1st XI vs Newdigate CC
NO MATCH REPORT – Lost by 4 Wickets
Byfleet CC vs 2nd XI
The 2s gathered at Byfleet knowing that a win would keep them in the promotion places at the business end of the season. Byfleet’s ground in many ways conforms to John Major’s bucolic vision of what a cricket ground should look like; tree lined, self contained, single story – club built – pavilion. Sadly though the scene is shot through with Larkin-esque dashes of modernity – a looming pylon, a roaring motorway. Reminders that we are in Betjeman’s Metroland and there is no escape.
TD bowled first after Natt lost the toss, something he blamed on a weak coin toss… Akash opened the bowling, and continuing his run of bad luck had one of the openers dropped by Peebo when he was on nought.
Akash and hamza went wicketless, but thanks to some good fielding, the runs were kept down. Tamil as so often provided the breakthrough,claiming one of he openers LBW. At drinks however Byfleet were 80 odd for the loss of just one wicket.
After drinks that all changed. Tamil and Robbo bowled superbly in tandem, and the runs dried up as surely as an alpine stream in late summer. Inevitably wickets followed, Tamil picking up two more while Robbo took three.
The highlight of Robbo’s wickets was Beaumont actually taking a catch but after realising there was no way he could bottle it and let it bounce.
Natt replaced Tamil and went for a few runs. The captain then turned to Parky, his secret weapon, a bowler who had not been unleashed on a league opponent since he went for about 200 off 8 overs 3 years ago. He immediately provided the breakthrough here though as a gentle inducker induced a simple caught and bowled.
Natt picked up a couple of wickets, and when Hamza cleaned up the last man bowled, Byfleet had been restricted to a very gettable 160 all out.
Peebo and Rutter opened the batting for TD and got the 2s off to a steady start. When Peebo fell for 14, spooning a tame ball to point, Sinj carried on their good work. No doubt Sinj was buoyed by the plaudits he’d received for last week’s match report – sadly there don’t seem to be too many films associated with Byfleet. Sinj dismissed the bowlers all round the ground, the highlight being a six into the trees.
Indeed Sinj was hitting the ball with such control that when he hit the ball one bounce into the scorer’s chest, it seemed hard to believe it wasn’t deliberate. Thankfully she wasn’t seriously hurt.
Rutter supported him limpet like, clinging on like the English did to Calais in the 16th century. When he fell for a composed 20 odd, Sinj was joined by Beaumont.
Beaumont had spent the previous half an hour telling everyone how he was going to smack the bowling for six every ball. Out in the middle, once he played and missed at his first ball he resigned himself to a supporting role.
Sinj reached 50 and then accelerated, stroking the ball to all parts. He deservedly hit the winning runs with a trademark Sinj dab to third man for four. He finished on 89 not out, well supported by Beaumont to give TD a comfortable win by 8 wickets.
3rd XI vs Epsom CC
The day started well, with Jai winning the toss and sending the oppo in to bat, despite Thames Ditton having 9 team members at the time. Fairy was in his native absolutely-bloody-miles-from-where-we-are-playing and Rajeev somewhere equally inexplicable. Both muttered excuses as they trundled on 5 overs in.
We took to the field after Wallace had finished reliving his 90’s rave days, crawling around the floor searching for pills whilst muttering something about a broken finger. Annable, as ever, started proceedings, and as ever, bowled with accuracy and control. Unfortunately, as (almost) ever, he was desperately unlucky to have little reward for a fine spell with one lbw decision looking particularly contentious.
Epsom’s opening pair drove well through the offside to reach 50 odd without loss, with Cassie dropping a tough chance at short cover before Harding held on to a low drive for Maughanys’ first of the day. Two and three followed soon after for Maughan, leaving the game in the balance (assisted by what some would describe as an overdramatic diving catch by Cassie). It was a fine spell for Maughan, finishing with figures of 35-3, despite at least one scalp being a self-confessed “Dicket”.
Stoked on by some rather potent (and rather unrefreshing) drinks, first changers Cassie and Dayal were unlucky to be left wicketless with probing spells from both. Young Sam Muller bowled a fine spell, taking a well-deserved wicket in addition to some superb work in the outfield to clinch the run-out of the dangerous Mcnab.
Skipper Jai clearly had his physic hat on, several times pre-empting precisely where the ball would land, leading to saved runs and wickets. He clearly had his brave hat on as well, as he tossed the ball to Harding. More by luck than judgement, the spell finished with 4-19 including a triple wicket maiden, assisted by catches from Dayal and Fairy. Taking inspiration from Pieman Jones and getting wickets from utter dross and taking (brief) inspiration from Jimmy Anderson with a delightful ball clipping the top of off to send Epsom’s number 8 back to the hutch. Sam Muller kept it tight at the other end and Epsom finished their 45 with 172 for 9.
All told, an achievable score having bowled and fielded pretty well.
Following tea (less said the better) TD came out to bat (less said the better) with cautious optimism. The top five batted with well-judged aggression, well run singles and field piercing accuracy. I jest of course – TD were 5 down for not many after 10 overs despite Fairy crashing a few half trackers to the boundary with gay abandon. Credit where credits due, Epsom opener, Hlobil, bowling a scarcely believable 9 overs for 6, conceding just 10 runs.
Maughan and Oneshot to the crease. Wallace hung around and played two well-executed, albeit familiar, looking strokes for his 8. At the other end, Maughan batted with control and looked (vaguely) in contention for his 120 needed to have any hope of avoiding the dreaded pint of Baileys. Alas, he perished for a well-made 30 and Dicko can breathe more easily. Cassie, Dayal and Annable gave brief hope with some aggressive stroke-making, reaching 12, 25 and 11* respectively. Special mention to Dayal’s quick fire 25, which included a huge six over mid-wicket and showed the top order how it’s done.
In the end TD fell short by 35, at 20-5 this seems a fine achievement. However, it was an undeniably winnable game with a strong looking side; the long wait for a league win continues. We go again next Saturday.