Cavaliers Cricket Club, Colchester, Essex, England

26 July 2010

Kneeshaw Returns to Top Form

Cavaliers First XI reached the half way point in their season undefeated but a 68 run victory over Great Braxted & Tiptree wasn't as easy as the winning margin might suggest.

Both teams were keen to bowl first on a grassy wicket that looked under prepared and Tiptree skipper Hale was the lucky one at the toss. Justin opened up fluently with some fine shots all around the wicket but Simon was struggling to score against long serving GB&T openers Turner and Hill. Justin took a number of painful blows to the hands from balls rearing from a length but Simon was first to go checking his attempted drive to a diving cover. Justin soon followed caught behind, Ben was unlucky to be caught down the leg side after looking good and Robbie fell to a top edge slash and a great catch. Suddenly Cavaliers were in big trouble and hoping that the long batting order could make a competitive total. Sure enough Jack was well supported by Stuart, JJ and Darren as he made light work of the conditions on his was to 75, with the tail wagging strongly the total pushed way beyond what had seemed likely only minutes earlier.

At tea GB&T seemed confident that a target of 196 was within their reach while Cavaliers were only too familiar with home conditions and how difficult it could be to score from accurate bowling. Stuart took about an over to knock the rust off after a six week injury lay off bowling 10 overs straight and taking 4 top order wickets. Robbie bowled well from the other end without any luck. GB&T were well behind the run rate at drinks but Hill was playing some big shots including a massive six that cleared the hedge into Mill Road and there still seemed to be danger while opener Hummerstone was unbeaten. Dave lured Hill into an attempt to clear long on but Jack just failed to come in quickly enough to hold the catch but fortunately it was not too costly as Darren bowled him with a snorter in the next over.

After that is was one-way traffic as Hummerstone went into his shell against tight bowling from Darren, Dave and Harish each collecting valuable wickets and Ben joined the party to dismiss the final batsman.

Another great team effort from the Cavaliers to recover to set a decent target and then bowl and field well to exert pressure on the visitors.

25 July 2010

Mr Hyde Returns (with a Vengeance)

Oh dear. Cavaliers 2nd's returned to earth not merely with a bump but with something more resembling 7.5 on the Richter Scale as they were scuttled for just 67 by high flying Kirby.

Batting first the home side struggled from the off losing wickets in metronomic fashion with none of the Top 5 able to post a score in double figures (Luke failing to contribute altogether). Indeed only two batsmen were able to make it out of single digit territory namely Alex W (13) & Steve R (12) but it was all too little and too late both sides well aware the game was over before it had really begun.

Requiring just 68 off around 300 overs the Kirby openers made their intentions for an early finish quite clear. However, once again Alex W was quick to get a breaktrhough removing the dangerous Breame sparking hope in the field of an unlikely victory. Unfortunately Wilson (G) batting at No3 soon settled the Kirby ship as he began to dismantle the attack safe in the knowledge that his stay need not be a long one. The home side were neither able to stem the flow of runs nor capitalise on the risk taking though Tony M did ensure neither opener made it to the end as he removed Abbot (13) - Kirby reaching their target in just 11 overs.

Special mention for Steve B who was unfortunate not to have a total to defend, his 6 over spell was certainly worthy of a wicket or two.

Keen to put right a few of the days wrongs a number of the seconds proceeded to take part in a post match practice, however, the only thing that seemed to improve was the sledging... indeed Pete's dismissal of Sean will have done little to help the latter's confidence ... the less said of Alex W dropping his brother in the deep the better!

18 July 2010

Solid if not Spectacular

On a day when the weather could once again only be described as "Scorchio" the 2nd's maintained their winning ways with a 21 run home victory over fellow PDQ Div 4 strugglers Wormingford at the Rugby Club.

12 July 2010

Strength in Depth

With the home side positioned as our nearest rivals in Division 2 it this fixture seemed likely to be a hard fought affair but Boxted had a few key players missing and the Cavaliers depth was the difference between the sides.

On a scorching hot day Simon elected to bat first despite being tempted to make use of the new ball and asked Robbie to open the batting with Justin unavailable and Jack working his way back into form. While Sexton was bowling well at one end the Boxted skipper was suffering at the other consistently going for a couple of boundaries in each over. Despite being in little trouble and scoring at a healthy 5 runs per over the Cavaliers somehow conspired to lose regular wickets with Simon prodding to gully and Danny mistiming a pull and falling to a ridiculously brilliant one handed catch. Jack showed that he had benefited from time in the middle for the Second XI last week before falling to his strength / weakness at point. When Robbie fell shortly after making a half century combining aggression and caution, the innings was in some trouble at 114-4 but Stuart, carrying an injury, was making the most of his opportunity as a specialist batsman . Going on to make an unbeaten 86, his highest ever score for the Cavaliers, Stu held the innings together with good support from Darren and the rest of the tail.

A total of 230 looked healthy but by no means unassailable and the Boxted openers also managed to maintain a run rate of 5 an over against the pace of Danny and Robbie who both bowled good lines. The turning point of the innings came with the introduction of Dave H who bowled good flight with accuracy and took all four of the top order batsmen but while the healthy run rate was being maintained the result wasn't certain. The Cavaliers could finally relax once skipper Pearce fell as Darren joined the fun by ripping out the next three batsmen. Phil added three victims to his 2010 collection to 'silence' his critics. ;-)

A great victory now leaves the Cavaliers with an advantage of three victories over nearest rivals Purleigh and Boxted in the push for promotion.

11 July 2010

Bowlers Dominate

The Cavaliers' 2nd XI finally returned to winning ways recording a comprehensive 114 run return victory at home to Boxted 2nd's. On a day where the pitch promised to be "interesting" batting first was imperative and Vinnie for perhaps the first time in living memory (?) actually won the toss. Thankfully he elected to bat and with the visitors one short and lacking a few (batting) faces from the previous encounter it was felt that a solid if not spectacular score would prove too much for the visitors to chase down.

4 July 2010

Premier All Rounder Unable to Save Seconds

In pleasant conditions the 2nd's were unable to stem the recent tide of defeats as they again ended up on the losing side in another closely fought fixture this time away to EAG.