Cavaliers Cricket Club, Colchester, Essex, England

30 August 2010

Crucial Victory

Note to those concerned - we won ergo it's a long report - you have been warned.....
The Cavaliers' 2nd XI returned to winning ways in PDQ Div 4 with a vital 47 run "home" victory against relegation rivals Colchester & East Essex 3rd's.

As had been the case in 2009 the fixture was held in the somewhat unusual surroundings of Brantham. In blustery conditions the visitors having won the toss opted to field first looking to gain maximum advantage from what was a damp, green wicket and lush (uneven) outfield.

Pete J & Paul M once again opened proceedings for the home side getting things off to a steady start before Paul M fell victim to an astonishing piece of fielding from Chiwora - run out for 14.
Vinnie was soon into his stride yet even he struggled to get value for his shots as the slow outfield held the ball up on countless occasions. Pete keen to improve his average feigned injury and retired hurt on 25* and Luke (10) failed to make any impact at 4. As Alex C despatched his 6th ball for a maximum it was clear that the scoreboard would soon be racing along. Somewhat reminiscent of their partnership against the same opposition in 2009 at the Castle Park the pair set about the visitors bowling attack with vigour putting on 69 for the 3rd wicket in around 8 overs before Alex C was dismissed having made a rapid 41 (31 balls). Amidst the carnage Vinnie continued in his inimitable style and duly brought about yet another half century (76) and a further late assault from Harish (20*) ensured the home side posted a very competitive 220-4 from their 45 overs.

With a strong bowling attack a chase of 221 by the visitors seemed unlikely but with the outfield drying and pitch playing increasingly true both sides were aware that one good knock could be the difference (perhaps between Div 4 and Div 5 cricket in 2011).

Jon R and Deji opened the bowling and despite their best efforts it was Harish who would steal the show as he "trumped" Chiwora's effort earlier in the day to run out Cairns Snr from 3rd Man with a direct hit! There followed an excellent 2nd wicket partnership and with the visitors innings aping that of the home side the match was finely balanced. The breakthrough came courtesy of a jaffer from Steve R (2-0-19-1) who having struggled a little for line and length removed the highly impressive Wrathall (47). Victory looked likely as Alex C took a stunning one handed catch at cover off Harish's (10-2-28-1) bowling to remove the last of the visitors established batters (Axcell 43) and keen to maintain pressure and kill the game the skipper brought his openers back into the attack in succession from the "Pavilion End" with Luke W (7-0-28-0) bowling his usual mixed bag from the other. Once Jon R (10-1-20-1) & Deji (10-2-36-1) had removed the big hitters Chiwora & Spain respectively victory was practically assured.

Last over honours fell to Tony M (6-0-31-0) and he ensured the visitors did not make it to the coveted 175 with the innings closing on 173-7 ... who knows how important that bonus point may be...

A good solid effort all round from the Cavaliers ... a couple of missed chances in the field offset by some stunning fielding at times including three notable run-outs !
Extras do however continue to be a problem contributing 40 to the visitors total with wides the main culprit (27) ... with difficult run ups and windy conditions this is not altogether unexpected but this is an area in which the Cavaliers must improve in their final three games of the season if they are to maintain their Div 4 status.

Deji also made it clear he'd like it known that Dan has the best legs in the 2nd XI

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