A better day for Bickley Park 3’s allowed us to maintain our 100% record at the Catford Cypers Ruben Street ground.
Our least experienced team of the year certainly did raise their game to deliver a much needed 19 points for the anti-relegation cause.
Normal services were restored with Sunny reassuming his toss winning role (as well as his wholesome praise of the away team teas!): In you go please Catford.
Simon Davies and Matthew Arman opened up with control and patience ably supported by an enthusiastic and energetic fielding effort, but not a lot of luck. The pitch was providing a bit of assistance to the bowlers not least as someone had forgotten to cut the outfield and by nine overs and 25 on the board but with none back in the hutch moral was still high!: We had at least established that LBW’s were not being played today as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the Catford openers.
Indeed even this does not explain just how well we started. This was your classic cricket scenario of bowler bowls: batsmen plays his shot: ball hits new boy Marcus Day’s gloves at keeper to the cries of anguish of those fielding close to the bat. It was even remarked that we should start aiming at the edges as the Catford batsmen seemed unwilling or unable to find them themselves.
The cries of anguish continued for the next 12 overs but were added to by cries of delight as first Matt Armen and then Anuj Tomar and the skipper acquired the edge of the bat on the way to the waiting cordon. One catch, in particular will stay in the memory as Marcus, standing up, took a feathered edge from Anuj. As good a piece of keeping as I have seen all year! (Sorry Sahil!)
But we didn’t have it all our own way. Lloyd Jordan connected in between a ballet of un-hit deliveries, either to mid on and mid wicket or more frustratingly over or through the Cordon, and usually to the place where we had just moved from. After a number of false starts we ended up with what would look like a third slip and a fly slip but still to know avail! The only thing that came out of it was the additional cleaning requirements for Mrs Hardy (Mark’s mum) arising from the state of his whites!
Lloyd fortunately left us in the 20th over having scored 34, caught behind. 65 for 5 in the 21st. Lets just clear this up and get an early finish.
The wickets continued to fall, but not quite as regularly and the runs starting to flow with slightly more regularity. After 30 overs the score was 103 for 7. Surely we will only be chasing 120 with more than 40 overs to get them? But John Barnard had arrived at the crease now. First he repaired the damage and then he started to take advantage of that one ball an over where run scoring was easier. His 30 not out in the last 10 was well supported by those around him as difficult chances were being put down now and it seemed to dawn on the Catford batters that the length of the outfield was severely limiting the ability to hit fours: ones and twos was more the order of day!
Catford were never going to get away, but did they get too many? The end of the innings contained one of those events, where Test Match special’s engagement would have been of assistance.
Leg spinner, Marcus Armen was now trying to get those last two wickets but had still to find his rhythm: Not his best delivery, John Barnard winds up and aims to dispatch the ball over the pavilion which was backward of square. He didn’t get it and wandered down towards the bowlers end claiming a single. Hang on. What is the bail doing on the ground? Appeal to both umpires. Neither was watching. Not out! Ten minutes of debate followed including an analysis of the leg stump angle and how the bail could have fallen forward. Still not out!
154 for nine after 40 left us slightly bemused and frustrated as we munched through the best tea of the season. Some great bowling from Mathew Armen with 2 for 16 from 7 overs and Anuj’s 3 for 41, ably assisted by Marcus Day’s four catches. We thought we had given them twenty too many but there was not a lot wrong with the pitch and we had a number of batsmen, not least Mark “loads of runs” Hardy who were very capable of dealing with the majority of the runs on their own.
So nothing to worry about then. To be fair we made heavy weather of it.
Marcus Day was rewarded with his keeping performance with an opening slot to be joined by Simon Davies.
Concern was beginning to creep in as the first four overs yielded no runs off the bat however this dissipated quickly as three came off the fifth and eleven off the sixth all thanks to Mr Davies. Marcus Day was less aggressive but still, we were ahead of Catford in the book by the eighth and by the eleventh Marcus was also joining the party as the partnership reached 42. All looking good!
42 for none became 42 for one as Marcus skied his latest boundary attempt, bringing Tom Franks-Moore to the crease. The runs continued at a pace sufficient to allow us to expect a solid risk free win and with 18 overs gone and 79 on the board talk was again turning to the after game plans.
The next passage of play was not our best. Simon missed a straight one for a well worked 47, bringing “loads of runs” to the crease. Anuj obviously didn’t get the memo on not playing LBW’s as ball hit pad, finger went up, Loads of runs trudged off.
This season I have challenged about four junior members on why they feel the need to take guard in the same place for both seamers and spinners.
As I stood at the unaccustomed position of square leg with my six stones I could feel the urge rising again as Will Harwood’s foot was still bisecting the crease line despite the removal from the attack of the always accurate seam of Leroy Samuels in favour the less pacey John Barnard leading the keeper to wander in from the outfield to stand behind the stumps.
What happened next was predictable: Over balancing and dragging his back foot, Will had his stumps re-arranged, although the “stumped” entry in the book does not really cover the comedy of errors on the pitch, the ball bouncing up off the keeper and parabolic ally onto the stumps rather than him taking it in one glorious balletic movement; A point of hilarity for Catford, although not for my fellow umpire who did not look best pleased as I found my left fore finger aimed towards the heavens!
At 93 for 4 with 23 overs gone the skipper arrived to calm everything down. Ably supporting an increasingly imperious Franks-Moore the pair added a quick fire 26 before the skipper was hit on the pad outside the line of off stump. The appeal was very energetic but ultimately unsuccessful but it clearly unnerved the usually unflappable Sunny; Three balls later he skied one to square leg. I couldn’t help him this time and off he went! At 119 for five we are still in the driving seat but the stress levels are higher than they should be.
We needn’t have worried as Tom Franks–Moore continued with a near faultless 56, supported (in terms of not giving their wickets away rather than in terms of scoring!) first by Armish Patel and, when one of Tom’s quick singles was just a bit too rich for him, Anuj Tomar.
Job done with 4 overs to spare.
Generally a load of positives; both sides had fielding misdemeanours which probably balanced out. Marcus’ keeping was the biggest talking point with the expectation that one senior at least will be having a change of role if selected next week. With age his hands will soften and his scalps will rise exponentially.
One big effort needed next week against Blackheath where, by my reckoning we need to score two more points than Bromley Common secure our league status for next year.
|18 August 2018||1:00 pm||1B - Metropolitan 2018||2018|
|Sydenham High School Playing Fields|