Saturday 9th April
This week our intrepid band of willow warriors took on the mighty Binstead CC. Fortunately this Saturday the weather was better than last week, and the first real test for the new wicket. Menorca batted first, once again the innings opened with James and Andy. Andy batted steadily and wisely to make 38 from 73 balls, acting as a foil for James who crafted 40 from 36 balls, James went first to a fine catch, Enter Tom Brewer, who having played on the new wicket before was more cautious this week, starting slowly then picking up the tempo and then bathing in boundaries, he managed 76 off 79 balls before there was a mix up and he was sadly run out. Roy came in at four, and the spectators got up to leave, expecting a utter borefest, but new season, new style Roy took on the pinch hitter role and quickly advanced to 38 runs off 37 balls, when attempting a cheeky single set off like a greased weasel, only half way down the wicket to remember he needs a new knee, and sadly didn't make his ground in time. In came Jake Cockroft, and the first ball he caught the faintest of edges and was dismissed caught behind without troubling the scorer, he was replaced by Seb Sayer who saw out the innings unbeaten on 19, now with not many balls left The Skipper put himself in, he faced 5 balls and scored six runs before being caught frustratingly close to the boundary. Leaving Boom Boom Hassan to survive the remaining three balls which he did scoring 3 in the process. So our innings ended on 246 for 6, and the conversation at lunch among the batsman was how the ball stayed low and didn't come on to the bat.
Binstead not intimidated by our total came out swinging with the plan of keeping the run rate on target, Alex Dear and Justin Henderson the opening pair started with stylish shots, dispatching the opening bowlers to all parts of the ground Alex amassing 41 before feathering a catch to Andy Tysoe off the bowling of Tom Brewer. Roy Sturgeon then plucked the ball from the air to dismiss the other opener Justin who had 40 runs at this stage and was looking settled, so well bowled Simon Cotton. The number 3 Ben Mitchell came in with the same mindset as the openers, and quickly set about the bowlers hitting 57 off 84 balls before being caught by Tom Brewer, a man on fire! This is where the pressure was beginning to show, chasing down a big total, and being slightly behind on the run rate, and the next few batsmen went cheaply 2 bowled in quick succession by Simon Cotton, and Lee Ball got amongst the wickets bowling their No.10 batsman cleanly. Simon Cotton returned the best figures of 3 wickets for 31 runs off 8 overs. Binstead finished on 186 for 8 off their 40 overs, allowing the Saturday side their first taste of Victory in 2016.
Sunday the tourists were determined for Vengeance, and put themselves into bat first, Alex Dear opening again, and hit a brisk 80 off 62 balls before being bowled by James Davies, Ben Mitchell who batted 3 on Saturday opened with him, but was penned down by some aggressive and intelligent bowling he faced 15 balls without scoring before being caught by the dynamic duo! Caught by Jake Cockroft bowled by James Davies. Was this Sunday going to be dictated by the youth team again? The young guns began to fire, Seb Sayer taking three wickets, two cleaned bowled and 1 LBW, James Davies, then realised the new wicket isn't good with searing pace, so halved his run up, and opened his box of tricks and proceeded to bowl slower balls, that did elusive wobbles in the air, and managed to instill fear in the opposition and remove 5 of their batsmen! 4 cleaned bowled and one caught! He bowled 8 overs, took 5 wickets and only leaked 27 runs. The other half of the dynamic duo, Jake Cockroft was waiting patiently to bowl, and when he got his chance, he too showed his powers of deception with his lofted leg spinners and bowled Roger Whitlock and three balls later had Steve Apter stumped by the ever young Kenny Johnstone. Binstead somewhat shell shocked had made 122 from 25.3 overs. The boys left the field somewhat jubilant and headed in for another delicious lunch. Full of confidence after a great turn in the field the youth squad came out to bat, brimming to chase the total down, The opening pair consisted of James Davies, and Tristan Dulligall (delighted to be included in the youth squad!) James thumped 73 before advancing down the wicket to send another ball to Mallorca, but unfortunately missed it and was stumped. Tristan held the other end together as best as he could, but was dismissed, swiftly followed in by Haque, who faced 13 balls and scored 4 runs before being dismissed. Which left Tom Brewer and Seb Sayer to come in together, Tom scored a bright 35 not out and Seb whose average must be looking good now with three not outs, scored the 6 runs needed to see us to victory! Menorca made 126 runs off 19.5 overs. The older players now fearing for their places, congratulated the young guns on another strong performance, and not wishing to get Andy Tysoe tearful again, but the future is looking bright! Well played both teams! Next week is is Sidcup CC!