I will admit that storytelling this half of the match is quite tricky as the scoring
was not precise, shall we say, so I am relying on memory from backward point).
The breakthroughs came with the first change bowlers, as Justin Cash AKA Ravi Cashwin
tempted the batter with a touch of flight, and he spooned one straight back to the Justin,
who snaffled it well high above his head. The other opener was swiftly removed by Leo from
the other end, with a quick short ball nibbling off the glove to Leon behind the stumps.
Despite these wickets however, the scoring continued to flow for Edgware, so when they
were on 131 off 18 overs, which would have seen them over 280 if they’d kept up the rate,
it was still looking ominous for Plough.
However, there was a good comeback from Plough at about the halfway mark, as the
bowlers began to take chunks out of both the wickets column and the run rate. Leo
managed 3 consecutive maidens, including an LBW shout that left him on the floor for
approximately 45 minutes imploring the umpire to change his mind. Justin picked up
another wicket, with a slightly rank half-tracker that bamboozled the batter into missing and
being bowled via his back ankle.
Taking over from Justin, Iskandar Eaton continued his fine bowling form from Saturday to
take 3-25 from his 8 overs, and Isaac’s second spell was fraught with danger for the batters,
with 3 chances flying through the cordon where Leon and Will Stevens couldn’t hang on to
what would have been worldies. He did get his reward, bowling the number 3 with a full and
straight delivery that cleaned him up.
Despite the heat, the energy in the field remained high, with Plough only allowing 35 runs
off the bat that didn’t reach the boundary in 40 overs. Another inspired bowling change
from Leon brought Umar Iqbal into the attack, and he kicked off with a double wicket
maiden, bringing the Edgware line up to their last couple of bats. They managed to avoid
being bowled out, reaching 232-9 off their 40 overs. Looking at the scorecard, there’s some
doubt as to what the ACTUAL score was, but either way, that was the target set out for a
Plough side with plenty of batting to achieve.
Umar and Iskandar opened up for the Plough, but an early wicket brought Chris Butlin to the
crease in the first over. What followed was an exhibition of top order batting, keeping on
top of the rate, running hard and putting away the bad balls. Iskandar and Chris reached
their 50s in close proximity, carving the tiring Edgware attack around, especially taking
advantage of the bowling changes that occurred.
Iskandar then was trapped LBW, bringing an end to a fine weekend for him, and setting the
Plough up for a very solid chance of victory with his 131-run partnership with Chris. Will
Stevens then joined in the fun, playing aggressively and powerfully to compliment the
measured approach of Chris, and they put on 90 runs in quick time, bringing the finishing
line within touching distance.
However, disaster then struck as Chris chipped one to extra cover to depart on the dreaded
score of 99 with only 11 runs left to get for the team to win. His score included 14 fours and
2 sixes and was a masterclass for anyone to witness. Will was on 48 unbeaten when the
wicket fell, and proceeded to make his 50 and more as he crashed the winning runs over
deep cover for a ninth four in his 54* off 46 balls with 3 overs and 7 wickets still to spare.
An accomplished performance in tough conditions by all departments left the team very
cheery as we contemplated our victory at the bar.
(Special mentions too go to Ollie Tennant for bringing the pastries for breakfast)
Max (not-left, Marmite) Wright