Denmead II Match Report

Approaching the 8th match of the Season, we were now to host Denmead II at home. Ahead of the final 2 challenging fixtures against United Services and RAM; if we were to get promoted then winning this match would be crucial. However, watching the weather on the morning of the match we were pleasantly surprised to hear that the game was on (well, until we found out that we were playing because the Council needed money). Knowing how to reach the ground this week, we arrived in good time for a pitch inspection and general warm ups. Fortunately the pitch was in good condition and the Denmead captain agreed with this and decided to bat first.

Considering our good record of bowling first, we were also satisfied with this decision and prepared ourselves for the crucial match ahead. Pete (finally) decided it might be a good idea to open from the top end and Sam was more than happy to take 2nd over coming up the hill. With both Pete and Sam seeming to be on good form, we made a steady start with the opening batsmen only able to score at a rate of 2 an over. This however only lasted until the 2nd batsmen took the strike against Pete; it was clear he had not faced the many painful net sessions like ourselves and was completely beaten for pace and Bowled for 7.

With Batsmen 3 at the crease, obviously an experienced player, he saw an easy 4 opportunity through frustratingly edging the ball through slips. With Sam still starving the runs and Pete bowling in good form (and even pushing Kev back to avoid another Hamble incident), the next wicket fell in the 11th over with bails yet again flying through the air. At 27-2, Demead were now in a delicate position as batsmen 4 came to the crease. After the first ball beat him for pace and their Umpire saying “welcome to the game” it appeared the next wicket was not far away. Again Pete capitalised on this again with a bodyline delivery creating a quick edge and good catch from Chris (although the catch was more to avoid that of a hospital trip from either the ball or Pete attacking in an uncontrollable rage).

With Batsmen 5 walking in and the bowling now changing to Chris and Kev, it was critical that we kept starving Denmead of runs whilst taking their wickets. This was until the 18th over where Chris Franklin managed to get the batsmen to top edge a well watched catch to Jason. With Denmead on 49-4 and Batsmen 6 deciding that a helmet may be a good idea, Kev looked to keep the pressure on with his 2nd over. Fortunately he was successful at this and demonstrated his athleticism with a first class diving Caught and Bowled. This top wicket now reduced the batting side to 51-5 and the Knights looked in good shape to restrict the opposition to a low score.

Looking forward to drinks on the next over, Chris kept the pressure on batting side and like Pete fired through a speedier delivery to bowl Batsmen 7 for only 4 runs and at drinks, the opposition were 67-6. With the new Batsmen deciding a no fear approach to batting would be best, he adopted a quicker scoring rate and even managed a reverse sweep against Kev (which almost went for 4 due to Lee being taken by complete surprise).  Fortunately however the other batsmen was now quite so skilled and instead flicked what seemed to be a slow and nervous (to watch) catch from Lee.

With the tail now in to bat and Denmead looking unlikely to make 100 runs. Chris knew that a fiendish delivery could outfox the batsmen; and didn’t he do just that. Through running in too quick, bowling a straight slower ball and then diving onto the ground with sound effects, the batsmen was beaten all ends up and the 8th wicket fell. An excellent delivery showing an element of skill unmatched by the other bowlers of the team.  At 81-8, Pete returned to look for some serious wickets and the first delivery saw the batsmen absolutely cream one to Jason. Although a drop (though would have been difficult at that speed) Jason did perform an excellent nuts defence and at least saved the 4 runs and demonstrating reactions I wish I had in the earlier net sessions. However the next delivery saw the batsmen charge down the wicket to Pete and getting himself bowled in the process, and this was then shortly followed up by the stumps of the number 11 flying out also rewarding Pete with a 6 wicket haul.

At 81 all out, there was an air of confidence at teas that we could claim the win we were looking for. As Cameron was mortally wounded from his top fielding stop on the first over and only 81 to score; it was decided to rearrange the batting order to allow others a chance ahead of the tougher remaining fixtures. With Dennis and Dave opening the batting, it was important to put on a steady 82 partnership to claim the maximum points for the day. However this tactic only lasted till the 5th over whereby we were on 14-2 with both Dennis and promoted Alex returning back to the pavilion.

Following this tentative start, Lee now approached the crease looking to perform a Captains innings. However the partnership soon finished when Dave was caught with the score on 22-3. Faith was now in Chris Barber for the slow steady innings he usually plays; unfortunately, batting like an absolute tool  he was out in 3 balls for 0 and the score was now 24-4 (although at least I looked solid according to Cam). With Jason now in at 6 and Dennis now assuming the position as the Club Medic (always wondered who it was), we were trying to reduce the pain in Cam’s thumb so that he would be able to bat.

With the run rate slowing and the wickets still falling; the next victim was Lee only for 7 runs and now the Knights felt nervous about reaching the challenging total of 81. Pete now approached the crease and looked to carry on his good bowling form with a solid battings innings. This looked good with his solidly hit 4 but also like the others he did not last long and was out 2 balls later. At 28-6 and Steve and Matt now offering their full support of the situation on the phone, Cameron now came in at 8 to try and facilitate a solid partnership. This was looking good until Jason fell with the score on 42. With Sam Fielder now at the crease the immense pain then overcame Cameron who lost his wicket on 43-8. Looking as if a shocking loss was now on the cards, it now all rested on Chris and Sam to try and take us home. Fortunately they both agreed with this and upped their game for the occasion and began to build a solid partnership.

With 8 runs to go and Lee pooping it, the rest of us nervously watched hoping that we were going to scrape through. However the ended when Chris was caught on 17 and now Kev with nerves of steel as if he was about to storm a crack den, he marched out to the crease looking to save the team.  The pitch unfortunately decided not to be favourable to us and a low delivery took his wicket with us being all out on 74 (however well done for Sam for his solid 13 not out). With promotion all but gone and the matches post mortem being discussed over 2 jugs of beer, we now look to put up a good fight against United Services and Ram in order to hold our mid-table position.

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One Response to Denmead II Match Report

  1. Steve says:

    Nice report Chris! A good laugh 🙂

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