Well that was close….
But thankfully we got across the line against the previously unbeaten league leaders to give me my first win as Sunday 2’s skipper.
Having won the toss and having a number of first team bowlers in the side I decided to field first.
We opened up with Spits and Jimmy who immediately got on top of the batsman and restricted their scoring opportunities backed up in the field with a superb all round team display (the best collective fielding I’ve seen at the club). Both bowlers bowled straight through their spells and whilst unlucky to finish wicketless had managed to keep the opposition to just 42 off the first 16 overs. Spits finishing with 8-1-20-0 and Jimmy 8-3-20-0
Dan and our Polish pro came on to replace the openers and carried on the good work causing both openers to try and go over the top and only succeeding in picking me out both times (one of Phil and one off Dan). Dan continued to pick up wickets at one end including removing one of their danger men to a sharp catch by Spits then following up with 2 wickets in two balls. Dan finished his superb spell with figures of 6-2-18-4, and was replaced by Max. At the other end Phil finished up with figures of 8-0-46-1 and was replaced by Newby.
Max had their last danger man caught superbly on the boundary by Rob and then started to mop up the tale finishing with figures of 6-0-31-3 supported well by Newby (4-0-1-18), leaving Hoveringham on 159 for 9 off their 40 overs, comfortably their lowest total of the season.
All round the fielding performance was superb, there was only one misfield in the entire 40 overs, countless great stops and 3 superb catches that accounted for their three main batsman.
All in all we felt very comfortable about knocking off the total with the batting we had in the tank.
Newby and Kev started off the reply but we lost Kev early for 3 (one of 4 batsmen to go for the same score!). However Max joined Newby and the pair soon set about knocking the ball to all corners. At 90 for 1 after 15 overs it looked like we were going to stroll to victory before Russ triggered Max(29) and Newby (45) then decided to play across the line (after having just lectured Dan about not doing that) and got bowled!
Dan remained calm at the other end and started to pick up runs but a clutch of wickets fell at the other end as first Jimmy, then Paul and finally Spits couldn’t get past the 3 run mark. The run out of Spits was particularly needless as in attempting to run a third both batsman hesitated and ended up side by side in the middle as the ball came in. Spits ever the alert team player graciously ensured he crossed Dan and was run out to leave the set batsman in. When Rob was given out caught behind for 1 (causing confusion on the side line as the opposition appeared to be appealing for a stumping rather than a catch) we had slumped to 113 for 7 and the win looked a long way off.
However an exceptionally mature partnership by Dan Jones and James Stevenson (8) took us up to 154 before James was unfortunately caught by the bowler after he had dropped the sharp chance only for the ball to lodge on the top of his boot! Phil Z came in was unlucky to get run out without scoring to a direct hit. I came in and was thankfully able to get of strike (1) allowing Dan to hit yet another lovely shot for 4 bringing the scores level. With Dan now on 46 not out and the field up to save a single it was all set for Dan to pierce the field and get the boundary that would bring up both his 50 and the win. Unfortunately their bowler hadn’t read the script and chucked down a wide to finish the game instead!
A great win over a good side (and a nice friendly side to play against). Man of the match has to go to Dan for both his 4 wickets and his nerveless batting under immense pressure, further enhancing his reputation as the top scorer at the club and hitting his first senior 6 in the process. I fear Russ’ pocket is going to be a good deal lighter by the end of the season at this rate.
Great performance lads well done – bring on second in the table next week!