Gents, another top performance in the field especially yesterday. I lost the toss on a scorching day and we were put in the field. It was a tight start with the ball. Harps and I opened, with Tom behind the sticks. The only blemish to the start was a missed edge/stumping, but it was a tough chance which deviated a lot. Otherwise Tom's performance with the gloves was excellent and Harps was his usual economic self with the ball. Chris replaced me after 5 overs of leg spin (with the new ball no less) and promptly bowled a beamer, complaining that the ball was too slippery to control! However, he soon found a length and started to terrorise the batsmen - and the umpire, who did not take kindly to Chris' interpretation of an LBW decision. I had to mediate the situation but sometimes competitive players get fiery. Chris' efforts culminated in bowling their opener off his pads and a catch being taken low in the covers, ending with good figures on the day.
As usual Dan threw himself at everything - solid with the ball and saving runs everywhere left, right and centre including using his face to stop the ball on one occasion! Alex replaced Dan from the pavilion end and bowled exceptionally well, beating the bat and keeping it tight. He also created two half chances that just evaded Tim, though not for lack of effort, diving high and diving low but the ball just out of reach. Sri replaced Chris from the far end - it was going to be Joe, but i wanted to change the pace up - and it worked! Sri bowled the batsman with a beautifully flighted delivery. His next 5 overs were fantastic too... but his last over was reminiscent of that infamous over at Stalbridge, just without the wickets! I do not know how many deliveries he actually bowled, but he definitely got his money's worth! In the end i completed the over after he mentioned a mysterious groin and wrist injury that he picked up in the morning!? Spencer came on for a couple of overs to mix things up but after exerting himself in the field for 30 odd overs he couldn't get his the control especially after him and i collided in the field - however, after Sri's last one, Billy did appreciate that each of Spence's overs were only 6 balls long! After completing Sri's over i kept myself back on after both Tom and Joe - who had taken a superb diving catch in the deep to a ball that was always dying on him - suggested that pace off was the way to go. Thankfully in 3 overs i was only hit for one boundary (a full toss for 6) but i did get a batman out hit-wicket (obviously due to my searing pace!). At the other end Dan picked up a hard earned wicket to an unbelievable catch from Connor at long off. The fielding had been led by Connor all day, the ball following him all over the park. His efforts were typified when he somehow managed to cling on to what was surely a flat 6. It was a great leap to reach it and even better reflexes to catch it after juggling it a few times, all the while balancing just inside the boundary line! It was Alex who had the final say in the field, though. A good caught and bowled off the last ball to end them on 250 odd for 7.
Now it was over to the batsmen. Harps was his usual classy self, picking off 2 boundaries in the first over. At the other end Connor stepped up to the plate. Sri's injuries meant that i had to ask Connor to fill in - he can definitely hit them, but with no prior warning and a big target on the board, it was always an up hill battle. Nevertheless he stood tall and did what was asked of him. To his credit he lasted longer than most of the rest of us! Joe was out caught, Chris got a golden duck - both well held. Alex got the ball of the day, an in swinging yorker that moved a mile. Dan went out next and strangely was given out LBW after completing two leg-byes?! That brought Tom to the crease and what a batsman he looked! Solid in defence, a fierce cut shot and the best of them all was a lofted straight drive. However, he was out after missing a full toss that has suspicions of a no ball about it. Sri was next in and it was obvious that his niggles were preventing him from playing with absolute freedom and eventually was out in a similar fashion to Tom. Harps was giving it his all for the mighty House as always, including wearing a top edge in the teeth - either that or he had some of Heather's lipstick on! Spencer did his all to hang around as did Tim, who finished on 5 not out and had the loudest cheer of the day after opening the face of the bat for a guided 4 to third man.
The atmosphere within the team was and is excellent. We just need a bit of luck to go our way now.
Man of the match is Tom for a great performance with gloves and bat.
Special mentions to Connor, Tim, Dan and the team.
We didn't get the result but i can safely say we all enjoyed it out there and had a great time afterwards too. Next time we shouldn't follow England's lead with the bat! Still a top effort though chaps.