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TWCC Gazette
"The gold standard of cricketing websites!" And this time someone actually said it, though it was some time ago to be fair... If someone could say it again it would help. Please?
BIG CRICKET
16th July 2017
Match Report Jim Simon
No preamble or flummery, no scene-setting or weather report; let's just plough right on into the land of fantasy and mixed metaphor that is a Gazette report.
Staplefield won the toss and chose to bowl first.
In the continued absence of James and with several other regulars finding Sunday opportunities elsewhere, Edward found himself all padded up and raring to go at No. 2, and, with Paul at No. 1 TWCC settled down to the task of finding out what this incarnation of Staplefield were all about. Both TWCC openers were up to the considerable task of surviving, and scoring off, some excellent pacey swing bowling. Paul's lunging injury was clearly a thing of the past, and Edward seemed to be in control of affairs. However, after 6 overs of good cricket from both teams, trouble reared as did the ball, and soon TWCC were three wickets down, all falling in very similar circumstances; pitched slightly short, the ball was lifting considerably and the top three batters (yes, alas, Tony too) were caught behind. Paul, of the first three TWCC batters, survived longest, and though he, too, fell to a high glove-under-the-chin moment, he left the field with a fine, stabilising, 33 to his name. Of note, to those who care about such things as, indeed, I feel we all do, is the fact that all three of the opening batters, having gloved or minutely edged the ball on the way through to the keeper, walked immediatley and there was no need for the umpire to get involved at all. Which was just as well as the umpire, I have it upon good authority, was not at all certain that any of the three appeals were justified.
So, we come to the main feature of the day's play. Who should walk in at 4, swinging his bat and looking all crickety, but the once-regular and now, sadly, less so TWCC favourite-of-the-crowd Mikey Pearce. Always correct in style and capable, but prone hitherto to lapses in concentration, this was a new Mikey Pearce who bided his time, cared about his wicket, placed his shots for singles, drove the ball to the boundary when he could, took runs when they were there, and blocked the ball when they were not. In short, a batsman was amongst us, and the slightly wobbly TWCC start was looking less catastrophic as the tens of runs rolled by and the scoreboard tins were rattling about in fine style.
The words "middle-order" are often, in TWCC match reports, followed by the word "collapse," but in this report the Gazette is pleased - nay, thrilled - to be able to say that what followed was glorious cricket. Mikey continued to play a truly excellent innings, yes, but it was the partnerships he founded with first Sam and then Matt that lifted the TWCC total out of the dangerous quicksands of 3-for-56, up through the foothills of respectability and on to the high plateau found at 200+. A rarified atmosphere indeed is to be found at these altitudes, but much of the enjoyment was missed by all but the laziest as many were ferreting about in the neighbouring undergrowth looking for balls. Sam carried on his new-found batting form and mixed up some unlikely defensive play with his characteristic strong-arm tactics (three 6's in a total of 37 - I'd love to see Sam and George sharing a partnership!), and Matt, after Sam's demise, carried on the good work of rotating the strike most productlively with Mikey. Matt, too, soon lost balls in the pursuit of an ever-higher total.
Golden times in this promised land indeed backoned, and Jim might have been the man to prosper after Matt was caught behind (one 6 in a total of 22), but, instead, he meekly alllowed a (rare) straight ball to pass gently beneath his bat and onto the stumps. Golden times? Golden duck... By now, however, these petty details mattered little, and Joe, with a couple of bludgeoning fours, and Ed saw the innings to a close with Mikey not out on 126 and with TWCC's total on 254 for 7. That's a heady total, and Mikey's innings was largely responsible for delivering it. There have been some truly excellent innings' this season and this was right up there with the best of them. The bowling, about which little has been written here, was by no means poor and Mikey's pushing on through the overs with plenty of boundaries and the quick running of 2's and singles as well as forceful shots off the full face of the bat allowed the total to build almost as if TWCC were playing proper cricket. Strike rotation was a feature of the TWCC innings; no maidens at all were bowled by Staplefield, and there's nothing like a constant nibbling away into a fielding side's efforts for tiring the bowling and building a total. Over 250! Now there's a fine thing and TWCC settled down to Joe's excellent tea with some appetite and an equally healthy anticipation of having runs to play with.
Staplefield's innings in reply would have to be long and strong, but neither of the visiting side's openers got to grips with the opening two over spells of Matt and Jim. Jim's figures prospered temporarily due to a played-on, but with the thought that much of the batting was tactically being held back by the Staplefield skipper, Matt decided to mix up the bowling attack. Joe and Honse stepped up and both had some success. The removal by an awkwardly bouncing too-close ball from Joe to the Staplefield No. 3 was the first nail in the coffin of the visiting side's ambitons; Maj, fresh from 150 the day before, looked like he meant business, and then he just looked cross when he found himself undone and on his way back to a subdued pavilionful of Staplefield players. Honse, in his first spell of, again, just two overs, removed the opener Bull with Ed's help who took a fine running catch. Joe then took his second wicket and Staplefield were 4 for 14.
Now, however, we were into the meat of Staplefield's batting reply. J Martin and, then, particularly G Russell decided to see what would happen if they swung their bats, and what happened was that the scoreboard began to race along. Matt and Jim, returning, caught the begining of the onslaught, then Sam and Ed bore the brunt of it. Sam was unlucky in clean-bowling the fast-scoring Dray with, yes a full toss, but no, not a no-ball as called by the square leg umpire; it hit the stumps two thirds of the way up having passed the batsman just on the knee-roll of his pads. Enough said. Sam was taken off because he was bowling out of an area in the hedge which made it dangerous for the batsman... and that meant that Honse was brought back on. Be careful what you wish for!
Ed, in the meantime, was gamely charging in and bowling perfectly good balls to batsmen who had their eyes well and truly in. Fours and sixes continued to evade fielders arranged in a row of four and sometimes five men around the cow-corner boundaries, but when Matt caught Russell out and Edward caught out Dray, both, happily in terms of just reward, off Ed's persistent bowling, the game was run. Sad to say, largely due to age, the entire Gazette staff can not remember any details about Matt's catch, but Edward's one-handed grasp of the ball alongside the road hedge whilst at the same time fending off Sam was remarkable. It would have gone for six, but instead the dangerman was out and Edward was grinning from ear to ear for the rest of the day. He probably still is.
Honse it was who did the mopping up with his loopy offerings and changes of pace. The later batters took to pushing at the ball on the rise and giving catching practice and the game was over with about 10 overs to spare and Honse ended on great figures of four for 12 off 4.1 overs!
A fun game, we thought, notable for excellent batting from many, including from three of the Staplefield side, from Paul, Matt and Sam for TWCC, and mostly from Mikey Pearce with his fine century who should now, surely, want to make himself available for more games because he had fun, we had fun, and the rabbits had fun.
Did I not mention the rabbits?

Scorecard
Toss won by Staplefield, who chose to field first. 40:40 format game agreed.
TWCC Innings: P Hunter Ct Wk Bld Dray 33; E Bunn Ct Wk Bld Russell 11; T Pearce Ct Wk Bld Russell 4; M Pearce not out 126; S Simon Ct Aiden Bld Paul 37; M Edwards Ct Wk Bld Martin 22; J Simon Bld Humphrey 0; J Panther CT Wk Bld Martin 10; E Howes not out 3. DNB O Foulger, H Karvay. Extras 8 (LB1, W5, NB2)
Total 254 for 7.
Fall: 1/22, 2/28, 3/56, 4/115, 5/217, 6/221, 7/223.
Staplefield Bowling: G Russell 8-0-26-2; D Dray 8-0-40-1; R Hutchins 6-0-52-0; P Bull 8-0-41-1; Martin 6-0-41-2; A Humphrey 4-0-43-1.
Staplefield Innings: J Ellis Bld J Simon 6; R Bull Ct E Howes Bld H Karvay 3; M Raja Ct Wk (T Pearce) Bld J Panther 1; J Martin Ct & Bld S Simon 26; J Gaynor Bld J Panther 0; G Russell Ct M Edwards Bld E Howes 49; P Johnston Ct & Bld Karvay; D Dray Ct E Bunn Bld E Howes 40; A Humphreys Ct J Simon Bld H Karvay 0; C Turner Ct P Hunter Bld H Karvay 0; R Huthings not out 0. Extras 9 (B1, W6, NB2).
Total 135 all out.
Fall: 1/7, 2/8, 3/12, 4/14, 5/80, 6/92, 7/128, 8/129, 9/135, 10/135.
TWCC Bowling: M Edwards 6-2-19-0; J Simon 6-0-28-1; J Panther 3-1-15-2; H Karvay 4.1-0-12-4; S Simon 4-0-18-1; E Howes 6-0-43-2.
TWCC win by 119 runs.




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