The 3s travelled to the Warren looking to beat the weather for the second week running, and put further points between themselves and the chasing pack. Despite regular contact with the groundsman during the week the covers were taken off to reveal a wicket akin to a zebra, with damp patches streaked across the playing surface. With rain forecast and Wickham Park seeming in no mood to start, a late start was coerced with the game reduced to 30 overs per side.
Having lost the toss (another good one to lose: maybe Sunny knows something we don’t!) Bickley were put into bat. Openers Simon (35) and Marcus (27) again laid a solid platform, scoring at 5 an over to put on 50 for the first wicket. When Marcus fell with the score at 93-2, some brutal middle-order hitting propelled Bickley to their highest score of the season. Owen Davies hit a blistering 43 from 27 balls before Marco – not to be outdone – scored almost exclusively in boundaries, including a huge 6 launched high into the surrounding trees. With steady rain falling in the final few overs and the suggestion of coming off the field, Jack Cooper and Mark Hardy scampered a further 33, to set Wickham Park a daunting 216 to win, before the covers were rushed on over the interval.
An extended tea meant both sides could savour the excellent food on offer: fried chicken, hot sausage rolls, and two cakes so big that one remained untouched even after both sides were done. Darkening clouds overhead meant there was some concern that Bickley’s first innings would go unrewarded, but with the rain at its heaviest when the covers were on, both teams took to the field with Wickham Park likely looking to the weather to save them from defeat.
After TFM took a couple of smart catches at second slip off openers Sunny and Vishesh, and Sunny removed their dangerous number 3, threatening clouds loomed and Bickley were asked to bowl spin from both ends in order to continue. What followed was 15 overs of the most surreal cricket imaginable, with Jack Horner and Simon Davis bowling off a few paces, the batsmen patting the ball back to the bowler, and Bickley racing around the field between overs. Horner finished with figures of 1-6 from his 8 overs, whilst Davis claimed 1-16: the tightest spell of slow left-arm bowling witnessed this season.
The result was a strange 155 run win, where Bickley were fortunate to get the best of poor conditions both when batting and bowling, and also that Wickham Park battled on to ensure the game ended with a result rather than going off with only 10 overs remaining (which they could have done when the light was truly awful. Our thanks to them for seeing the game trough; We all wanted to play a game of cricket, but they really did draw the short straw with the rain / light / wind / wicket) . With the other fixtures in the league abandoned due to poor weather, Bickley were able to put a further 8 points between themselves and second-placed OD CUACO, who now find themselves 39 points behind, albeit with two games in hand.
|27 July 2019||1:30 pm||1B - Met/West 2019||2019|