WHCC 256-4 - R Thompson 94, S Stevens 64, J Day 55*
Bank of England 153 AO
Great excitement and anticipation abounds with the thought of journeying to the BoE for a game of cricket. In W&H language this is our Home of Cricket, great facilities and a wicket to excite any batsman with an interest in surpassing 400 runs in a season. Unfortunately for Cy it took some finding as he circled Richmond in search of some cricket. Rumour had it that Thomo (94) was talking about this game long before the season start and he gladly obliged. Scott (62)thought he had arrived in paradise following his cricket exploitations in the “outbacks” of Australia and Jerry (55*) thought it his vice captaincy role to oblige with half century of his own and thereby continuing his 50+ for two seasons at BoE. Unfortunately our very own “Prince Henry” Harry(9) tucked more into the teas than he did the bowling. However, I would venture to say that it was the bowling of Ben and Saf, introduced to wicket -taking by the skipper, that really turned the game on its head and led us to victory.
It is not very often that I lose a toss and get my wish. “We will have a bowl” sounded like sweet music to my ears as I admired a near perfect wicket with the added knowledge that their main strike bowler was injured. The message was sent back to the team and there were two batsman quickly padded up long before the start of the game. Thommo and Harry soon exploited the lightening quick outfield and wayward bowling as our score ran along at 5 to the over. Harry, or is Henry, looking every bit the talent unfortunately spooned a drive to covers and our very own olympic sprinter in Scott was at the crease in a blur. Thommo continued scoring with his square drives being his most productive stroke. Scott was soon to join him thrashing an on drive to the boundary and our score continued to keep pace at 5 runs an over. Thomo and Scott used good patience and shot selection to bolster the score along and both were soon to near the 50s, Thommo going to his 50 1 run ahead of Scott who followed. Scott was next to depart edging a cut shot to the keeper. Players appealed, Scott forgot his Australian upbringing and started to walk only to hear the umpire say not out, half hesitated, turned to see the keeper now at the stumps and then proceeded walking, supported with a handshake from the opposition. The skipper moved Jerry up the order and he soon pulled out the trademark on-drive to get himself off to a good start. After enjoying a useful and quick 114 run partnership the innings began to falter slightly as a bowling change, switch of ends and an increasing softer ball made run scoring a little harder. Jerry and Thomo still consolidated the innings with a useful 76 run partnership, seeing in the 200 with some overs to play with. Thomo was bowled chasing the score on a fine 94. Qais was also elevated up the batting order following his 45 not out the week before and was unfortunate to be given out after striking one boundary. The skipper(17*) was next in with the score on 220 and 4 overs to go to 50 overs. A quick acceleration saw the score move to 256, Jerry claim his 50 and the skipper declare on 50.5 overs. A good competitive total but we would have to b
Following a tea discussion it was decided to open with the old ball, knowing we had no spinners to rely on. Saf, listening to everything his skipper says, suggested he turn to spin, skipper supported and that is where it should end. Qais, who also listened to everything his skipper says, took the other end and impressed with some good length bowling, being unlucky not to enjoy some reward. The run chase looked well on as BoE enjoyed early runs. Saf returned to his pace bowling and it became more difficult to score although BoE were able to maintain the run rate. A bowling change saw the skipper come into the game and at 15 overs and 75 on the board the skipper gave the new ball to Saf. A few overs into the new ball the skipper removed the opening bat bowled and then the no.3 LBW soon after to put us back into the game. A bowling change introduced Ben “ Harmison” Storey – his first delivery going for 5 wides as it almost landed on the adjacent pitch and completely missed the sight-screens. Following a drinks break, 126 for 2 on the board and a quick chat Ben was not to disappoint as he brought his bowling back on line and removed the number 4 bat LBW. He then took to removing there rather useful opening bat caught behind and victory looked like ours for the taking. Saf was brought back to bowl and the wickets began to tumble at regular intervals. Saf and Ben in combination cleaned up the tail-enders and a good win on a batting track was our rich reward. Ben in particular being most unfortunate to not pick up a 5 wicket haul as the skipper dropped a relatively simple catch.
In summary it was a good day for W&h 2s cricket. Thomo, Scott and Jerry did not disappoint with the bat and entertained to give us a competitive score. Ben and Saf bowled well in tandem and reaped the benefits of good wicket to wicket bowling. Our only blemish was in the field but the strong believe in our bowling and the good fighting spirit saw us claim a rather challenging victory on a good track. The much needed 13 points is a good start to the second half of the season. Next week we play the table leaders and it will be great to be competitive and show them our full and true potential. It’s Sunday and I am already looking forward to it.