So much of cricket in this league revolves around the availability of each side! Saturday against Old Roan was a case in point. The last time the two sides met Bickley took to the field with 8, scored over 180 yet with so many gaps in the field were unable to put any real pressure on the oppo.
Restricting them to 148 at the Warren with 42 overs to get the runs left us in a quietly confident mood as we munched down on our sandwiches!
Getting to that point was the usual series of highs and lows:
- Arriving to find the rain on Friday night had drained onto the pitch, leaving half of it sodden and the other half bone dry! Sunny, you must win the toss!
- Sunny wins the toss! Hurrah!
- Watching the ball duly misbehave and one of the nemesis of our last encounter glove a steeply rising delivery from Sahil Chug in the fourth over: Hurrah!
- Realising the score was already on 21. Boo!
- Eight overs gone and three wickets down! Hurrah!
- That one ball an over that seemed to disappear to the boundary. Boo!
- The apparent turgid over rate as we had the left/ right batsmen combo, looking for balls in the undergrowth and the bails leaping to freedom regularly encouraged by the wind rather than ball! Boo!
- Seeing young Ms Franklin give three half chances before dispatching a further 30 runs in swift order. Boo!
It was acknowledged that energy levels seemed low, likely due to the bizarre concept of training last Wednesday!
92 for 3 at drinks
But with drinks came a new purpose neatly summed up by the play of the day. Anuj, with his fiery spin bowling placed one short and wide outside the off stump. Ms Franklin took a step across and cut the ball towards point; hard and handsome about 9ft off the ground, only to watch it being plucked out of the air by the only guy on the pitch tall enough to catch intervene. Elation all around except a very static Ms Franklin who seemed unwilling initially to accept that something bowled that wide and hit that well could have ended up in a wicket!
But well batted!
And so the brakes were applied as wickets fell at regular interval. 148 all out in the 38th seemed a good result, although as the sandwiches disappeared it was accepted that we had let them have 20 too many!
Fielding was good, and the pick of the bowlers were Anuj with 4/30 and Vishesh 3/35.
Old Roan took considerably less time to work out the length and line to bowl to add pressure to our batting. Indeed the most interesting part of the first twenty overs was the scorer’s pen ceasing to work!
Our top 3 whose batting styles do not usually include running continued in that vein, although unlike in previous weeks where 10 scoring shots in the first 10 overs usually left us with 40 runs on the board. Our return was 29 off 15 with the loss of three wickets.
Frustration was starting to build.
Up steps Messrs Hardy and a rapidly sobering Jacobs, first with well placed singles and then with meatier fare. By drinks we were 46 for 3 – half that of our opponents at the same stage, but we knew what was needed and it was only 5 an over with both of Old Roan’s opening bowlers consigned to the “finished for the day” box. And did they have a fifth bowler?
By over 28 we are 92 for 3, needing only 4 an over. Could we? Just a couple more overs like this and………. Mr Jacobs’ third attempt to dance down the pitch and deposit left arm spinner Mr Pye, (resplendent in what looked like his Kent over 60’s shirt), into the groundsmen’s garden was not as successful as the first 2! This was not because he scored runs with any of them. The book shows a series of dots and the view from the side-lines would not have looked out of place on Strictly Come Dancing! However this time the keeper managed not only to collect the ball and remove the bails whilst Chris was still investigating the pitch marks! Chris’s 44 was great to watch and, ably supported by Mark, the pair added 62 off 14 overs.
This was our high water mark as the usual mix of misfortune and miscalculation left us losing wickets too regularly to allow me to write that final chapter!
And we did get to see the Old Roan’s fifth bowler, all 3 balls and 2 wickets! Ms Franklin again finished us off in the 38 th with a score of 117!
But an 11-point haul against the league leaders was something we would have taken at 1:00pm.
Roll on Bromley Common!
|28 July 2018||1:30 pm||1B - Metropolitan 2018||2018|