Cavaliers Cricket Club, Colchester, Essex, England

21 September 2009

The Bardfield Sniper Strikes Back

Since the first game of the season we've been joking about the 'Bardfield Sniper' after Phil collapsed in a heap attempting a catch. In an eventful day at Gosfield, Cavaliers 1st XI kept slim promotion hopes alive with a win despite coming under real gun fire from the bushes. Phil managed to reprise his famous swan dive and this time took a good catch, unfortunately the ball only cannoned into the batsman's pads.

Apparently Afghanistan have qualified for the next cricket World Cup and the Cavaliers, Danny and Jack in particular now know exactly what it must be like playing cricket in that country after three idiotic kids decided to turn their air guns on the pitch. The police were called and the culprits caught but sadly not detained.
In the game, Cavaliers won the toss and elected to bat first. Almost certainly a mistake as we had been warned that the pitch might deteriorate and due to the east-west alignment of the pitch (didn't old Essex groundsmen realise that the sun sets in the west?). After a wayward first over Stuart discovered a good line from over the wicket and bowled ten straight, economical overs but Danny was struggling with the new ball and despite inducing the opener to pull a catch to Rasa was unusually eratic. Gosfield captain, Dicker came to the crease and after taking his time to get set proceeded to dispatch anything short from the Cavaliers attack, of which there was far too much.
At drinks Gosfield were looking well set at 84-1 but the break was immediately followed by a wicket as opener Rose clipped Tony to midwicket where Simon took a catch diving full to his right. Gosfield consolidated for a few overs before returning to the attack taking Kevin and Tony for two expensive overs each. Hoping to find a combination that would bowl full and straight Darren and Rasa joined the attack and the plan worked as Dicker was finally trapped LBW for a fine 87. After that the resistance melted away and Darren joined the '5-for' club of 2009, Rasa took two thanks to catches by Jack in the deep and was unlucky to see Tony and Simon drop chances.
Despite some ragged bowling and fielding a score of 224 didn't look too daunting as long as we got a good start. Simon and Jack started positively but Jack clipped to short-square-leg in the third over. Paul continued the positive approach and Cavs had 53 on the board after 10 overs, well up with the required rate. When Paul steered a catch off a popped ball there was an emergency change to the batting order as Danny was caught in the can and so Rasa was promoted. In typical Rasa style he had one sighter before smashing 4-4-4-3 off the next four balls. Repeating the feat against the change bowler more or less took the game away from Gosfield. After making his fifty in double quick time Rasa unluckily managed to scoop a sweep back onto his own stumps. Danny took a little longer to look at the conditions before launching a similar battery of boundaries also racing to a quick half-century. Even the setting sun could not halt the assault although it was probably fortunate that the contest was over early as the sun was about a foot above the sightscreen by the close.

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