Bagshot 3's V Ascot 4's
"Deadly" and Barrie death bowling bores into Ascot batting......
Ascot 4's 185-8
Bagshot 3's 186-4
Having had what can only be described mildly as a 'difficult' week on availability further up the chain, our much changed 11 turned up at a rainy Ascot ground at Locks Ride to be offered tea and biscuits, a match programme and the usual friendly Ascot team. After the rain had cleared and the toss was won, we stuck Ascot in to bat on a damp wicket.
With our 2nd team having taken our top and second wicket takers up (Chuckles and Mighty White), it was left to a more youthful attack to start as Jack R (mini G) and James White to set about the Ascot batting. Young James got back in the habit of getting a wicket in his first over by getting the opener to play on first ball. After this, we threatened but did not seem to get much to happen as Ascot progressed on for the next 9 overs. A double bowling change was made with Josh Nakarja coming down the hill and Deadly Hedley coming up, and it was not long before Deadly got his first victim helped by this season debutante Justin Dillon who was scanning the skies in pre-work mode and took the catch comfortably (good news for all holiday makers methinks on his watch). Josh Nakarja bowled really well for little reward and it was Deadly again who struck next, by forcing the first Ascot player off injured with a dodgy hamstring (I have some sympathy there..). He struck in a more traditional fashion next by trapping the opener for 48 lbw, but a solid partnership then ensued. Young Will Gardiner bowled his best spell this season (for the 3's at any rate), but it seemed that left arm guile worked from one end, I introduced another with Paul Kelly from the other. Not much joy for PK as Ascot accumulated runs but without ever really getting ahead on the run rate. It was the introduction of 2nd team player and umpire Barrie Funnell which changed all that, as he "bored" his way into the opposition. With Deadly bowling his longest spell (probably ever), these two took on the middle order. The batsman was so shocked with Barrie's pace, that he failed to wake up to his slightly quicker one (3mph) and got clean bowled. This mesmerising spell Barrie was casting enabled Deadly to get another wicket, and the runs were drying up as they could not cope. Even Darren Noel behind the stumps could not believe it when one of Barrie's balls ended up going for a bye. "The batsman was so shocked it reached him, I nodded off as well". Barrie and Iain carried on to the end of the 45 overs (reduced by the rain). Barrie tweeted later that this was a very fine example of death bowling. With Deadly down one end and Barrie boring them to death the other, they really had no chance.....
Seriously now, just for one or two sentences. Well done all the bowlers, fielders and catchers. Iain Deadly bowled really well for 4-47 of 17 uninterrupted overs, Barrie Funnell a revelation once more 4 overs 2-15 at the end of the innings (not too shabby). The great wall was breached (shock), great keeping from young Baz Noel (hope he can stand up today), and the youngsters all bowled really well.
A lovely tea (I was not tempted by their jam doughnuts), and we then set off in pursuit of the 185.
I decided on an attacking option opening pairing of Paul Kelly and Baz Noel. Which lasted precisely two balls as PK gloved the hulk second short ball to the keeper. Young James White casually walked out to the crease at no 3. What an amazing young cricketer he is. Such composure, no fear and a great deal of talent. With two quickish bowlers, he did not flinch and watched the ball carefully, as he and Baz rebuilt from the unfortunate start. These two put on 52 comfortably and took one of the opening bowlers out of the attack completely with another injury. Baz got distracted by the 5.20pm flight from Jo-burg (at least that was where he as looking) and got clean bowled. If he had hit it, it would probably have reached Maidenhead. Mini G joined James, and Jack carried on from his heroics of last week as we casually kept up with the required run rate. After some great work, James (mini spud) White got bowled for 33 with the score on 99. With Mini G now all square on runs for the season with his uncompetitive dad, I had to try and get back ahead again.... With yet another Ascot player injured, it was starting to look like a casualty ward, and the runs and the bowling was probably not best we have faced this season. Mini G got to his fifty but then got bowled by the leg spinner with us only 17 runs short of the target. The expectant father and great wall himself, Santosh joined me at the crease and we eased home with some 7 overs to spare. Fortunately I am still 24 runs ahead of mini G, and one catch ahead, but I am not competitive and may the best man win son....
So, unbeaten in 5, with 4 wins and a draw, we have moved up to 4th in the table.
Revenge on Datchet next week please...
MOM: Has to be Deadly Hedley with his 4-47. Closely followed by young James White and Jack Rowlett.
Big mention to Barrie Funnell for his fine bowling and scoring and for making himself available along with others at a late stage.
To Justin D, well done for the catch on this seasons debut, hope you got to work on time (what would happen if he didn't I ask myself??!! Would they just circle London to wait for his dulcet tones guiding them on to runway 2?). Still not sure about the cap...
Good to see also many 2nd team players stop on their way back from Slough to support us, just a shame they were coming back early for the wrong reason. Much appreciated.
I sincerely hope the injured Ascot players recover swiftly! A great honest bunch of cricketers, and we were made to feel very welcome.