Crabtree 3/6/15

Wednesday night and Crabtree were in town, the previous week had been up and down and Fishers were looking to build on their one game winning street. The weather was set fair and conditions looked good. The positive mood improved further when it became clear the opponents ages appeared to range between 10 and 70.
Skipper Anil was late so stand in Captain, Bungle, stepped up to the mark and won the toss. The decision was made, Fishers would bowl first.
Bungle and Hargreaves opened the bowling, Crabtree’s openers made a solid, if unspectacular start, the opening stand eventually broken by Bungle who finished with figures of 1 for 16 off his 3 overs. Hargreaves was unlucky to finish wicketless, Back putting down a somewhat regulation catch at point.
Indeed, the whole innings was characterised by some superbly indifferent fielding from the Fishers team. In all six catches went down, the roll of shame reading Back (2), Anil, Watson, Vaughan and Nurse. It was the 8th over before one was finally held, Tatlock taking a sharp catch off his own bowling.
At this point there was real concern that Crabtree were being let off the hook, no team had scored in excess of 100 at Shenley yet this season and a strong middle order batting performance allied with the mounting number of missed opportunities raised the prospect of Fishers having to chase down a significant total.
Order was, however, restored when Anil brought himself and Boxer on to bowl. Boxer, carrying a back injury, bowled at no more than half pace but, in an extraordinary display of how to bowl at the death, finished with remarkable figures off 2 overs 3 wickets for a miserly four runs. Anil also chipping in with a couple of late wickets including a catch from man of the moment, Boxer. The innings closed with Crabtree scoring a very creditable 106 for 7.
To win Fishers would need to chase down a season’s best target at a run rate of 5.35. In an inspired team talk, Anil reminded Fishers that it was only Watson who was capable of hitting the ball out of the ground and that the rest of the team should look to pick up the singles where possible.
Bearing this advice in mind, openers Back and Hoskins strode to the wicket. Back comfortably saw out a maiden first over. Four nurdled singles in the second and third overs saw Hoskins facing the final ball of the over, a miscued drive was well held at mid off and Fishers were 4 for 1 after 3. The run rate spiralling to 6.05. Next man in was Watson, a trademark, quickfire 33 off 18 balls soon brought the required rate tumbling down. After his retirement, Boxer came to the crease and continued in a similar vein, a rapid 21 off 18 balls cementing his man of the match performance. Watson and Boxer both treating Crabtree’s up and coming youngster with no respect whatsoever, dishing out some violent treatment to the fledgling bowler.
By now the game was as good as won. Finally Back’s lengthy vigil ended as he retired on 28 off 43 balls. Hargreaves maintained the momentum before his became the final wicket to fall. It was left to Tatlock and Nurse to steer Fishers home. A comprehensive seven wicket victory with two overs to spare. The winning streak was now two matches long.