Cavaliers Cricket Club, Colchester, Essex, England

8 May 2011

Vintage Asten Martin

The Cavaliers 2nd XI kicked off their 2011 Div 4 League campaign with an excellent victory at home to recently promoted Ipswich - themselves widely tipped for back to back promotions .
Vinnie breaking with tradition won the toss and asked the visitors to bat. New ball duties fell to Deji (7-1-26-1) and Steve (10-1-26-3) and though there were signs of rustiness both soon reverted to 2010 type bowling very tidy lines with good pace. With the score having progressed to 33-0 Steve collected the much coveted first wicket of the season thanks to Ed Parry (debut) holding onto something of a skier at midwicket - this would prove to be the first of his three catches on the day!
Thereafter wickets began to fall with some regularity, understandably so given the quality of the bowling. Asten Bray (10-2-22-3) making his first appearance for the 2nd XI bowled a superb 10-over spell first change collecting three well-earned wickets, the Ipswich middle order having little answer to his variations in pace and line.
With the visitors stumbling somewhat at 73-6 a low total looked on the cards, however, an excellent 7th wicket partnership between M.Fairburn (30) and Greig (45) steadied the Ipswich ship. Evergreen Tony Mayhew (7-0-32-3) fresh from his Pfeiffer at Purleigh removed the former and Deji the latter having returned to close out the innings ... the remaining wickets fell cheaply and the innings closed in just the 43rd over, the visitors having amassed a total of 167 with extras once again providing a healthy contribution. The total seemed par on a pitch that was proving to be a little two paced ... the two surplus overs would however prove invaluable!

In reply the Cavaliers got off to a steady start before the customary loss of wickets in quick succession. Paul (8) was first to depart and in somewhat unfortunate circumstances (2nd slip showing off some nifty juggling skills) and he was soon followed by Pete (6) and Luke (8). At 36-3 the chances of a successful chase seemed remote, however, there followed a solid and well-paced 88 run 4th wicket partnership between Vinnie & Ed.
Ed, fresh from his exploits in the field and having displayed an array of elegant shots around the wicket, finally fell for 40 but a quick fire innings from Alex W (17) did little to dampen the optimism on the side-lines!
Alas no victory for the 2nd's is ever simple and this match would prove to be no different. Vinnie (49) falling one short of a richly deserved half century was dismissed playing arguably the first truly aggressive shot of his innings and his departure triggered something of a collapse with both Asten (2) and Deji (5) joining him on the side-lines in double quick time. As Dan Y strode to the crease at No.10 the Cavaliers had seen their innings progress from 155-4 to 163-8 ... leaving 5 to win from 2 overs. The situation seemed tense to all those out in the middle (umpires included) that is to all but Steve who having steadfastly refused to go after the first three deliveries of the 46th over duly despatch the fourth to the boundary with a textbook cover drive. A quick scramble on the next delivery saw the home side to victory with 7 balls to spare.

Great game, great conditions (bar the outfield) and perhaps most importantly of all the game played in the right spirit... all involved very much looking forward to the return fixture later in the year.

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