This week’s match report will be a bit shorter than last week’s (thank goodness, I can hear some of you thinking) ‘cos I’m still feeling crap and the tissues hanging down from both nostrils to stem the flow are somewhat interrupting my muse……
‘This week’s match against Great Houghton IIs was the first at our new home of Boughton. Once we’d bashed down a few molehills behind the bowler’s arm at the field end, the ground was looking pretty good although mower problems meant that the outfield could best be described as‘lush’.
Houghton won the toss and on the hottest afternoon of the year so far with little wind, for some reason elected to field. Absentees from last week meant that only 2 of the top 5 in the batting order were the same so Kal – with memories of his maiden 50 opening against Gumley on the final game of last year - was volunteered to open with Wurz. The wicket, however, proved to be somewhat ‘interesting’ and, while rarely getting over waist height, there was enough variable bounce to cause problems, as Kal found out when he fairly quickly spooned a catch to short point for a duck. Wurz was again looking solid though and he was joined at the crease by one of our 3 league debutants Arun. Arun has the build of a brick outhouse and looks a hitter. Once he’d come to terms with the pitch, so it proved with one massive six into the hedge of the house that sits square to the wicket. A window replacement service might be called for as the season develops and Dick did tell us about how the occupier of the house once came over to remonstrate that a six onto the roof had just busted one of his tiles only to watch as another went through his car window. Just as well I’ve renewed the PL insurance!
Wurz and Arun put on 70-odd for the next wicket, with Arun going for big hits and Wurz grafting – it was proving impossible to hit a four along the ground in front of square due to the grass. Arun then fell (one of Geoff’s 5 lbw decisions on the day) for 46, including 5 fours and 2 sixes. Wurz was then joined by Steve ‘man of tour’ Brindle who was making a rare league appearance. Unfortunately not for long as he was out shortly thereafter getting there a bit early and delivering a catch. Glenn arrived at the crease and departed soon after, adjudged caught behind for a duck. Marc then joined the action and supplied some of the day’s batting highlights in a stand with another new guy Ajil after Wurz was out for a hard-graft 28, followed by debutant Vijay (0) and Stuey (3) who misjudged a full, slower ball and was bowled.
Marc demonstrated how easily he can be put off by complaining when Glenn at a very wide long off (almost extra cover position) was just demonstrating how, in a video, Bruce Lee can be seen playing table tennis with a set of nunchuks . Glenn’s little bit of arm waving immediately led to a big six which scattered the group (including the photographer of the day) with nary a cry of ‘four’ or any other warning. Make your own minds up. Marc and Ajil worked the ball around and put on 44 for the 8thwicket before Marc was bowled for a worthy 24. Ajil was the next wicket to go down for a well played 25 and this brought the last pair of Steve and Didier together. No further wickets fell and Paul trebled his runs for the club with a single before the innings ended at 171 for 9, with Steve 4 not out.
All in all, not a bad effort in the circumstances against a decent attack.
After an excellent tea, Abington took to the field with Didier and Stuey opening. Both bowled tight spells. No wickets fell but it was proving very difficult for the Houghton batsmen to score and they were well behind the rate from outset. First change was Ajil and he quickly took a couple of wickets, including the fielding highlight of the day, a blinding catch at short cover from Steve ‘MoT’ Brindle.
Steve ‘Harmy’ Widdowfield replaced Didier at the field end and then surprised everyone, including the re-inforced slip cordon (see last week’s report) by bowling fast and straight to take 3 wickets in 4 balls. Surely this couldn’t be bettered! Houghton had gone from 33 -1 to 46-6 but they then dug in. Slowly but surely they got themselves back into the match and runs started to come a lot more easily. Stuey then pulled off another masterstroke by giving Arun a bowl. One hat-trick later, it was all over barring a fat lady making an appearance. Stuey was able to give Vijay his first overs (one of which matched Steve's last week for wides), along with a couple for Kal and Glenn before the game was ended when Steve ‘MoT’ Brindle bowled Houghton’s best batsman with a wicked turner (it looked like it from where I was fielding, anyway) that hit both bat and pad before rolling onto the base of the stumps.
Abington won by 51 runs. All round an excellent performance in the field with highlights from Harmy (4-26), Arun (3-16) and Ajil (2-18) but credit must also go to Stuey and Didier who kept things tight at the start and added to the pressure.’