SJFCC 129/5 (20 overs)
Garden Fields CC 125/9 (20 overs)
M King – 25 runs, 3 wickets
C Hoskins – 26 runs
A Watson – 25 runs
Victory this week against Garden Fields CC under the merciless Shenley Sun provided further evidence of the strength in depth possessed by the 2017 St John Fisher Cricket Club squad. It began with stand-in skipper Nursey displaying sharp tactical nous by arriving late and leaving stand-in skipper Hoskins Sr to win the toss and elect to bat.
Looking to reprise their success against Crabtree a few weeks prior, openers Hazon and King gamely made their way to the middle, discussing who is least suited to opening the batting to the sound of rapturous applause from the fine leg fielder. Hazon immediately strengthened his argument by missing the first straight delivery, out bowled for nought. In came Watson, hotly on the heels of his reputation, which of course had preceded him with the fielders taking several steps closer to the boundary rope. Both King and Watson retired on 25 runs, King getting there quicker in 24 balls to Watson’s 25. Stand-in skipper Hoskins Sr was looking to maintain a high scoring rate so juggled the batting line-up, frustrating the scorers and leaving me without a firm idea of who batted when. But Hoskins Jr scored a much quicker 26 (15 balls) before retiring and Boughton carved out a gutsy 3. Hoskins Sr, Boxer, Bambi, Stand-in skipper Nursey and Sasi scored 4, 11, 12, 2 and 7 respectively, although not in that order. They were all bowled.
The keeno opening batsmen from Garden Fields took to their creases with apparent urgency, arriving well before most of the SJFCC fielders, stand-in skipper Nurse and both umpires. So stand-in skipper Boxer set the field while Nursey went to collect what shall be referred to as the ‘match ball’. Exactly what match, involving what breeds of dog, remains unclear, but it was round and mostly red so Boxer let rip. Stand-in keeper Thomas provided excellent encouragement for the duration of the innings, urging each bowler to hit the whites of his (white) gloves. Stand-in skipper Nurse joined stand-in skipper Boxer in a formidable opening attack and took the first wicket in his first over, bowling the unlucky batsman via almost everything a ball can hit before reaching the stumps. Hoskins Jr and Sasi replaced the bowlers and each took a further wicket in their first overs, bringing to the crease what proved to be Garden Fields’ only significant partnership. With two crocked fielders at slip and gully, the off-side sweeper had a lot of ground to cover. Luckily that fielder was Matt King and he was a man possessed, gathering and fielding like somebody who had practiced doing it. As the dominant batsman retired on a hefty 36, Hazon replaced Sasi and King replaced stand-in skipper Hoskins Jr. Immediately, the run rate slowed and the other scoring batsman was removed by a smart stumping from stand-in skipper Thomas off Hazon’s bowling. King took a wicket in each of his 3 overs (all out bowled), joined by a rejuvenated Boxer who took a well-deserved wicket and then produced a maiden over to really tighten the game. After scoring 86 runs from the first 11 overs, Garden Fields could only manage 22 from the next 5 and stuttered further as King ran his bowling sword through their belly, eventually needing 14 from the last over. With the previously-retired top-scorer back in, stand-in skipper Nurse turned to overseas star Sasi. Only 9 runs could be managed and Fishers won by 4.
There aren’t usually statistics regarding ground covered in the field, but King would take that crown along with the unofficial man-of-the-match award for his all-round contribution. Other things to note are that this match continued stand-in skipper Nurse’s 100% record for the season, the game involved the most captains so far this season (4) and this match report is the most heavily hyphenated to date.