One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs Hornby, Denton Park, Presidents, 18th February 2012
This was the classic game of two halves. One look at the wicket upon arrival at Denton Park signaled that it wasn't something you were going to look forward to batting on, and certainly not first up. So when we won the toss, we had no hesitation in putting Hornby into bat on a dry looking track that seemed to have been overlooked for its watering and rolling throughout the week.
And that proved to be the case, we dominated the next 30 odd overs with the ball. Although Hornby preserved wickets throughout most of their innings, they did so at the cost of a very low run rate that looked certain to produce a score of no more than 110-120. However, there was a disappointing final few overs for us where the bowlers lost their length and Hornby finally took some risks. Although those last 8 overs cost us 59 runs at 7.5, something out of context with the rest of the match, and Hornby's final 147/7 certainly made it more of a challenge, it shouldn't have been decisive with a half reasonable start. As it turned out, whilst we thought the wicket was bad, we had clearly over-rated it.
Not surprisingly, the slower bowlers were the more difficult to get away on that wicket, with Flem achieving the best return of 2/9 from his 8 overs. Kev Moore chimed in with a wicket and some economic overs at 3, as did Andrew Molton who filled in for us from the seconds. However, to be fair, it wasn't hard to bowl well when the batsman weren't prepared to even hit the bad ball until the final overs. The bowlers certainly weren't assisted by one or two of us in the field who failed to star, a complete contrast as it turned out to later when Hornby were outstanding in comparison.
So to our batting effort, well there wasn't much of one really. For the past few weeks it has felt like the team has been batting in a lottery, you're quite never sure what number you're going to come up with, and this one certainly didn't win us any prizes. We didn't get that required good start, and with no batsman looking like being able to come to grips with the wicket, we were quickly 4/32, then 7/71, all out 119, never really threatening the target. The wicket was excessively slow, and mostly low, but with the occasional leaping ball such as the one Kev Moore got that he defended away from his throat to lop up a catch mid-wicket. Stu Simpson was the only batsman to make a score, and probably by the only method possible on that wicket, swinging the bat manfully when the run started getting above 7-8 later in the innings. Thinny and Andrew Molten contributed 20's, but that was really the extend of our response.
So a good win to Hornby who have threaten to take down a number of the top sides this year, and fully deserved this victory. They are certainly one of the better fielding sides we've run across this year, and their bowling attack did an excellent job in snuffing us out. It wasn't the perfect result for all to dissect on the night the boys had planned for a team night out, but nevertheless it was a surprising enjoyable evening considering, with a good turnout of most who played, plus a couple of others later. ...... Right, off to the Becks to collect my car.
Check out the scorecard from the game.