Note carefully the craft of the spinner: the ball dips from above the eye-line, luring the batsman into an aggressive stroke...
An ex-Chairman writes...
Phoenix cricket club was a fixture from the exchange and not a regular foe. They were very pleasant on and off the field but slightly too good for us on this occasion.
Hyde Heath took the field on a very warm and humid afternoon. Despite having most of the top bowlers playing, Phoenix made us struggle in the field. Jeremy had four maidens in a row after a wayward first few overs, but the pressure lifted with some loose deliveries once the opening pair of Jeremy and Alastair came off. It wasn’t a great day to be fielding and their opener and captain made a century off tiring bowlers. One inspiring moment came when Tom Jeffreys produced a snorter to pin his man, LBW; not a typical wicket for our answer to Ian Salisbury. Let’s hope this is the start of a resurgence of form as one must question where the snarl and grunt of previous seasons has gone?
Phoenix took a very pleasant tea, thank you Mrs Shrimpton and Miss Morgan, with 196 runs for 8 wickets, a score made better by a very slow outfield.
Hyde Heath have an uncanny knack when batting of looking at one minute, unbeatable and, at the next, like rabbits. This was a disaster of a performance. After Dominic was stumped while closer to the bowler than his own crease, Henry and James played some sublime cricket. Both have looked in very good form this season and were taking the score along with ease. Henry, then, missed a straight one and James tried out the catching of the deep field.
Normally, the Heath would have batted with some care and either crept over the winning line or held on for a draw. Unfortunately, there was 20/20 batting at one stage. Andrew seemed to have a hot date waiting and Nick was in a bit of a rush too. Spencer, however, made a patient 10 off 31 balls – the 10 being hit off two balls in the middle! Bradley seemed to be playing French cricket with his second ball chipped back to the bowler after Liam, again, was chasing that hot date.
Normally, “9,10, Jack” in the Hyde Heath team bat with more technique than anyone. However, Tom did have a hot date, although with the good manners to wait around for 18 balls, leaving Jeremy and Alastair to hold out for the draw. This they did for 28 balls until Andrew, umpiring this time, remembered his assignation and we had LOST, for the first time this season!
Phoenix played well and deserved their victory, but it was a bit frustrating as Hyde Heath had looked to be cruising in the early part of the innings and looked well set to save it at the end.