The One Vs Our Nets Neighbours
2007-05-31. Lost by 4 wickets By Matt King
SJFCC vs KIMPTON
Result: The (Mighty) Fishers: 86 for 8 from 20 overs, Kimpton: 87 for 6 off 16.1 overs.
Having spent the long, cold, winter evenings studying each othersí form at the nets in Hatfield, this was always going to be a close encounter and, no, Iím donít mean anything to do with mysterious, strangely shaped beings from outer-space (insert your own gag about Bungle here).
We batted first. With two of our potential openers delayed by convoys bringing lighter fuel and matches into Wheathampsted, it was left to Coxy and Reevo(?) to get us off to a flying start to match the run rate from the previous Thursdayís batting bonanza. We were not disappointed. In fact, to have been disappointed would have been a far too positive a reflection on how things actually went.
As I write this I donít actually have the scorebook with me!.which is probably a good thing. Iím working from a few notes, but I think youíll get the gist.
Basically, we were something like 16-4 from about 8 overs, we then really ramped things up to reach 33-7.
Reevo was ërun outí after leaving his crease to prod the pitch with his bat in an attempt to remove a fallen tree or molehill or some other such obstruction. The pitch was slow and wet. Bob was bowled after a mis-timed pull shot. The ball was so slow coming onto the bat that Bob was on his second run before realising that the ball was still moving and that the bails had come off.
Bungle was out for a Golden Duck and Matt made a school-boy error of assuming the ball had crossed the boundary just because the chasing fielder gave up running and started to walk after the ball. If he and co-joined twin, John, had run three rather than two then Matt wouldnít have played on the next ball trying to hit it for five to make amends.
Anyway, by this stage the cavalry had arrived and we knew any run-fest was in the safe hands of later-comers and slogmeisters Chris and Dawko (who found himself in the unusual position of no. 11).
It was Chris and John King who put on the much needed runs with a partnership of 39. Chris hit two fours in consecutive balls, leading to murmurings amongst the crowd that he should expect to be pulled aside for a random drugs test after the game.
With every run really counting, Chris continued to ignore the calls from the pavilion to leave the wide balls and proved us wrong by chasing them down and hitting them for four. John, who was getting his share of the runs too, even appeared to be allowing Chris to keep the strike. As an un-named Chairman of the club commented on Chrisís dynamic prowess, ëHeís operating at the same speed as the pitch .Chris and pitch in perfect harmony it’s the kind of thing that would make a case study for an A level physics project on resonant frequency.
All good things come to an end and Chris was out for 23. Sandsy joined John at the crease and guided Fishers to 86 for 8. A target which had looked well beyond our reach for the first 12 overs or so. John finished on a very respectable 24 not out with Extras taking the third highest score on 18.
Dawko, having spent two hours in traffic, didnít even get to bat. Imagine if he had opened we could even have reached 87.
We knew this was going to be a tough target to defend, but we made a real game of it. Bungle gambled all our strike bowlers early on and it paid off. Wickets fell quickly and we gave little away in the field. The oppo were 2 for 2 off 2. Andy H bowled really well to get two wickets for only 3 runs. Bob and Reevo both turned in a maiden and Dave, Bungle and Coxy took a wicket apiece. Months of training paid off when one of our set-piece training exercises came good. After the long chase up to Bomb Alley by the nets, Matt stopped the ball just inside the boundary and confused (I mean ëtrappedí) the batsman with an ensuing wild throw. Little did they know that this was all part of well-rehearsed routine and Bob (I think) de-bailed for the run out.
Unfortunately, their no. 4 retired on 25 and they were getting runs quicker than we were getting wickets.
It was closer than we expected, but not close enough. Kimpton hit the winning runs in the 17th over having lost 6 wickets.
Man Of The Match: John King for 24 not out and two tight overs.
Quote Of The Match: The cries of “here comes the cavalry” to welcome the delayed Dawko ..only to see him sit the innings out from the sidelines.