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Brock and Rydon Bowl us to a wi.. ti.. los.. dra..
TWCC v Xiles 10th June 2018
Match Report Richard Brock
Sometimes words are not enough to describe extraordinary events – especially in this age of visual stimulation so enjoyed by some of TWCC’s younger members. This is one such occasion. But words are all we have. If it helps, bring to mind one of Joe’s most voluptuous `swipe rights` and you will be in the type of stimulation zone required to appreciate this match. For the first time this season the skipper won the toss on a beautiful afternoon for cricket. He opted to bat, despite slight concerns that his regular opening bowlers Matt and Ed were absent. In keeping with his recent excellent form, Jim was selected to accompany Paul as opener. And he didn’t disappoint, studiously setting about his task of cementing the innings together, leaving what excitement there was to the variety of batsmen occupying the other end. Paul wafted at a wide ball and was caught behind for 4, Reese continued his unhappy recent form with another duck but that brought young George Hunter to the crease for his first TWCC innings of the season. Tall, lean and muscular, George started as he meant to go on. The first ball saw a huge swoosh of the bat, the sound like air passing the blade of a giant wind turbine, sadly uninterrupted by a crack of leather on willow. It took until the 3rd ball for contact to be made, a mere 2, before a six cleared the boundary in brutal fashion. That’s how George plays, and it was how this innings unfolded. That six imperilled the cars, thought to have been safely tucked away at the entrance to the ground. His second flew far into the neighbouring field. Finally, after an innings unencumbered by defensive shots, George sent a ball off the edge of the bat high into the air for a catch that ended a brief but important innings of 31, a much needed boost to a flagging total. The next notable contribution came from Edward, who played with attacking verve, up on his toes forcing the ball all around the field, running ones and twos, full of self belief. But with his demise on 36, and that of Graham (who’s Graham ???) Honse came to the wicket and played the innings of his life for a team still short of enough runs to defend. Honse and Jim played sensibly for a team 6 down. They nudged singles, Honse occasionally sweeping the ball handsomely to the boundary. Finally the score passed 100. With 20 minutes until tea, we approached 120, and the boundary-siders began yelling encouraging support along the lines of `step it up`. Jim and Honse did indeed step it up, suddenly finding extra runs and boundaries in an urgent push for added runs. Jim paid the price for this riskier brand of cricket, but his marathon innings of 36 in 2 hours 20 minutes was the backbone of the batting. A late flurry by Tom Rydon and Honse, and the score stood at 158-8.
Tea was excellent, Jim swiftly replacing his batting pads with an apron to good effect. The feeling at tea was that we had enough – comfortably enough. (I blame the bread - Ed.)
Tom and Joe launched the bowling offensive. Tom a little wild, Joe reasonable if not on top form. But Joe it was who made the breakthrough, a smart one handed slip catch from Edward seeing off the opener and then clean bowling the number 3. But this brought to the wicket D Bailey, who teamed up rather nicely with the remaining opener D Hooper – and this pair quickly started piling on the runs. Fours were being sent to all parts of the boundary with consumate ease and it suddenly became obvious that they were taking the match away from TWCC. Paul failed to find the breakthrough despite 2 good overs in a 3 over bowling spell. They had reached 71, with still 20 minutes to go until 20 overs. The skipper brought himself and Honse on to try to slow the scoring rate. It worked, but even so, at 20 overs, Exiles were left requiring 80, just 4 runs an over and 8 wickets left.
The two batsmen were undeniably in charge. They were careful, for example sizing up Paul and Edward, before deciding it was worth attacking them: Paul’s last over went for 15, Edward’s for 16. They played sensibly and with ten overs left, they needed 32 to win – still 8 wickets in hand. In the eyes of some – including the captain – the game was up. It was time for one last roll of the dice. Back on from the far end came Tom Rydon. Having largely ignored the skipper’s request to warm up properly, he required another loosening over. An experimental over from George also failed to breakthrough. The first two balls of Tom’s next over went for 6, 2. The hundred partnership was up. 17 runs required off 7.3 overs. 8 wickets left. Hope was a flickering candle in a hurricane. Then Tom came to the party. A wonder ball clean bowled Bailey for a hard hitting 60. Celebrations were muted, but the skipper decided he’d pick up at the other end. It worked. 2 runs conceded, one clean bowled wicket. Tom’s next over: a fierce maiden, the young Rydon full of adrenaline and confidence. The skipper trundled in for another 2 runs and another batsman bowled. The post wicket huddle at last shimmered with a little bit of belief. 15 still needed, 5 wickets in hand, 5 overs left. Tom was bowling fast and accurately. His next over offered just one run and crucially his fifth ball shattered the stumps of the number 7 batsman. Everything had now changed. The field was constantly changing to allow a single to the still firing Hooper, now in the 70s. 3 overs left, fielders pumped, the skipper bowled a straight ball to Karthik at number 8 – a big appeal and the finger was up. Every run was crucial. Hooper hooked Tom towards the boundary – Graham dived for it, only for the ball to hit a divot and leap over his prone body and into the hedge. A roar from Xiles players on the boundary. Tom came back, a beauty, edged to Reese, who parried it upwards with lightning reactions and Edward plucked it from the air. 8 wickets down, 6 to win from the last Brock over. 2 off the first ball. 4 from 5. Dot, dot, single. Hooper facing. He launched the skipper high into the air towards deep midwicket. Paul was on the boundary, too far to come. But he raced in, eyes on the ball and then threw himself forward and hung on for a remarkable catch, breathtaking. One ball left, 3 runs for Exiles to win, two to tie, one to draw, one wicket for TWCC to win. Everyone was put on the boundary. We’d come so far in this remarkable match that perhaps the skipper overlooked the hope of victory didn’t even think of close catchers. Stop a boundary! In the event, the last ball was tidy, the batsmen scrambled a single, the match was drawn – but we celebrated it like a win. Tom Rydon crossed a threshold of belief in this match, his bowling filling the team with hope and driving us forward. 7 wickets fell in the last 8 overs, for 15 runs. It was a remarkable finish to a great game, in which everyone played a part. Match Drawn. PHEW.
TWCC won the toss and opted to bat
TWCC Innings: P Hunter Ct WK Bld Luke 4; J Simon Bld Luke 36; R Packham LBW Bld Luke 0; G Hunter Ct WK Bld Luke 31; T Firth Bld Luke 4; E Bunn WK Bld Karthik 36; G Cuthbert Bld Manda 1; H Karvay Run out 25; T Rydon Not out 10. DNB: J Panther, R Brock. Total 158 for 8.
FALL: 7-1, 8-3, 42-4, 48-5, 97-6, 98-7, 130-2, 158-8.
Xiles Bowling: Pitt; 10-3-36-0; Luke 10-0-42-5; Manda 9-1-26-1; Karthik 9-3-7-1; Claude 6-0-28-0; other 3-0-18-0.
Xiles Batting: Mick Ct Bunn Bld Panther 4; D Hooper Ct Hunter Bld R Brock 78; Claude Bld Panther 7; D Bailey Bld T Rydon 60; P Stead Bld R Brock 2; Deleep Bld R Brock 0; Hannant Bld T Rydon 2; James LBW Bld R Brock 0; Karthik Ct Bunn Bld T Rydon 0; Pete Not out 0; Luke Not out 1. Total: 157-9
Fall: 18-1, 41-3, 142-4, 146-5, 146-6, 147-7, 148-8, 149-9, 156-2.
TWCC Bowling: T Rydon 11-1-44-3; J Panther 9-2-23-2; P Hunter 3-2-15-0; R Brock 12-1-32-4; H Karvay 5-1-12-0; Bunn 3-0-22-0; G Hunter 1-0-6-0.
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