On Sunday the 24 April 2022, the holy knights of London (London Knights) rode into the famous DSG.
The second weekend of cricket for the season gave Ploughmans, old and new, the opportunity to continue their excellent first game performances from the previous week. Or for some, to scratch off that first as a little bit of rust and start afresh.
The Ploughmans in attendance were extremely fortunate to attend a once in a lifetime event prior to the match commencing.
1st XI captain Liam Gray gathered the troops in a circle as he had an announcement, he was so eagerly ready to make. The presentation of a baggie to the new Ploughman present, of course, the off-spinner, Michael Ainslie.
After the emotional moment simmered down with everyone, it was time for some cricket, and Ainslie and Cake walked out to the middle to open the bat.
Before Max Gumpert had the chance to roll his cigarette, debutant, Ainslie was already asking him for 2s on it. A dodgy LBW decision had dismissed him early.
The April wicket was unforgiving to the batsmen, with Cake and Eric Robinson soon heading back to the pavilion too.
Ploughmans were desperate for some stability, possibly even a hero (or two). Connolly had to dig deep and produce some fine resilient cricket to stop the stem of wickets coming our way. He was soon joined by skipper Gumpert who did what he did best and took the attack right back to London Knights. Boundaries soon getting dispatched through the offside, tiring the opposition out by forcing them to chase the ball miles.
The partnership turned the tide back towards the Plough, with Connolly eventually joining in with the boundary swinging fun. A partnership of 136 between the two, took Ploughmans from 8-3 to 146-4, when Gumpert had finally been caught after a blistering 75 off 58 balls.
Plough still had runs to get before the end of the innings to provide a backbone in which we could defend against. Incoming batsmen only needed to support the now free flowing Leo Connelly. No bowler was safe as Leo had one thing in his mind now.
Only one shot away, the bench all stood up in anticipation, this was it. A sweetly struck top edge past the keeper and he had done it. HIS FIRST CENTURY FOR THE PLOUGH, Leo Connolly raises his helmet and bat to the applause of all in attendance.
Ploughmans had finished on a finely made 229-8 off their 40 overs.
Plough had the runs on the board, it was now the turn of the bowlers to play their part. The new ball was handed to Gray and our recent Dulwich transfer, Benny Cobbett. Instantly, they both had the ball hooping round corners, impossibly missing the edges of the openers bats. Unfortunately, the batsmen started to become settled and could find the gaps with more and more ease. A change was needed. Spin.
Our second of Dulwich transfers, Joey Anderson, was the man to force the breakthrough. The ripping leg spin was obviously too much for the Knights. Both openers departing from the hand of Anderson and the umpires LBW decision.
Spin was obviously the choice of the day as AJ Prasad claimed the 3rd wicket not long after, thanks to a grab from Anderson who refused to not be involved in a wicket.
A spirited fight back from the Knights was extinguished by yet another spinner. This time Raees gets in on the action, firing through the batsman’s gate.
Cobbett returned for his second spell and got what he deserved for his toil during the innings. Making light work of the middle order. The batsmen just could not deal with the pace and hooping inswing of Cobbett, cleaning up their gates and setting himself up for a hattrick.
The team gathered closely, all ready to pounce on any mistake from the number 8 batsmen. Cobbett drove in, and unfortunately producing another unplayable ball. Swing and a miss, so close.
Desperation set in for the Knights. It was now or never. It was a fire sale. Everything must go.
But unfortunately for the Knights, nothing really went. Some excellent run outs from Gumpert and Connelly [sic] ended any remaining hopes the Knights had at the win.
London Knights finished their 40 overs on 219-9. Ploughman’s won by 10 runs.
Ainslie (not the one from the pod)