Cavaliers Cricket Club, Colchester, Essex, England

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.

Batting first and under strict instructions from the skipper the home sides openers made a steady start in the first ten overs despatching anything off line without taking any undue risks. Having put on a record opening stand for the 2010 season (42!) Dan Smith was first to depart proceedings inexplicably edging behind for 19 having looked well set for a big score. As is so often the case one wicket soon lead to another as Pete (coming back into form) followed his opening partner to the pavilion for a well played 22 leaving the home side 46-2 off 15 overs.

Vinnie and Ray S continued the good work of their predecessors as they put together a solid 35 run partnership before Ray played on for 15. Luke W joined Vinnie and they were soon able to put the visitors bowling attack under pressure making full use of the poor fielding & lightening fast outfield (edit: my ankles tell me today that this is in fact just solid concrete painted a brown/green colour).

Having brought up the 100 for the loss of 3 wickets in the 30th over the decision was taken to accelerate the run rate. Both batsman, well set, soon brought up their respective half centuries and both in good time with Luke going at better than a run a ball. For the second time in 2010 the pair were able to put together a century stand and in so doing put the home side firmly in control of the match.

Unfortunately neither batsman made it to the close with Vinnie run out for 70 (blame would appear to lie with yours truly given deep midwicket / extracover for 45 overs!) and Luke bowled in the penultimate over for 57, however, both had ensured a competitive total had been set with the innings closing on 213-6 off the allotted 45 overs.

A recurring point in these match reports but at the Rugby Club no total is truly safe given the nature of the outfield and so it was imperative the home side got off to a good start so as to build pressure on the batting line up.

Unfortunately on this occasion those conditions that had so aided the home side efforts with the bat did likewise for the visitors with the seam attack struggling to find a line and length capable of restricting the openers.

Vinter quick to realise the strength of his spin attack soon opted to take pace off the ball introducing Dave H who followed up an excellent spell at EAG a few weeks earlier with an even better spell (10-5-12-3) removing the dangerous Shave in just his second over and the key man Denny (58) in his last - a quite outstanding effort and one which in truth largely ensured victory for the Cavaliers.

Keen to support their fellow spinner Dan Smith (10-0-38-1) & Tony M (9-0-50-2) both bowled tidy spells and both could deem themselves slightly unfortunate to not have collected a greater number of wickets having generated at times prodigious turn off the pitch.

Though victory was never a certainty it was felt by all that the home side were in control of the fixture throughout the visitors reply. At times things were perhaps a little too close for comfort but some decent fielding (Dan Y with a notable run out and three stumpings) ensured that Wormingford fell slightly short of their target closing on 192-7 off their 45 overs.

Not a perfect day by any means... never good to run out the skipper and at times some lapses in the field, however, in such conditions it was all in all a great team effort.

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