Cavaliers Cricket Club, Colchester, Essex, England

15 August 2009

Groundhog Day

Cavaliers 2nd's losing streak gathered pace with a heavy 85 run return defeat away to St.Osyth despite a few notable efforts with bat and ball... indeed the fixture was all rather too reminiscent of the earlier meeting between the two sides at the Rugby Club.

Luke deputising for Paul lost the toss and the Cavs were asked to take to the field and after the obligatory issues with players not turning up and indebted to Jon's perseverance the Cavaliers were finally able to get the match underway at around 1.30pm with XI players. In blustery yet sunny conditions Dale & Deji opened the attack and both in truth struggled in their early overs but soon settled into a good rhythm with Deji proving especially useful with his prodigious inswing ... the Toosie openers were aggressive from the off and both as a result offered early chances which were unfortunately not taken and as in their prior fixture the Cavaliers would be made to pay. With the score on 32 Deji removed the home side skipper with a delightful slower ball, however, it was undoubtedly Mangham (G) at the other end who would prove to be the key wicket. The 2nd wicket pair for the home side batted well scoring quickly and seemingly at ease, however, the bowling partnership of Tony & Bernie began to slow the run rate though it was Kevin who would prove to be the partnernship breaker dismissing Williams for 45 in his first over (courtesy of an excellent catch by Bernie a.k.a "I need a new alarm clock" Goldsmith). As so often proves the case one wicket soon led to another as Tony deservedly picked up the much prized wicket of Mangham (G) [85] leaving the home side at 157-3. From then on in it was very much the Kevin Bailey show as he proceeded to collect wickets with unerring regularity taking a further five wickets (three of which were bowled) and in so doing finally procuring for himself the much coveted "baggy green" (6-53). Special praise too for Deji (2-32) who returned to complete the overs and collected a further wicket dismissing the dangerous Fraser for 35 thanks to a smart catch from Dan behind the stumps.

Another long day in the field but a total of 250 was not impossible on a narrow pitch with a fast outfield, it was of course imperative for the Cavaliers to get off to a good start... needless to say Luke as acting skipper failed to do any such thing falling second ball of the innings (and in doing so recording consecutive ducks against the home side, amassed in a total of 3 deliveries). Vinnie on the back of consecutive half centuries strode confidently to the crease and was soon into his stride playing textbook straight drives whilst Alex at the other end followed suit (albeit with cover drives) and soon the pair had steadied the ship and had the visitors up with the required run rate. With the score on to 74-1 Alex was next man out offering a return catch to the bowler for a well played 34 (exactly the same score he recorded against the same opposition earlier in the year, spooky!). Jon entered proceedings at No4 and having attempted to play a watchful innings soon decided that the best form of defence was to play in his usual aggressive style and he soon had the fielders despatched to the ropes as both he and Vinnie found themselves regularly picking up ten an over putting together a fifty stand in short time with Vinnie duly brining up yet another fifty, undoubtedly the innings of the day. As per the prior fixture between the two sides the game essentially changed with the introduction of one bowler which in this case proved to be Fraser (S) who having batted well earlier returned with the ball to essentially decimate the visitors batting line up. Jon (38) was the first to go with his excellent innings brought to a close with the score up to 142 and hopes still high that a chase was on however it was with Jon's departure that the Cavaliers reverted to scoring in Binary with only Kevin (1) out of Mark W (Debut), Bernie, Kevin, Dan, Deji & Dale managing to get off the mark (indeed eight batsmen managed to contribute only 2 runs). Vinnie becoming somewhat stranded at the other end decided understandably to go for his shots and was unfortunate to be last man out caught at deep midwicket for a superbly crafted 70 with the score on 162 the last eight wickets having falling for just 20 runs (this was indeed a slight improvement on the first game in which the last nine wickets fell for just 17 runs).

Another poor day for the Cavaliers but memorable for the right reasons thanks to the displays put on by Kevin & Vinnie. Thankfully not too long to wait to put things right as the Cavaliers take to the road again the following day away to bottom of the table Cressing.

P.S. The stand-in skipper would like to thank all who participated for their efforts both on and off the pitch.

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