One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs Hornby, Sydenham Park #2, Presidents, 11th March 2017
On a cool and very overcast Saturday we assembled at Sydenham 1, pleased to be able to play there after the Premiers had thoughtfully wrapped up their 2 day game on there by midday with an innings win!
Given that the weather forecast was for rain setting in later in the afternoon, the captains came to a very good decision to play a 20/20 match. Hornby won the toss and put us in, but we lost Wildy early on with the score at 12 - when after a couple of good shots he got a very fine edge behind and sportingly walked, although Flem umpiring had heard nothing.
In form batsman Phil Walker then came in to join Laughts, who was going well. They had the score up to 27/1 off 4 overs, 42 off 6 and 46 off 7 when Roger Craythorne came on. Laughts hit his first ball for 4, then smote his next 2 balls over mid wicket for great 6s, so at 62/1 off just 7.3 overs we were looking good! But off the last ball Laughts tried again, off one that wasn't quite there, and skied an easy catch to the keeper - to depart for a very well made 36, at 62/2.
The leg spinner Palermo then came on at the other end, last time we'd played them he'd started rough then picked up 3 wickets. And sure enough his first 3 balls included 2 high no ball full tosses to Phil, who got a single off the 2nd one, but then Palermo bowled Mario round his legs with a beauty, 65/3. And in his next over Palermo got Phil LBW with one that kept low, then bowled Browny - who was looking to cut, but the ball skidded through and took off stump. So after his rough start Palermo now had 3-4 off his first 2 overs and we'd slumped to 69/5.
And in his next over Palermo got Wazza, the 2nd fairly simple LBW decision for Wildy as umpire, so 76/6. Spencey and JK came together, Kevin Hornbrook their captain came on to bowl his offies and JK plastered a full toss over square leg for his 1st 6 for Sydenham! But he was stumped a couple of balls later and next ball Tim mistimed his first ball to gully for a simple catch, 76/7 then 76/8. Bert joined Spencey and Spencey tried to run him out first ball, but they put on 10 before Bert was caught behind off a fine edge and Browny's brother Connor went the same way next ball - Connor had very kindly come straight from work to make up the 11. So we'd lost our last 9 wickets for just 34 runs, in 8.4 overs.
It was the worst collapse I can remember by our team since a game on Sydenham 2 several seasons ago, v Easts Gold - when after a couple of early wickets Thinny and Spencey had us going nicely at 47/2, but then we were all out 52!! (H. Morel 5-2 and Jules third top score with 2*!).
Our full sorry scoreboard was Wild 8, Laughton 36, P. Walker 15, Williams 0, Guy 7, Browny senior 0, JK 9, Spence 7*, Murdoch 0, B Walker 2, Browny junior 0. Bowling for Hornby the damage was done by Palermo with 4-13 off his 4 overs, Ingram 3-32 and Hornbrook 2-17.
Browny (senior) and Phil opened up for us and bowled 2 tidy overs each, both just missing getting a wicket with their last ball - Browny shaving the stumps with a very good inswinger and Phil having an extremely close LBW call turned down (at which one of our fielders commented "Pity Wildy wasn't still umpiring!"). Tim and JK both then bowled accurately as well, but their openers batted steadily with the occasional boundary and after 10 overs they were 47/0, right on track.
At this stage Laughts and Wildy came on and both bowled extremely well, especially allowing for the damp ball due to the light drizzle. And Wildy eventually got the breakthrough for us with an unplayable ball that cut back and kept low, to bowl Ingram for a well made 31 (he'd earlier bowled 4 0 14 0 for them, a very good match double), 67/1. And Wildy nearly had another wicket next ball when Palermo edged one to Wazza our keeper up at the stumps, but he couldn't hang onto it. Next over from Laughts the other opener slogged one straight to Connor at deep mid wicket, but the catch went down. However straight after this Palermo hit across one from Laughts and was palpably LBW, 74/2. A wee bit of scoreboard pressure now started to mount on Hornby and Tim added to that, when returning for his 2nd spell he bowled the other opener having a dip, 82/3.
However Davey Warner steadied their nerves with a couple of clean boundaries, so that after 19 overs the scores were tied. At this stage Spencey took the ball and his first delivery was an obvious wide, however the umpire took pity on him and didn't call it. When Warner couldn't score off the 2nd ball it did raise fleeting thoughts that just maybe the umpire might regret his generosity, but Warner hit the next ball for 4 to deservedly win the game for them with 3 balls to spare. Bowling figures were Brown 2 0 7 0, P. Walker 2 0 9 0, Murdoch 4 0 21 1, JK 3 0 19 0, Laughton 4 0 14 1, Wild 4 0 20 1, Spence 0.3 0 4 0. And well as we'd bowled and generally fielded, of course we couldn't help but think what a difference another 20 or so runs would have made
Apart from his dropped catch Connor fielded very well, including some powerful throws, and we were indebted to him for coming along to help out. While Wazza likewise had one blemish but he also made some excellent saves behind the stumps, especially down leg. And the wisdom of playing a 20/20 game was clearly confirmed when just a few minutes after we'd finished the drizzle got very heavy, and eventually turned into outright rain - which our Pressies Hospital team in the corner played on in before losing their game. In fact by the time their soaked players got in most of our guys had left.... but not before enjoying a convivial after match with the Hornby guys - they are always a great bunch to play against and the team's mutual regard and respect for each other was clearly displayed, in both captain's after match speeches.
Thanks go to Gail for her always immaculate scoring while man of the match, by the proverbial country mile, was Laughts - who shades of Ralphie, certainly led from the front with a very good all round display (36 and excellent bowling, plus some top fielding too).
Man of the Match: Brendon Laughton
Check out the scorecard from the game.