Important game away from home against Risley, the weather conditions were muggy and the pitch offered variable bounce. As Sharpy was delayed coming to the ground, Steve Collo disappointed everyone by losing the toss, we were batting first.
A solid opening partnership with Robbo and Mikey Rees; contributing 32 off 6 overs. Mike departed, bowled for 1, commenting “I didn’t see the ball”, eluding that his drinking the day before may have hindered his bating performance.
Robbo was looking good before pulling a long hop straight into square legs hands.
I was in; then out. The chance of young Oliver Sharp taking my place is become more and more apparent.
At 49/3, Phil and Kev steadied the ship, before PJ got frustrated and was caught out at extra cover, gone for 13 the score 71/4 off 24 overs.
Big and quick scoring partnership between Kev and Drinks propelled the innings to 124. However we again suffered a collapse of dramatic proportions from 124/4 to 126/8, wickets following Kev (31), Drinks (30), Sharpy (1) and Dan (0). It should be noted that Sharpy’s LBW dismissal was plumb.
This left the team pretty down and despaired until Steve Collo smashed 24 off 24 balls, including an outrageous 6 over the 3rd man boundary. He was the final wicket to fall to Risleys’ P Addison who finished with remarkable figures of 5.4-2-6-5. We set a slightly below average 154.
After waiting an “age” for the tea to get ready, we took to the field. Fired up was Drinks, who was impressive as ever who troubled all batsmen who faced him, as he extracted the variable bounce and pace within the pitch finishing with 12-2-34-2.
Sharpy at the other end was also respectable bowling bagged a couple of wickets (12-2-33-2). The fielding was impressive at this point and the pressure was telling on the Risley batsmen. After Drinks and Sharpy finished their spells the score was 64/5 off 23 overs. The match looked on.
More wickets fell soon afterwards to Steve (9-2-27-1) and Dan Collo (3-0-19-1) leaving the home team at 109/7 off 35 overs. Despite the score, it could have been more favourable for us but for some questionable umpiring, notably a run out, caught behind and LBW.
However, Risley had 2 players who applied themselves to the situation, and built a partnership which got them to 145/7 off 42 overs. Then Kev (5-0-23-1) brought back on after his disappointing opening spell, made the huge breakthrough with Robbo taking a great catch running in from long off.
Risley required 5 off 12 balls with 2 wickets remaining. Luca (2-0-4-1) bowling the penultimate over, and took the 9th wicket off the first ball as the batsmen clipped the ball to midwicket for Drinks to parry the ball upwards and take the catch. 151/9, still 5 required off 11 balls now.
The over pasted with 2 more runs being added to the score – 153/9, just 2 off the final over.
Over to Kev Rees, first ball dot ball; Second ball, a very harshly called wide. Score now level. 3 more dot balls then followed. 1 required off 2. The batsman steered the ball through point for the winning runs.
Gritty bowling and fielding effort by the team, but failings by the batsmen left the bowlers with too much to do. A note to the bruised and battered Mike Rees, who kept fantastically despite the variable pace and bounce of the wicket, only conceded 2 byes.
Captain Calamity goes to Phil Z with one of the most “remarkable” fielding performances seen; the “highlight” was the fielding at mid off for Sharpy as the ball somehow evaded his long barrier for 2 runs.