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4th XI Reports

 Saturday, 4th May

Great game of cricket but 4s ending up chasing rainbows at Newick….. 

Last year’s league opener was played in 28 degree heat and sun. Not such need to pack the sun cream this year as we headed to Newick to play our first match in our new division. 

First toss of the year then and first win, so I elected to play safe and put the home side into bat. I passed the new ball to Ned who bowled his usual high standard – sending the ball with zip, swing and purpose and Jake, at the other end, bowling some superb deliveries on or around the off stump. We got off to the perfect start with both of them getting early wickets leaving Newick in an unenviable 6-2 after the first couple of overs. 

Their 3,4,5 batsman, however, were proving harder to take down seemingly especially keen to cut the ball, but our bowlers did well to peg them back from getting too many runs on the board. Avi then came into the attack and bowled with accuracy and fluidity ; picking up another valuable wicket with Ella bowling uphill from the other end, whose decision to start bowling over the wicket really helped her bowl some excellent deliveries . 

Alec said to me before bowling that he wasn’t in good form this week – it turned out his pessimism was way off the mark, as he bowled really well to get another wicket and only have 18 runs scored off his 5 overs and finally Nathan flighted some solid leg spin down the hill, before our openers came back in for the final 8 overs. 

So by tea the home side had clocked up 155 runs – a total we thought was very achievable. 

Certainly our optimism looked well founded after myself and Mark got off to a flying start : scoring over 50 within the first ten overs, we felt the juggernaut was moving along nicely, sadly for us it was about to hit a brick wall……. Firstly, Mark got out trying to hit their young spinner for a third boundary of the over and then the hail and rain came hammering down. Although by no means something we should use as an excuse it did certainly affect our momentum – the juggernaut was put into reverse. As we stepped back onto a hail soaked pitch myself and Avi were like bambini on ice.

To make matters, Avi was run out quickly afterwards and I made a rash pull to get caught at mid-wicket – my only excuse for these bad decisions was that the sub artic temperature had obviously caused my brain to freeze and stop functioning properly. Fortunately Bhav and Jake had entered the fray and were steadying the ship somewhat – although inevitably the run rate was slowing up, despite their best efforts. By the time Kevan, Simon and Ned has been dismissed were just giving too much to ask our tail enders to get over the line, and we fell 20 runs shy of the total . 

That said we can take loads of positives from the match – Newick’s fielding and bowling was good and we shouldn’t feel too disheartened as I think we played well in a very close run and evenly sided match. That said , we do need to understand that (perhaps unlike last season scoring 200 plus is not a ‘fait accompli’) and if we are going to progress this year we are really going to have to take our game to the next level, not be complacent against decent opponents…a challenge I’m fully confident we will be able to achieve. 

Big thanks to the travelling supporters who came down to watch – it’s really appreciated, and especially also to Julie Rowland for scoring. 


Saturday, 27 April

Season ‘Ice Breaker’ sees the 4s get off to winning start for the season.. 

If the famous subzero temperature Super Bowl between Green Bay and Dallas Cowboys all those years ago was called the ‘ice bowl’ then our season friendly against Crowborough could easily be dubbed the ‘ice breaker’. And so it was that with especially chilly temperatures outside we stepped into bat for the first time in 2019. 

On account of the fact this was a friendly fixture, we decided to mix up a bit the batting order – our usual opening bowlers Ned and Avi therefore opened the batting, against a Crowborough side hungry to start their season on a high. 

Avi was first victim from their skippers accurate bowling, who then took out Kevan’s leg stump a ball later, leaving Kristian to come in at number four to face his first delivery as a potential hat trick ball. 

We needn’t have worried- he dug in like an old pro, stabled the ship, and pushed on to score an excellent and valuable half century. Both Ned and Nabil played some lovely fluid shots at the crease and Nabil, in particular, was unlucky to get out to a wicked delivery that claimed his off stump. 

It was then time for Ash to enter the fray in his normal shot-making number six position ; hitting a few boundaries although, seemingly not happy with his equipment, (he changed bats more times that a golfer changes clubs in a round) before being bowled out. I then stepped in at number 7 – plugging along to be unbeaten at the crease by the time the 40 overs were up. In the meantime we saw a terrific knock from debutant Alec who played with calm and precision . 

So by tea Crowborough were needing to get north of 210 to win. 

I passed the new ball to the youngest player in the pitch, Rhys, who was given the task of trying to bowl out a pair of batsmen 3 times his age – he took to the task like a duck to water, bowling with accuracy and consistency, and taking his first wicket with just his second ball for the 4s. At the other end, Ella, proved more than capable or making the transition into men’s cricket and once she figured the yardage bowled some terrific balls during her spell. 

Crowboroughs heavy hitting number 5 batsman started cracking the ball which encouraged me to bring on our more experienced opening quicks – Ned and Avi – for a spell to try and dampen down their attack, which they did with aplomb. In fact as soon as he was out it looked increasingly unlikely that the opposition were going to get toward 200. 

Alec and Nathan then came into the attack and both lads bowled really well – Alec using pace and Nathan flighting some terrific leg spinners to pen the opposition back and we skittled them out for 151, with an over or 2 to spare. All in all a nice start to season and a great fun match, despite the chilly conditions. 

Looking forward to next week – and the season proper – against tougher opposition in a higher league, we know we are going to have to really dig deep in all areas to ensure we have another successful season. 

Player of the day – Alec : really consistent in all areas, batted and bowled well and gave 110% in the field, excellent debut 

Notable mentions : the Hunt family – Rhys for excellent bowling and Kristian with the bat 

Highlights : 

K Hunt 80 
S Cannell 41 not out 
R Hunt 3/31 off 5 overs 
A Ashok 2/9 off 6 overs