|Season to date||Played||Won||Lost||Drawn||Abandoned||Cancelled|
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|Pictures - Chris Sargeant unless otherwise stated|
|April 28th||Bank of England - draw||A|
|May 5th||Cublington - win||H|
|May 12th||The Lee - win|
|May 19th||Pelicans - draw|
|April 28th - Bank of England - Away Draw|
|We arrived at the Bank of England’s impressive
club grounds with a strong XI and unlike previous years, on time, with all
of our kit and temperatures above freezing (just!).
We were asked to bat first on what felt like a great batting wicket, but Dom and Henry fell early on to pair of LBWs. After a frenetic start, Henry King settled into a brutal knock, smashing almost everything that came his way, generally along the deck and often with classy punches down the ground and through the covers. It was glorious to watch. Ateeq was his parter in a 150 run stand, who looked assured and ran hard for his younger colleague. They ended on 127 and 58 respectively and between them scored almost all of our 222.
It’s not often you blaze 127 and almost get pipped to man of the match, but Ben Sonley took Henry(K) pretty close with a mammoth 11 over spell, that went for only 22 runs and included four maidens and four wickets, incredible stuff from the metronome. I have a memory that the first wicket was a lightning fast leg-side stumping by some young chap called Haddock behind the stumps.
That miserly spell meant that Bank never looked like scoring enough runs. Ben was well supported by every other bowler, particularly Luke who was fast, Simon on debut and Captain Nick who took a sharp C&B in his three wicket haul.
Our catching let us down a bit, Bank hung onto a draw, eight wickets down and we dropped at least three chances. Still, a very good start to the season, particularly for Henry(K), who has timed his maiden hundred for the club perfectly, this being the first summer that he can legally buy a jug! This might turn out to be an expensive season for him.
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|May 5th - Cublington - Home Win|
Things didn’t get off to a good start against Cublington. There was a hint
of an Australia accent on their hefty opening batsman, which is usually a
concern. Our worst fears were realised, and we discovered that this chap
was an overseas pro at some point during his blistering, faultless 170
(retired). His innings enabled their skipper to gleefully declare before
tea with 254 on board. If we were going to have anything to celebrate over
bank holiday beers in the Plough, we’d have to bat out of skins.
Dom and Henry started watchfully, but both looked in good touch. They reached 100 in good time, without any concerns. Having both passed 50, they set their minds on the chase and opened their arms, dispatching the ball to parts in a session which saw 60 odd runs scored in a flash.
As we reach the 20 over countdown, Cublington turned to their Saturday opening quicks. Unfortunately this led immediately to a double breakthrough, Henry Capper for 76 and Henry King for a duck. Captain Nick strode purposefully to the crease, kept the scoreboard ticking and ran well with Dom who was by now in the 90s. Though he’d sent a good number of straight(ish) sixes into the trees and swivel pull shots off his nose over the road, it felt appropriate that a mistimed bunt through mid-wicket took Dom to his hundred.
The match was still alive. Nick was dismissed but Simon, on home debut, was a cool head under pressure. Dom was swinging hard at everything now and the pair were keeping us up with the rate, just. On 132, Dom was finally dismissed by a sharp caught and bowled by our Australian friend. We needed 12 from two overs, fingernail chomping stuff. Kenny came in, perhaps the perfect scenario for him, licence to unleash his lusty blows. He did just that which coupled with Simon’s nous kept us going. A late cut from the outside half of Simon’s bat took us to victory with just two balls to spare.
Phew! What a finish! A famous victory! No one can remember a higher successful chase for the club. A superb batting effort, made possible by the bowlers and fielders sticking to a tough task against quality oppo earlier in the day. Much post match analysis was required in the Plough.
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|May 12th - The Lee - Away Win|
On the wettest wicket since Worcestershire CCC
ill advisedly toured to Atlantis CC, we were asked to bat first at The
Lee. Our top three showed discipline against some good new ball bowling,
but though Dom made it into the 30s, runs were scarce and the scoring rate
slow. Having arrived 30 minutes late, Luke must have missed the team
tactics meeting about patience and casually deposited his first two
deliveries ten yards over the boundary. He continued in this style to make
our only meaningful contribution with the bat, a thrilling and brutal 95.
He was out in the closing overs, selflessly pushing the score on without
concern for his hundred. It was brutal batting and we would have been well
short without it. He was well supported by Nick, who looked in good nick,
Simon who hung around and ran well for a long time, Gus who crashed a pull
shot to the boundary and decided that was enough for him, and Ben who will
talk you through his run-a-ball 12 in great detail whether you like it or
We set 200, but rumours of very talented league batsmen through their order abounded. Today though, HHCC were brilliant in the field. Luke took the new ball and was fast and fiery, crashing through batmen’s gates and into stumps, and regularly finding the outside edge in a four wicket spell. The Burgham Boys, this week Nick and Walter, combined to claim six wickets(!), three to Nick’s off spin which had got better and better and surely he will compete for the highest wicket tally this year, and three stunning catches. Nick leapt like a salmon and took one in mid air to dismiss their best batsman, and two for Walter, one in which he covered a lot of ground and the other was struck mighty powerfully and went like a rocket. Ateeq’s well flighted leg spin wrapped up the tail, including a well judged over the shoulder catch taken by Kenny and in a flash we had dismissed The Lee for 120 in 20 overs.
It was a complete team performance. On paper one we ought not to have won, but a bit of brilliance by Luke with the bat, allowed us to pull together for a brilliant fielding performance and thumping victory.
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|May 19th - Pelicans - home draw|
On Sunday we hosted local rivals The Pelicans. The Pelicans lost the toss so we put them in to bat. The wicket was a little damp with all the rain we had on Saturday evening but was drying out fast. A nice warm afternoon ahead of us. Luke and Ben opened the bowling, Luke got one wicket but we couldn’t seem to break through the top order. A bowling change was needed. On came Nick and Luke’s friend, Matt aka Bomb Head! Well these two surely did slow the run rate with Nick bowling 11 overs and taking 2 wickets and Matt bowling well having taken two wickets then in the last over before tea, took three more. So a fiver for Matt. A mention also to Angus who hung on to an absolute sky-er of a catch nearly taking Ben out in the process. Luke also held a screamer to point.
We headed into the tea break needing just under 200 to win the game. Matt Simms and Luke opened the batting. They were coasting along quite nicely, Luke hitting one of the biggest sixes ever seen on the common and Matt running quickly between the wickets. After Matt’s dismissal, Spencer came to the crease and upped the run rate. Unfortunately Luke got bowled by an extremely good delivery just clipping the top of off stump. Then it left us a bit thin on the ground. Nick, Angus and Kenny went quickly. Simon hung around to guide us towards a draw. Liam and Ben made sure we didn’t lose the game. So all up a good effort from everyone.
Next Sunday, home game against Little Marlow – bank holiday weekend. See you there.
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