Re-arranged T20 Knock out Cup match…
Don’t rain… Don’t rain… Please don’t rain… The afternoon chant looking down the valley at work as the clouds rolled in. The forecast was awful.
It starts drizzling on around 4pm and the winds really kicking up. Gale force wind yellow weather warnings issued.
5pm – Match still on as it stands.
The drizzle eased off, the wind only got stronger as we took the covers off.
A filthy night for a match.
With the threat of rain, the light not great and only going to get worse, it was decided to reduce the overs to 12 a side to give the best chances of a match and a result.
Matfen won the toss and elected to bowl.
Same short boundaries as Saturday. Jumpers, base layers, any piece of clothing available put on for fielding, not that it mattered because the wind would cut straight through. It was bitter.
Aaron to open bowling into a seriously strong wind held a good line but within a couple of balls it was clear that Thompson was a good bat. Straight driving and hitting the ball hard as Aaron strayed a little too full.
Hamish with the wind behind him bowled a good line and Mark Shaw didn’t find it as easy to get away trying to make cut / running to 3rd man shots out of balls that weren’t there to do it to.
With only 12 overs it was always going to be a big hitting contest and the boundaries started to mount up even though the bowling was good the scoreboard was rattling. It wasn’t a huge amount of slogging, there were a couple but most of the shot played were just good and hard as the bowlers maintain good discipline even with the ball getting greasy as it picked up damp from the outfield and the drizzle had returned.
Thompson continued his assault with his opening partner joining in… Gavin Todd then informed me that Thompson had hit 92 in the T20 match not so long ago which gave a bit of context.
Tom Scott spelled Aaron and found the wind difficult to deal with and both batsmen went about pushing the scoring on. Steve Tiffin found himself a ball magnet at fine leg as the batsmen used their inside edges.
James D’Arcy spelled Hamish and bowled some good deliveries but Meldomsely were rolling and they kept scoring although with the majority of our fielders on the line they weren’t having as many really big overs as there had been.
Shaw was caught by Pilki on the boundary late on for 49 which was the only wicket.
The scorecard suggests carnage but the bowling was far better than the figures suggest, the short boundary did a lot of damage.
123-1 (12 overs. Kennett 1 for 47) Thompson 68*
It was a relief to get out of the wind and try and get some feeling back in my hands.
Meldomsley weren’t all that keen to go out in it and no one could blame them but we had to suffer it so out you go.
Just over 10 an over. That’ll take some chasing. Top order really has to fire for this to work out.
Pilki and Hamish to open and take on the challenge. Some generous bowling (they hadn’t seen Pilki bat before to be fair, they weren’t to know they were bowling into his arc… They soon found out though) had Pilki timing the ball sweetly over the line and over the heads of the men on the line, hitting hard and long, the boundaries could have been out and he still would have cleared them. Hamish was aggressive too but he paid the price of hitting into the strong wind as the ball held up and he was caught at long on.
A couple of wides helped the cause as Max Stephens had the role of hitting into the gaps while Pilki as he continued his assault. Big 6 over cover has to be shot of the night.
We were gearing up to celebrate a Pilki 50, it was not to be as he came out of his crease, about a third of the way down the wicket to their best bowler Mark Charlton, off-spinner, missed and was stumped for 48, half century dodging.
79-2 The rain really starting to come down but no one wanted to come off. If it was abandoned the match would have to be replayed this week. May as well get it finished.
All the while James D’Arcy had been itching to get in, practically bouncing when he saw their bowling. T20 is his game he proclaimed as we took the covers off. He got his chance to prove it.
“Hitting a 6 into the field in this wind isn’t going to happen.” James managed it. There were some great hits as he took their bowling on. Everyone bar the wicketkeeper and bowler were patrolling the boundary encouraging rotating the strike.
A quick fire 23 had the chase right up with the rate. It was down to a run a ball before a couple of wides had us on the right side of the rate.
Eddie went for a big one, hitting high out towards the road but the wind caught it and it hung in the air, it was a good catch but with less wind it probably would have been on the road.
The field all came up to try and save any singles.
Tom Scott to see us through with Max who finished 24*, a wide running down to the boundary did the job.
124-4 with 6 balls to spare.
Matfen beat Meldomsley by 6 wickets.
A very entertaining, very quick match, in awful weather played in excellent spirit. Credit to Medomsley there was a catch taken on the boundary during our innings but the fielder had just breached the line. They didn’t claim it, the bowler told the umpire to give 6.
Next round against Benwell Hill away in a week and a bit.
Saturday is away at Stocksfield who were finally beaten at the weekend by Wylam.