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6aptain Fertastic
Bolney CC v TWCC
13th September 2020

Match Report Jim Simon

This can, and will, be a short write up. Regular readers will have seen this brave promise unfulfilled in the past, but in this instance all that's required is about 100 words about how great Brocky is and then we can all get on with our lives.
In brief, then, Bolney's skipper and Brocky decided it would be best if TWCC batted first, so Jim and Tom (Firth) buckled on their codpieces and set about their task. Bolney's bowlers struggled somewhat, and Jim and Tom found little difficulty in keeping out the good balls and scoring off the rest. The outfield was fast; short on the pavilion side and all downhill on the other, so, by the time they regained conciousness at drinks their opening partnership was intact and doing fine. Tom finally succumbed to the slow temptation from Steve Bowles, hitting a catch up into point, out for 59 (a maiden 50) with the total on 110. Well done Tom, plenty of running and good calling which really helps a total to build. Honse, up the order at 3, took the score along, with Jim, to 145 before he swished across a slow ball from Steve Bowles, to be out LBW for 13, which included two 4's. Steve, bravely bowling with the short boundary to leg for the right handers, was geting his usual wickets.
It was clear, given Jim's survival, that the bowling wasn't too challenging, and who better than Tony to up the tempo and take TWCC on to a monster score? He carefully watched his first ball onto the middle of his bat, shortly after which it was in the long grass at long on, and he watched his second into the left hand of the fielder at gully. Two balls faced - clearly a bit too hot for Tony out in the middle and his chair in the shade was calling. Edward, in at 5, demonstrated that we all have our strengths; Jim's is leaving the ball alone just outside his off stump, whereas Edward's is to hit the same ball for four. Which he did 7 times in quick succession before the first significant and most important Captain-y decision of the day was made by Skipper Brock, who declared half an hour early! On such an easy-scoring ground? Inspired or foolhardy? Edward not out on 29 in quick time, and Jim on 63 in Boycott time, the score was over 200, but, well...! Would this be a decision that lived in the anals for the right or the wrong reason? The right reason, of course, would be if TWCC lost the game for that would allow maximum persecution for years ("Brocky's Bolney moment"). The wrong reason would be if it proved to be a master stroke when insufferability would be the inevitable outcome.
We'd soon know, for after Bolney had manfully side-stepped the no tea regs by offering the visitors a crate of sanistized chocolate muffins (thank you Bolney!), Ed and Tom (Rydon) were plying their trade down and up the hill respectively, but, mysteriously, to no avail as the Bolney openers were clearly players and the score was rattling onwards and upwards. Playing Ed and Tom well is no mean feat and Skipper Brock's socks must have become a little hot and itchy - so much so that he brought himself on to bowl! 
Bolney on 56 for 0 and it was apparent that the home side had no fears about being able to chase down TWCC's score. And, let's not forget, whilst the TWCC Captain's declaration had given TWCC an extra half hour to bowl at Bolney, Bolney also had been given lots of time to go about running down just over 200 on a fast-scoring ground! Brearley-Brock or Botham-Brock?

The rest is history:

Other wickets are available

Well... there's little add that the scorebook doesn't show. Brocky removed both well organised openers, the first LBW to his 4th delivery, then he bowled a maiden, then he set up another hat-trick two-in-two moment*, then a double-wicket maiden with, yes, yet another hat-trick opportunity* followed by another wicket that doesn't appear in the bowling analysis but no doubt will once Brocky gets his hands on the book. 6 for 17 off 6 overs... An inspired bit of bowling that completely removed the spectre of the home side successfully chasing down TWCC's total. It mustn't be forgotten that Phil who had replaced Tom at the low end of the ground, did what Phil does, and calmly took some much-needed middle order Bolney wickets, and, Brocky aside, wickets were proving hard to take. Phil's trademark line and length, much suited to a perfectly lively Bolney wicket, brought him the welcome rattle of ball onto stumps, and then, almost immediately another - dare I say it? - Captain's wicket in that Brocky had only just moved Edward to short mid-on for Phil when Monty Patel chipped an on-drive up to him in that close position, and Edward stuck up his right hand and held onto a catch. Two for Phil, but Bolney, unlike TWCC had 11 players, and there remained two wickets to take. Honse and Edward tried, but it took another skipperly moment to bring Tom and then Ed back, and Ed it was who bowled Bolney's skipper an unplayable ball that pitched on middle and took the top of off, and then he won the game with just a few overs left bowling the resilient Madden with a fast yorker. Two for Ed, much needed, and he has often shown that his second spell, bowling at the tail (and at the stumps), does force a result.
There were plenty of good performances on the day; the Bolney openers certainly posed a threat in the home side's reply to TWCC's 203, and, though it is a fact that much of TWCC's long and potent batting line up never got to the middle, those at the top did set up a reasonable platform, and Tom Firth's maiden half century was great to see. Ed's 2 for 18 off 11.5 overs was clearly a wonderful bit of bowling and it was his spell at the end that won the game, Phil's two wickets also needed to be taken when momentum could have swung either way, and Tom's energy running up hill and down, though wicketless on the day, was notable together with other bowling performances from Honse and Edward and another excellent day for Jonathan behind the stumps with a catch and a stumping to his name. A negative amongst all this success were the 7 catches that had been dropped by TWCC; a not infrequent occurence. The Gazette won't mention names because the culprits know who they and, more importatnly, everyone else knows who they are too. But of course this latest TWCC win is certainly Brocky's win; first with the declaration without which Bolney would not have been bowled out, some excellent field placings posted throughout, and all this gooey wonderfulness topped off, of course, with his remarkable spell of 6 for 17.

Lastly and as a footnote really, but I didn't see where else I could put this other than at the end, this game is a perfect illustration of why playing timed cricket, with a draw a possibility, is the best format for our Sunday games. If this had been a limited overs game the result would have been certain about an hour and a half from the end of play, but play would have continued with there being no point to it. As it was, this game was still alive and exciting for both teams until Ed took the last wicket, and it was very close to the end before he did.
Just saying.

TWCC batted first by negotiation. Proper cricket format!
TWCC Innings: J Simon not out 63; T Firth Ct, Bld S Bowles; H Karvay LBW S Bowles 13; T Pearce Ct, Bld Levensen 4; E Bunn not out 29. DNB J Rowland, R Brock, T Rydon; E Howes, P Steinke. Extras 35 (!) (B 14, LB 1, W 14, NB 6) Total 203 for 3 declared (34 overs).
Fall: 1-110, 2-145-, 3-150.
Bolney CC Bowling: Maddon 4-0-31-0; M Patel 8-3-20-0; H Patel 6-0-32-0; S Bowles 7-0-5-2; C Levensen 6-0-29-1; J Moore 2-0-10-0; B Byrne 1-0-7-0.
Bolney Innings: N Bushell LBW R Brock 31; C Vacher St J Rowland Bld R Brock 30; S Bowles Ct J Rowland (Wk) 1; B Clemeson Bld R Brock 0; G Byrne Bld P Steinke 1; M Patel Ct EBunn Bld P Steinke 6; H Patel LBW R Brock 0; D Bridge Bld E Howes 15; G Sandwith Bld R Brock 9; J Moore not out 11; M Madden Bld E Howes 1. Extras 18 (B 6, LB 7, W 3, NB 2) Total 123 all out (44.5 overs).
Fall: 1-5, 2-62, 3-62, 4-63, 5-73, 6-73, 7-80, 8-92, 9-121, 10-123.
TWCC Bowling: E Howes 11.5-4-18-2; T Rydon 8-1-30-0; P Steinke 9-1-31-2; R Brock 8-3-17-6; H Karvay 5-3-6-0; E Bunn 3-1-2-0.
TWCC win by 80 runs.

*Didn't happen

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