I apologise for my indulgence in writing this match report before other, previous matches. Quite frequently, after a duck, a dropped catch and a missed stumping here and there, even I get home and find that my enthusiasm for updating stats and writing match reports is somewhat lessened.
However I think that the matches against Simba have quickly become among our favourites. These guys are good cricketers and if they played at their best they would undoubtedly crush us like a very easily crushed thing [Editor – please insert suitable simile here]. But in both our games so far they’ve turned up with big smiles and have approached the game in the perfect spirit, with the result being secondary to the enjoyment of the game.
Just how we Cavaliers like it.
Skipper Ravi came down to the square with me for the toss and was surprised to learn that a coin was not strictly required. I offered him the choice of either batting first or playing a very short game followed by a long barbecue and it is a credit to the man that he chose to bat first. Kev opened the bowling from the Cricketfield Road End and, after the traditional dot ball to start, Chichester got stuck in and started flaying Kev all over the park. Three fours and two sixes followed from the other five legitimate balls, with only a wide giving any respite. 25 runs came off that first over, before Dan Harris came in from the Other End and rubbed it in by only conceding four from his first. Kev had his revenge though, having Chichester given out lbw to a ball that definitely absolutely without question appeared to be going on to hit the very middle of middle stump. From then the game started to settle down a bit. Philips took a shine to Dan Harris and hit a couple of sixes off his bowling but gradually we dragged the overall run rate down below 10 an over – quite an achievement after that start.
Aaron was first change bowler and was uncharacteristically expensive in his first over, conceding 13 before he got his line right, but the introduction of Dave Barlow at the other end proved a masterstroke. After a wide, Rowe charged down the wicket at him and was well stumped by yours truly down the leg side. Ghadie sensibly took a single off the next ball, leaving Dave to bowl Philips off the last ball of the over. Six balls later and I stuck out my right arm to take a reflex catch at full stretch from Aaron and suddenly Simba were 77-4 off nine overs. Crikey.
Dave and Aaron continued to bowl well and the fielders sensed that we might be starting to get on top. Simba consolidated and soon Dave and Aaron came to the end of their spells. Dan and Gareth did a job trying to keep it tight at one end while Al took over at the Other End. Ravi was going well at one end for Simba and we needed his wicket before he took the game away from us. Fortunately the improvement in Al’s bowling continued, getting good flight and going for just a couple in his first over before bowling a wicket maiden and taking two in his final over to finish with figures of 3-1-7-3 – one bowled, one caught and one lbw. Dan Harris and AB came back to finish the innings and in a frantic final over two batsmen were run out. We were chasing 124, which to me seemed like a target we should definitely have a go at.
Roger and Jules were sent out to bat first, both having celebrated their 40th birthdays over the last few days. Both faced some decent bowling and took some time to bat themselves in before Jules finally got a bad ball and infuriatingly top-edged it straight to midwicket. AB was next and got himself in, but in trying to force the issue he skied one that was dropped in the covers before skying another one that was caught by the keeper. This brought me to the crease, with scores this season of 2-1-1-DNB-0-0 and desperately needing some runs. I was very relieved to hit my second ball for two and after that Roger and I decided to try to take the sting out of the attack for a few overs. This worked quite well and although we had only reached 42 after ten overs we still had some big hitting to come. Dan Homer and Gareth are both in good form and if I could stay in it would only take one of them to fire and we might just do it. Roger was out at last in the next over, but Homer followed next ball and Marsden skied one to the keeper to leave us 53-5 all of a sudden. The game was all but over.
In all this I had faced a few deliveries and for the first time in ages felt ‘in’. The game was getting away and Al and I decided to try to get some runs and at least go down fighting. We ran as hard as we could and turned ones into twos and the runs started to come. I hit 17 runs off Rowe in one over – the poor chap had been out for a duck in Simba’s innings and didn’t deserve that kind of treatment, but the adrenaline was pumping and the game was suddenly alive. I really felt we could do it. Unfortunately, we only managed five off Ravi’s last over and having miscounted we realised we had to get 31 to win off two overs. We decided this was beyond us and retired – unbeknownst to us at the time on our 50 partnership. However, it soon transpired that I was on 44 and so I went out with Nick to face a few more balls, and a little dink down to third man duly brought up my 50 off 39 malls. To say I was ecstatic would be an understatement.
Honour was satisfied and we finished on 104-5, an excellent performance but a defeat by 20 runs. It was a terrific game in which we bowled and fielded well but came up just short with the bat. Maybe next year?
Our thanks go to everyone at Simba CC for a wonderful sporting evening played in a great spirit and we very much hope to welcome you back in 2016. I’ll even make you some more orange habanero sauce.
Simba 124 all out (Chichester 25; Bristow 3-7)
Cavendish Cavaliers 104-5 (Blagden 50*)
Simba CC won by 20 runs
|Nick Harrison||Not Out||6||0/0||33||2|
|Alan Bristow||Not Out||12||1/0||58||7|
|Dave Barlow||Not Out||1||0/0||100||1|
|Dan Harris||Did Not Bat|
|Kevin Johns||Did Not Bat|