A warm and sunny day, bit of cloud knocking about, no threat of rain. Two Saturday’s on the trot? Strange.
Stranger still driving up to the ground there were these big dome green things with wheels on the pitch… Oh yes Matfen have got covers now and after a week of unsettled weather, plenty of rain which put pay to our T20 cup match they are a very useful addition and something that has been wanted for a long time.
Before the match Hamish proudly bounced a ball on the wicket to show that there was actual bounce in it after the work that had been put in during the week. It was impressive given the rain that we’ve had and the low bounce that we’ve had at home so far.
Standing next to the wicket gave a real appreciation of just how short the boundary had been made, a good 3m in from the usual pavilion line, 2m off the fence at the road, 3m shorter at the football end, a little off the fence at the village end. Too short? Well the grass hadn’t been cut on Friday because of the rain so it was going to hold up. It turned out that it played about right. Shots that deserved 4 got 4.
Allendale won the toss and elected to bat.
We’ve been batting first for a while, bit of a change, not unwelcome.
Left handed Welch and right handed Hyde their Kiwi/Aussie (not sure which, according to our experts he sounds more like an Aussie) to open for Allendale to face Aaron from the football end and Hamish from the Village end.
Welch is unconventional, he is not pretty to watch but he’s got a good eye and he knows where his stumps are so he is effective.
Haltwhistle told us that Hyde was the major danger batting wise and he looks a good bat but Hamish bowled him so we didn’t see much of him.
Amit Sunda, loves a straight drive, loves a hit, seen him a fair few times. 4.2. Out. Another wicket for Hamish.
Terry Sparke came in and with Welch began to rebuild from 15-2. A few chances were put down as Sparke flashed outside off. Cha-ching. Fines.
James D’Arcy spelled Aaron and bowled a very tidy spell. He had a couple of very good shouts of LBW against Welch turned down as he failed to connect as he bowled a middle – leg stump line tying him up (all LBW’s were turned down, it has to be stone cold dead plumb to get a LBW off David Neal and that’s fine because it’s the same for both sides). He did pick up the wicket of Sparke for his efforts.
Richard Sadler is a very handy bat and plays the short ball very well. That bounce that Hamish was so proud of was playing out and there were genuine bouncers as an option for the bowlers.
James Ankers in the meantime had spelled Hamish and was mistaken for the batsmen as David Neal raised his finger for a run out off a great throw by Ross Colesky. Tap on the shoulder from Welch well inside his crease. He was behind you Mr Neal. Not run out.
Welch did get run out though in a genuinely strange bit of play. Welch hit the ball into the deep pretty much straight to the fielder and started running, the ball came in, Sadler hadn’t moved. Two batsmen at one end. Welch run out. “**** I’ve done it again” perhaps not the first time this has happened at a guess.
Stobbs was caught by Paul Wood off James Ankers bowling shortly afterwards.
Allendale frustrated us for a time as chances went down and some good shots were played until Ross Colesky bowled Sadler who departed for a well-made 28. Ross’ first Matfen wicket.
When Rutherford lost his wicket to Tom Scott as he was caught by Hamish, it was time to mop up the tail.
I was wondering if I was even going to get a bowl at this stage… We’ve got a glut of bowlers this year and there’s no denying it’s a difficult job for Alex to manage all of us.
Hamish to come back on this time from the football end because the boundaries meant that the only sensible end for me was the village.
I was a little dubious about coming on in for the 34th over, wondering whether this was going to be a case of being cannon fodder because traditionally the last 10 overs is the slog fest and having just seen Hamish get rid of the last left hander, given 2 right handers… There were so many left handers in the Allendale team and I love bowling to left handers, I’m an off spinner of course I love bowling at left handers… Anyway, first ball dragged down too short put away for 4 as it should have been, probably a bit of worry from my team mates that after waiting so long to get a bowl I was going to bowl badly and have to be taken off but I often drag the first ball short if I’ve been fielding for a long time, getting a bit cold, it’s annoying but it doesn’t upset me. Get it out of the way then I start bowling better. There was some good turn on offer. Slope aiding. Sparke played the wrong line not expecting the ball to turn, it did. Same thing for the last wicket in my next over.
Allendale 128 all out (36 overs, Kennett 3 for 21) J Welch 33.
Tea time. Loads of sandwiches, sausages in Dijon mustard, scones… Well feed.
Hamish and Paul Wood to open against Amit Sunda, one of the quickest in the league when he bends his back, skiddy with a good Yorker and a pretty decent bouncer. Not many of his usual Yorkers going on mind, he was using more good to back of a length.
Sparke’s immaculate length brought him 5 maidens on the trot. Both batsmen preferring to go after and use the pace of Sunda which lead to him being taken off and replaced by Terry Sparke. You two like pace? Well here is none. Patience is a virtue, here’s a test.
There really is no pace to work with and a lot of flight (grenade trajectory basically) and to cap it off they brought Swann on from the other end to bowl his slower still leggies. Something had to give and it was Paul coming out of his crease after Sparke. It was a very sharp piece of work by Welch for the stumping. Bails off before Woody could even think about getting back.
Tom Scott next in to have his patience examined while Hamish used good footwork and power to keep the scoreboard ticking Tom found it hard to get going. There is nothing worse than going in to bat against no pace.
When Tom departed Max was next in, he hit the ball well and put the fielders under pressure. There was some good running in the partnership which pushed the score on. Allendale turned back to Sunda for a breakthrough. With a bit of an examination he found Max’s playing of the short ball a little suspect so cue bouncers just about every time that Max was on strike. It paid off as he was caught.
Aaron Tiffin promoted up the order because he had to leave around 6pm. He certainly wasn’t looking to hang about. Hamish’s face when Aaron came out was a picture, he was probably expecting Eddie or James D’Arcy, actual middle order batsmen… The celebration when Aaron played a really good pull for 4 was that given to a lower order player making runs out of position, on the side of OTT. Trying to run out Hamish was not welcomed with such enthusiasm. When he settled down, a bit there were some good drives and a couple of defensive shots.
What was not expected was that it was Hamish, not Aaron who was the next wicket, 1 shy of another half century. A really good ball from Sunda, nick through to the keeper. His average halved to 122.67. Not happy.
Eddie Scott to bat for his average through to the end. He even admitted it.
Aaron got out at 6pm. Now that is excellent timing.
113-5. 16 to win.
James D’Arcy in for a cameo to see us over the line with Eddie, scores level he hit the winning runs with a flourish, 4.
132-5 (30.5 overs. Sunda 3 for 47) Kennett 49.
Matfen Hall beat Allendale by 5 wickets. 12 points.
Allendale 4 bonus points (2 batting, 2 bowling)
“The weather forecast is bad for overnight. Do you want the covers on?” We’re going to have to get used to asking that one and doing it, although they aren’t heavy to push up the hill, a bit tricky to line them up but it’s still more than worth it.
Fines box; dropped catches; allowing Sparke to bowl 5 maidens; scoring less than Aaron; mis-fields; over complicating a dive on the boundary to save 4 (showing off); inability to play a pull (probably a bit harsh but it was admitted before batting then demonstrated); losing the toss and the heinous crime of half century avoidance.
Big thank you to Claire for scoring; Eddie, Hamish, James for wicket prep, Tom for the boundaries and everyone involved for a good match.
Next up T20 cup rearranged fixture Monday.