Knights Valley vs Odiham & Greywell II Match Report

This week the Knights were at home challenging top of the league Odiham & Greywell II. Arriving early at the ground we were surprised to see the opposition had already arrived and began starting pre-match warm-ups; clearly this combination of professionalism, determination and youthfulness already had the Knights deeply concerned about the match ahead. The Knights however did perform their own preparations including making a team hash of constructing the scoreboard, being in complete awe of Barber’s new shorts, and throwing a ball for Dave’s dog Frank. With the Wicket looking in good condition, Lee winning the toss decided to bowl first (although it’s questionable whether this was done for tactical reasons or just to make a game of it).

So with Odiham ‘steamrolling’ previous opposition, the Knights would certainly be looking for quick wickets to remain competitive whilst also restricting the Batsmen to fewer than 200 runs. With Pete and Chris forming the usual pace attack… 17-0 off 2 Overs and Lee was already saying “it’s going to be a long day.” As Overs ticked by and both opening Batsmen showing a level of class higher than Regional 3, there was a concern the Knights were to join the ranks of Odiham’s previous opposition chasing 260+. 10 Overs in, 50-0 and the fielding sporadically changing, Denis entered into the attack. Although slower bowling produced some less convincing shots from the Batsmen, the momentum of the game certainly remained with Odiham whom although almost lofted a shot into Keyworth territory, had amassed 86 off 15 Overs.

Although Pete was certainly bowling quickly, the Batsmen were equal to it and thus it was decided to change to a dual slow bowling attack as Sammy entered to support Denis. With the first opener reaching 50 and the Knights less than halfway through the Innings, thoughts of a Tichborne Park situation certainly began entering the player’s minds…. however Nick Franklin was not present at Tichborne and an LBW shout in his second over led to the Knights first wicket. With the Batsmen frustrated and Chris deciding that aggravating the opposition was a better tactic through waving him goodbye, the Knights now had the much needed breakthrough as Number 3 approached the crease.

With the run rate slowing down the Knights certainly capitalised with the new batsmen only lasting 4 Overs before subtly edging a great ball from Sammy through to Barber. Yes, Barber did take a catch off spin (and Chris was so surprised he waited till the Batsmen has pretty much walked off to ensure it was caught), however all I will say is that it was fortunate the ball didn’t deviate. Number 4 at the crease and the Knights were now successfully reducing the run rate whilst finally creating pressure on Odiham’s batting line up. With Dan firing the ball over the bowlers end on previous throws, the pressure got the better of the batsmen whom after seeing Dan about to do another throw decided to take a second run. However this time the throw came Barber’s way and through being on target, an easy run out was achieved.

With the Knights now back in the game and the Odiham youngling approaching the crease, Pete warmed up to bring his pace back into the attack. Although the youngling showed stubborn resistance, Pete’s pace did encourage the remaining opener to go for a Knightwood maximum; however lofting the shot too high, Matt ran in for a catch and the ground went silent (in quiet confidence I’m sure). With Matt finding serious fielding form, he held a critical catch and Odiham were now 159-4 with only 10 Overs remaining.

With the batsmen now constantly changing, Denis continued this pressure through intelligently encouraging the youngling to play (obviously his favourite) the sweep shot. Through a mistimed judgement this led to a comfortable catch to Dan followed by another edged catch to Barber 2 balls later. This now placed the opposition at 164-6 and the momentum was certainly back with the Knights..

This quick burst of wickets now placed Barber needing only 1 more catch for a jug. With Matt now on the opposite end of the field and Kev still on holiday, it looked unlikely whether Barber would be able to escape with another jug avoidance. With batsmen 6 still steadily hitting runs, it was batsmen 8 who was next to go through edging a catch through to super slip Denis whom demonstrated (yet again) his quick reflexes. 38 Overs and 187-7 on the board, Sammy now added to the momentum by encouraging the Batsmen to look for big shots to advance the score. This caused a chipped shot to Lee with silence yet again falling across the ground. Fortunately Lee through watching a fielding lesson from Nasser Hussain actually caught the ball and Odiham were now 190-9 with Chris saying “what would the odds be of all Payne’s taking a catch”. With the number 11 deciding on an agricultural approach Odiham managed to reach 209 on the last over. However this was until another catching opportunity was presented to Lee… well the odds for all 3 Payne’s catching was low, but 4 maybe was a bit farfetched. Certainly on this opportunity Nasser’s lesson was long forgotten as Lee instead did what could only be described as a one-handed palm similar to that of a volleyball manoeuvre. So even at 209-9, the Knights were still pleased to restrict Odiham to a chaseable total as both teams went in for teas.

Following another excellent tea from Denis, the Knights now prepared to chase down Odiham’s respectable total. Fortunately this week, Steve was back in the side so the Knights were hopeful of a significant partnership from the openers. Beginning the Innings the Knights steadily accumulated 6 runs off the first couple of Overs. However at the sidelines, Dave was bemused at Franklin doing the Scorebook and Barber padded up to go number 3… surely a cunning plan was in action here? (although more likely Lee just wanted to reinvigorate the team’s ability to watch a spectacle similar to drying paint). Well in the third Over of the Innings the fun really did begin with Dan lofting a catch to be dismissed for a duck.

With Barber approaching the crease, Steve gave me a run-down of the bowling so far.. “this first bowler doesn’t do anything, but the other guy turns it in, turns it away, varies his flight and has an arm ball, good luck.”…. Well I had no idea what an arm ball was but I could surmise it was probably tricky to play. However on my second ball from the first bowler, a very rare and unspeakable event happened, so rare in fact that Umpire Pete held his face in disgrace and Franklin was made to look a fool on the sidelines for showing confidence in my abilities. As match report writer I can’t bring myself to discuss this dismissal any more, but for those interested on why this was such a rare feat, please feel free to check the Play-Cricket Scorecard.

So, Lee at the crease now and the team were in desperate need of a Captain innings to remain competitive. Myself on the other hand was having an awkward confrontation, whereby Franklin was willing to place his life on the line by refusing to leave the scorer’s table. With Odiham’s scorer thinking she was with a right team here and even commenting how keen everyone was to relieve Pete and Nick as Umpires; I went to de-pad and also look for an implement of some sort to physically remove Chris from the book. With only a few more balls, Steve was given LBW from the spinner (must have been this arm ball thing), and then Matt was Bowled on the next over from what I guess was another straight delivery.

17-4 and an all too familiar situation for the Knights, Pete approached the middle for what we were hoping would be a similar batting display of last week to bring some momentum to the Innings. Well this was attempted first ball but was pre-empted by the fielders whom were ready for the catch adding Pete to the line of ducks for the day. 21-5 and Dave was now at the crease; with a win now pretty much out of the question and the Knights looked at the potential of padding Frank up in desperation for more runs. With Chris now surrendering the book to Barber at the look of tears from his scoring withdrawal symptoms, Dave was showing a welcome sign of solidity at the crease. This ended however when Lee was Bowled soon after, and our esteemed Captain trudged back with only the accolade of a top scoring 14. 33-6 and what was looking to be yet another new lowest score for the Knights, talk was already happening of getting out for the pub.

With Sam at the crease and Chris already summarising the innings as a complete write off (good positive thinking considering he was still yet to bat), Sammy was only able to last 2 Overs from the opening bowlers onslaught before being Bowled for 3. Franklin now in to bat and I doubt sticking around for runs or points was on the agenda, an excellent tactical leave on his second ball was soon followed up by a skyed top edge from a leg glace dismissing him for 1 run. At 38-8 Denis was now in to bat, however showing distain from past higher level experience, he played this (challenging?) bowling with ease. A much needed contribution which allowed the Knights to surpass 50 and at least achieve a batting point, however Dave was unable to push on at this point and edged a ball behind to pretty much wrap up the innings. Only Nick left to bat and Sammy showing encouragement saying “For F*** sake Nick just get out so we can go for a beer”… a golden duck and the Innings was finished with the Knights finishing on a sterling total of 53 runs.

So going to the pub to drown our sorrows, conversations began sensibly with a review of the match and discussions of a Knights Valley golf day. However as most of the team left, the topics soon changed to University tales and even Chris divulging the real reason he likes Melons as well as micro-waved Grapefruit. All I will say is that if you see him using a large cork borer on a melon at teas next time… make sure Ollie is nowhere nearby. So, again not our best performance and hopefully we will not repeat this against the similar strength of Liphook & Ripsley next week. To finish I have noticed talk about a team photo, although I realise this was not the best time, I was able to photo a few of the team to add to the gallery… until next time:

ducks in a row --spring

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2 Responses to Knights Valley vs Odiham & Greywell II Match Report

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am the first to admit that even at 60 the still youthful Denis can impress on the cricket field……..bating, bowling and wonderful catches in the slips. However even the mighty Pops needs a little help with the teas!!!! As always Mrs ‘Pops’ is happy to oblige!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mrs ‘Pops’, as much as we love your teas we would like to remind you of ‘cricket etiquette’ and ‘bad form’. We are not at football now 😉 keep up the good work with regards to the teas 🙂

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