Thursday, 14 May 2015

We're back!!!

Website had been down for a while but we are up and running again.  Below is a short (ish) report from our new 2nd XI Skipper Mr. Sam Grant.


Cranmore

9th May

The 2nd XI finally dodged enough rain clouds to get their season underway as they visited Instonians for a 35 over game. After winning the toss and batting on a ground with school boy boundaries, the top 3 of Bob Moore, Ollie Fleetham and Alex O’Brien had to negotiate some tricky conditions first up, with a damp mat offering variable bounce. They grafted well to carry us to 71 for 1 at drinks, building a platform that would allow for more expansive stroke play in the latter stages of the innings.
 

Bob Moore and Matthew Fleetham the stars from Saturday
Alex was dismissed for 16 shortly after looking to raise the tempo, which brought our explosive middle order into play.  With Bob playing the anchor role at the other end, Max Porter and Ahsan Khan were allowed to play with the freedom they thrive in. Instonians needed no further clues to their batting styles after both men nonchalantly dismissed their first balls for six over long off. Max hit three sixes and a four in a 10 ball 23 before Ahsan stole the limelight and undoubtedly provided the moment of the match.
 
With the opposition searching for change bowlers, Ahsan sent seven consecutive deliveries sailing back over the bowler’s heads for six. It was nothing more than sweet timing and great viewing for those on the boundary’s edge, that is until Bob decided he was the man in charge and ran the majestic Khan out for 48 off just 16 balls. Those with decent memories may remember him doing the same at Waringstown last season when a young D. Hand was threatening his batting trophy. Conspiracy theories aside, as the innings drew to a close, wickets fell quickly as the tempo of the scoring increased. All credit to Bob, falling only 3 balls short of carrying his bat with a composed 83 from 87 balls (8 fours, 2 sixes) and delivering us a total of 199 all out. 

Spirits were high at the break, knowing we had scoreboard pressure on our side. The buoyancy of the fielders only grew as Bob and Matty Fleetham delivered excellent new ball spells to leave Instonians 33 for 3 after 11 overs. Unfortunately, as conditions dried the bounce of the mat became truer, and the miniscule boundaries allowed for mis-hits to carry the full distance. Although the opposition were reduced to 58 for 5 and 116 for 6, their momentum continued to build and with little variation to be had from the ball, their number 7 was allowed to wait for any slight error in line or length.
 
TD and Max gave everything to take the decisive wickets, but their 8th wicket parternship saw them home with almost two overs to spare, the number 7 scoring 80 not out. It was a deflating result, though there were many positives to take from our first game of the season. Bob provided a great all-round performance, complementing his batting with a frugal 7 over spell of 1 for 19 and captaining admirably. The cavalier nature of the middle order will come in handy for the season to come if they can keep finding the middle of their bats with such regularity and mention should also be made of Matty’s bowling, hitting good areas with impressive pace to take 2 for 25. He will have many an opening batsman desperate to seek the refuge of the non-strikers end this season. In the end, a 3 wicket loss was surprising, but the side showed their worth and will not have long to wait for their first victory.