The 2015 season ended with victory at last, against a Deansbank side who had reformed for one last tour several years after they last played together regularly.
The game only took place due to the efforts of Andy Wills, who sourced opposition, pitch and tea and even laid on a cloudless September sky for the occasion. No coin was necessary at the toss, with Deansbank happy to bat first in a 30-over game.
We opened the bowling with Dan Homer, who took a few balls to find his range, and Moggy, who was always threatening bowling a good length on a bouncy surface. We should have had an early breakthrough in the third over when Jake threw in accurately as the batsmen took a single that wasn’t on, but the ball inexplicably flew through my gloves when it seemed easier to run the batsman out. Fortunately I made amends a few covers later, stumping McLean (who apparently scored 1000 runs in a season back in 1992) who barely even tried to get back after charging Moggy. A few overs later Healey chipped a catch up to Mike at midwicket, and Deansbank were two down with less than 50 on the board.
At the other end though Ware was getting his eye in and he was enjoying whacking the ball over the short boundaries square of the wicket and straight. Although we got rid of Lancaster and Graham Wills (both caught by Andy Wills off Jake and Si respectively) Ware did some serious damage, and he had scored 84 big runs before Si got one to turn onto the top of his leg stump. Si also bowled one of the McGlashan brothers to end with 3-26, Bob had the other McGlashan caught on the boundary by Al (put back the ball before), and it was left to Al to complete the dismissals by having Barnes lbw to a very slow delivery that nonetheless was clearly plumb.
Deansbank had set us 197 to win, and Jake and I decided to give it a go. It’s fair to say this was met with a certain amount of cynicism by senior members of the team (Si) but the boundaries were short in places and we had a few guys that could clear them. Jake and I went off at a quick rate, reaching 46 off the first five overs before hesitantly setting off for a single that neither of us called, leaving Jake short of his ground and run out in consecutive innings with me. Dan Homer was next in and the rate barely slowed, with me being bowled at last for 28 in the tenth with the score 72-2. A good start, but none of the rest of the batsmen had ever reached 50. We needed some good partnerships.
Les and Dan were now at the crease, both tall and able to get over the bouncing ball. Both excelled at hitting anything short and the boundaries kept coming. Neither was slogging either, with Les playing one delicious cover drive that shot along the ground to the boundary. After a partnership of 58, Dan was finally out for a run-a-ball 26, but Les went on to get his 50 (off just 32 balls!) before being bowled the very next ball with us 139-4 and 60 runs short of our target.
Now it was crunch time, with some decent batsmen in the tail but only Moggy who could knock it around. The game really rested on this partnership. Initially Si batted circumspectly and Andy rode his luck with a couple of boundaries off the edge, but we were always ahead of the rate. Ware gave it everything but so did Si, and fast deliveries simply flew off the bat to the boundary. With the end in sight the boys took singles and Si generously let Andy hit the winning run. A tremendous performance and a well-deserved win.
The game was probably closer than Deansbank thought and it would have been interesting if they’d got one more wicket to expose our tail. As it was we were delighted with our first win of the year and particularly because we were missing so many of our regular batsmen.
Thanks once again to Graham Wills for arranging the tour and Andy Wills and Moggy for their efforts on the day.
Deansbank 197 all out (Ware 84; Cahill 3-26)
Cavendish Cavaliers 198-4 (Dawson 52)
Cavendish Cavaliers won by six wickets
|Jake Brown||Run Out||17||3/0||82||14|
|Simon Cahill||Not Out||33||4/0||79||26|
|Andy Wills||Not Out||27||2/0||59||16|