Wednesday, 5 September 2012

HHCC vs Roxbourne

A brand new opposition – replacing Old Salops at the last minute – brought out an impressive display from a Hyde Heath side missing a few key players. We lost the toss and – shock! horror! – were put into bat on a grey and muggy day offering plenty of swing. Dom and Henry did an excellent job of negotiating the early movement, before Dom was given out LBW by Matty.

Out strode at number 3 a man wielding the very bat apparently once used by a certain Chris Gale (it's a long story). But alas, it was not the former West Indian captain taking a break from Twenty20 duties to try out something more meaningful, but none other than yours truly, not exactly the kind of big-hitting run machine that has opposition bowling attacks quaking in their boots. But with a bit of luck – I played and missed quite a bit and had a vague-looking drive put down at gulley – I managed to scratch away and keep Henry company to set a platform for the lower order to attack/collapse. We were helped by their bowling, which, whilst accurate and frustrating, needed to be a smidge fuller and quite a bit straighter in order to take full advantage of the overhead conditions.

After I departed – stumped having an aimless waft – Capper continued on to a really excellent unbeaten century, the backbone of an ultimately very creditable total of 211. As ever he was particularly strong between mid-on and mid-wicket but there were some back-foot drives through the offside too and a sumptuous clip off his toes that sped to the boundary with little more than a flick.

From there, a combination of Ali – predictably excelling in the conditions – and Spencer – less predictably sticking to a much better length than usual – kept the opposition top order frustrated and pegged back with regular enough wickets. Perhaps they bowled too long though, and by the time the spinners came on, the draw was the only real likelihood. Although the cause wasn't really helped by the fact that Atif and I bowled utter dross once the rain started to fall. Charlie (Capper's cousin) was more incisive and we fielded well too to have them 9 down by the close, but with the ball soggy, fat and hard to grip, we never quite looked like bowling them out.

Special mention ought to be made this week of the teas – an array of splendid cakes from my dearest Mother, and sandwiches by, um, me. Pat yourself on the back. Why, thank you.

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