One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs East Shirley Blue, Sydenham Park #3, Presidents, 10th November 2012
We would normally expect to beat East Blue based upon previous matches, and our usual respective league table positions. However, for the first time last year Easts had well beaten us in our last match against them, and looked at odds to do so again at various stages of this one.
But that certainly didn't look likely in the first 20 overs. We won the toss, and badly needing a solid batting performance for our confidence, elected to bat on a pretty good looking track that had more bounce than we'd seen for while. And our two openers Kev Moore and Spence certainly looked the goods. We all know that Kev has been in fine form recently, but Spency also contributed hugely to the opening partnership of 77 that was scored at a very respectable clip. But such has been his recent form, it was almost a surprise to see Kev not get fully onto a drive, and be dismissed for solid 39. Spency followed with an excellent 36, but between them they'd set up the innings for a 200 plus score.
That's in theory - soon we were struggling to get 140. East's best bowler, Tony Gray, had been been well handled, be it rightfully conservatively by Kev and Spency - at 1-15 off 6 we had him well in his place, and the plan from there was to play him out quietly. So much for plans, quickly Fleming, Congdon and Winder made his day, and within the space of those last two overs we were suddenly in trouble at 6/123. We were then saved by Geoff Miller who played the innings of the match. As others fell around him, Geoff kept putting the bad ball away, and in eventual partnership with Jules, who struck some good blows towards the end, got us through to 171.
But on that wicket, it was a very average score, and after an initial brittle start where Jason and Jules picked up a wicket a piece, Easts started to show that. Suddenly a comfortable looking partnership 64 from Cottam and Varma took them though to 89/2, and had them looking well in charge, especially as they took 38 off three consecutive overs towards the end. It all changed from that point as the remaining bowlers, Fleming, KC, and then Ralphy and Jason on their return, stifled their attempt to win the game. Suddenly 89/2 became 97/7 and the game swung dramatically back into our favour, much to our relief when inner thoughts were surely starting to turn negative. Flem finished his 8 overs with 2/18, KC 3/14 (thanks guys for the clap off, something I never expected to get as a bowler) and Jules who had an excellent all round game and finished with 1/7 off 6 (a man who did not deserve to not finish off his 8 overs for the second week in a row). The fielding was an improvement on the previous week's effort with Spency keeping well (ok, you just know that Bert will never let him forget the one difficult chance), and Geoff showed some previously hidden wicket keeping talents when he took over from Spency who's hands had been battered by our 4th and 5th charge bowlers. Also notable was a smart catch towards the end by Fergus to give Dick Sainsbury his first "proper" Sydenham Presidents wicket.
This was obviously way short of a complete performance, but there was much to like with a couple more batsman confirming that we do have some good batsman to back up a top bowling unit. Spency showed he is more than capable of making good scores this year, and Geoff proved that, gummy knee or not, he's still one of the best batsmen in this competition. But all the same, Tim please get well, we need you. And what of the bowlers ? well, we again proved that they are simply the best, and have huge variety whatever the conditions - and with Sammy soon adding to that, in all aspects I suspect, bring on Gold and LPW, the real test.
Check out the scorecard from the game.