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TWCC v London Unity CC 16th June 2019
Match report Jim Simon

Rain for days... would the game be on? And rain all Sunday morning too, but the faith of Skipper Edwards, who at 09.00-o-clock-hundred-hours was buttering up his sandwiches and had a vested interest in showing faith in the forecast, was rewarded when with an hour to go the clouds parted, shadows began to appear and a strong wind began to dry off the grass. It would be a slow outfield, but game on!
Matt, found himself as leader of a remarkably and inspiringly youthful TWCC side, and when he won the toss he chose to bowl first. Matt himself and Tom R opened up the taps in great style, with Matt, at first, struggling for line running into the wind with a swinging ball and Tom flying in from the Downs End. Within two overs Tom, whose energy never flags, had his and TWCC's first wicket - another clean-bowled for Tom, and Matt piled in with three straight maidens, the last of which ended with a twotrick. None of the Unity batters were finding it at all easy to get the ball away, and skipper Edwards was able to keep a tight field in place with Unity on 19 for 3. Joe Driver did manage to both survive and score a few runs, but the wicket was pacy, the ball was swingy and the bowlers were swinging it. Reese was chipping in with some good leg-side takes and the overall fielding performance, undoubtedly helped by the youth of the home side, was restrictive and unforgiving.
First change brought Honse and Joe into the attack, and the situation was perfect for them; Unity were on the defensive having lost cheap early wickets, and the slower pace brought out the high-bounce of the artificial surface which conditions often provoke batters into unwise and elevated strokes (I should know, Ed). Joe's middle over of five was a wicket maiden as Pitcher failed to keep the ball down and Matt took the catch (covers?). Honse, whose first over was a maiden, followed that up by bowling a tight line with his deliveries bouncing at an awkward height that earned him a three-for; two caught (Matt again and Josh) and a clean-bowled. Unity were crumbling somewhat, not ever really recovering from the 8-over opening spells of Matt and Tom. The situation called for a calculating approach to batting in order to recover from a slow start, but the visitors found it hard to get the ball away without giving chances and taking risks. Joe Driver was approaching the game in the right way for the situation, but he found himself somewhat alone and was then out for a dogged 18, and it was left to McKenzie in at 9, when the bowling was less penetrative though still hard to score from, to knock up a quick 32 before being out, caught (Ollie), off the bowling of Josh. Unity all out for 104.
After an early tea Jim and Mikey P faced up to the in-ducking swing of Joe Driver, which was typically tight and difficult to score off, but, on the day, neither Driver took a wicket though both were, as always, economical. However, whereas the TWCC opening bowlers had the batters pinned down from both ends, Unity's Caulfield was, on the day, rather expensive and Jim and Mikey started off like trains; Jim's Pacer to Mikey's Bullet. Hitting four 4's and three 6's Mikey took TWCC to 56 (Jim on 10...) in the eighth over before he was out, stumped, hopping down the wicket to McKenzie's slow spin with a grand 46 to his name.
Chasing low totals has often been TWCC's downfall, largely because the first innings total may be low for a reason - in this case the slow outfield - but with this start in the bank it was going to be difficult for Unity from here. But Unity have played TWCC before and knew what to do; bowl slowly and watch the batters get themselves out. McKenzie was their man for the job and he delivered slow, awkward length often wide balls that need hitting and need hitting on the up and straight to fielders. That often does it.
Jim fell quickly, caught in the covers. Then Ollie. Then Tom F. TWCC 66 for 4. However, and happily for the home side, that was bad as it got as Josh and Reese set about the business in hand, and although Reese was out for a calm 10 the game was won soon enough. Josh was showing his cricketing pedigree with bat as well as ball, and Edward stood tall and cracked a couple of pulled fours for another not out score (average building nicely). To finish the game off Josh, who had a train to catch, gently leaned on a straight ball and stuck it into the Jones Stand over the toilet complex. Josh's 23 not out in quick time saw the home side to the win.
Unity were up against it this time; a fixture that is generally very closely fought and which, historically, Unity have often won. On this occasion, with Matt and Tom setting the bowling tone leaving the middle order subject to excellent extended spells from Joe, Honse and Edward, Unity never had enough runs. The fielding from the home side was excellent, and lots of catches, some simple, some hard (Honse's catch at mid-wicket and Ollie's at long-on stick in the mind and others probably should too but that depends on the mind in question more than the excellence of the catch), stopped any sort of total building from the combined bats of the Unity team. Mikey and Josh's runs took us over the line, though the line wasn't too far away in the first place.

TWCC wanted to record the moment when the average age of the side fell below ... want to guess?

TWCC won the toss and chose to field first.
London Untiy Innings: M Driver Bld M Edwards 1; Dean Bld T Rydon 7; J Driver Ct M Edwards Bld H Karvay 18; A Gane Ct H Karvay Bld M Edwards 0; A Pitcher Ct M Edwards Bld J Panther 3; J Caulfield Ct J Pieters Bld H Karvay 8; J Moore Bld E Bunn 11; Cockburn Bld H Karvay 2; D McKenzie Ct O Foulger Bld J Pieters 32; S Columbine C & Bld J Pieters; M Driver not out 0. Extras 18 (W7, NB3, B4, LB4) Total 104 all out (36.5 overs).
TWCC Bowling: M Edwards 8-3-14-2; T Rydon 8-3-10-1; H Karvay 7-1-24-3; J Pieters 5-0-24-2; E Bunn 3-0-14-1.
TWCC Innings: J Simon Ct M Driver Bld McKenzie 11; M Pearce St, Bld McKenzie 46; O Foulger Ct M Driver Bld McKenzie 2; T Firth Ct J Driver Bld McKenzie 5; J Pieters not out 23; R Packham Ct, Bld McKenzie 10; E Bunn not out 8. DNB M Edwards, H Karvay, J Panther, T Rydon. Extras 5 (W3, NB2) Total 110 for 5 (20.1 overs).
TWCC win by 5 wickets.

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