SJFCC vs Verulam
2007-05-15. Won by 5 wickets By Bob Little
Result: Verulam: 81 for 2 from 18 overs; The Mighty Fishers: 82 for 5 from 17.2 overs.
What had appeared to be a walk in the park after the first nine overs of the match turned out to be a walk in the quagmire as The Mighty Fishers eased past the Verulam score with just four balls left in a dull, damp and, at times, dangerous encounter. The danger element came courtesy of the Verulamium pitch which, although idyllic as a setting for a game of cricket, was both under-prepared and extremely damp after several days of rain.
In both innings, a number of balls reared alarmingly off a length. Some, in the hands of the Verulam bowlers, failed to pitch at all ñ the wetness of the ball contributing to three extremely high full tosses, deemed to be no balls, during the Fishersí innings.
Bungleís debut as a winning captain began by allowing Verulam first use both of the pitch and of what light there was on this overcast and rain laden evening.
Verulamís Whitecross and Larner began hesitantly against bowling by Krishnan and King (M) who made good use of the conditions. King (J) took over from King (M) at the laughingly named ëpavilioní end principally because Bungle wanted to confuse the scorers. Nonetheless, John kept the run rate down ñ as did Adam Hounslow from the ëWestminster Lodgeí end.
While a number of edges managed to elude the fielders ñ including one archetypal through-the-hands effort from Bungle, walking in to silly mid off to deal with a mistimed drive that looped off the bat, denying Magnet his first victim of the season ñ Dan Lovett, on debut, took a smart catch to dismiss Lowe, and stand-in wicketkeeper Sandsy began proceedings with a smart stumping to dismiss the Australian, Whitecross, before he got into his stride with the bat.
In reply, Reevo was soon lured into playing too soon to a ball that held up on the now rapidly deteriorating surface but Adam and Dan put together an impressive and assured partnership before Adam retired and Dan was out soon afterwards.
This precipitated something of a collapse, with Krishnan and Bungle departing in quick succession. With eight overs to be bowled, Fishers needed another 32 to win with six wickets in hand ñ and, in the conditions, boundaries were hard to come by.
Tim Madden and Bob Little restored some momentum to the innings but, with 22 balls remaining in the innings, Bob retired hurt, undone by a combination of extreme pace from the bowler, a spiteful pitch and poor light. In the next over, Tim was out, leaving the two Kings to seal victory with some confident nurdling and assured running between the wickets.
Man of the Match: Good batting and fielding performances by Dan Lovett, on debut, along with an entertaining over were, however, eclipsed by Adam Hounslow’s impressive top score of the Fisher’s innings (25*) and some tidy bowling at the start of the Verulam innings.
Injury of the match: Bob Littleís hand injury which enabled him to retire and allow John King, with Matt of course, to get the winning runs.