Where was the knee-high outfield? The huge slope? The pitch was 22 yards?!?
|Venue:||Royal Holloway Sports Ground|
|Man of the match:||Tim Sturm|
|Prat of the match:||Nick Dunmore (Not playing)|
When I initially turned up at Egham’s ground, I thought I’d got the wrong place. Where was the knee-high outfield? The huge slope? The pitch was 22 yards?!? Albeit there was one short boundary, but the wicket looked good and the outfield like a carpet. Anyway, to the action. We lost the toss and were put in to bat, which the skipper said he would have done anyway.
Mandeep and Ben opened up and started nicely with 6 off the first over. However, the next over Mandeep was bowled (5) and that brought Tim to the crease. For the next 20 overs there was not much to report. Runs were scored at a pace even snails would frown at. Overs 6 to 10 were all maidens, leaving us with only 49-1 off our first 20. Let’s just say Jason Roy was not fearing for his place in Sunday’s final!
Luckily at drinks the batsmen must have seen the scoreboard as the rate duly picked up, Tim Sturm turning aggressor. This stooped a chuntering Graham, even if only for a short while. 53 were scored from the 10 overs after drinks before Ben Houghton was caught (38), a knock which included only 1 boundary, due in part to a slow outfield and good bowling lines. It was a brilliant captain’s innings which provided us with a platform to kick on from. (Can I have my family back now please Ben?) All jokes aside the partnership of Ben and Tim really did help give us a chance of posting a defendable total. Alex Morjaria scored 3 but ran hard between the wickets supporting Tim. Tim eventually fell for a brilliant (94), a Kane Williamson-esque innings. Tim scored almost 60% of our runs as we closed on 159-4 off our 40 with Jivraj scoring (3*) and Phil Miles (6*) to help drag us to a respectable total.
Tea left a lot to be desired.
If you’ve managed to make it this far, I promise it gets exciting now. Our ground fielding and catching was average, but the bowling was nothing short of superb on a wicket which was keeping low and not offering much for either side. Longhurst opened up, partnered with Povah and in the second over one of the Egham openers was walking back, bowled by the recently named “Povah Express”. A quote from the skipper himself “Jacob is a great Wick example of determination to learn and improve. With the support and encouragement of his grey haired 4xi mentors and his commitment to sometimes even solitary practice in the nets”. Thanks Ben. The squeeze was on and both bowled accurately, 3 consecutive maidens ensued. After 8 overs Egham were only 13-1 when Graham Smith entered the attack replacing Jacob. Graham proved age was nothing but a number (even if it were a large one) and got straight to work picking up a wicket in his first over. Graham bowled 8 overs straight in an impressive spell, including another wicket, finishing with figures of (8-1-23-2). Jivraj bowled economically without reward with 0-16 off 4. They somehow managed to score slower than us in their first 20 only managing 41-3. Jacob came on for a short second spell taking a wicket with his fifth ball back. The next ball was plumb LBW denied by the umpire who had clearly been a student at the Phil Miles school of officiating. Ross bowled with his typically accurate line and length and had contained well for 4 overs before a man with ridiculous blue shoes decided to go after him. We continued to plug away and take wickets with Longhurst capping off his fantastic first spell with a superb second, bowling with line, length and movement that would make Jimmy Anderson jealous. Ben ended with (8-3-14-2)! The older Morjaria got involved in the game bowling his off spin taking 1-17 off his 4, the wicket and steepling catch taken at mid on by Mandeep. Mandeep bowled his leg spinners for 2 overs, the first conceding only 1 run but Mr Blue shoes once again ruined the fun and Mandeep ended with 0-15. Jacob and Ross had the honour of bowling the last 3 overs together with 28 needed. Kamikaze running had reduced Egham to 131-8 off 37. 13 was needed off the last over which was to be bowled Ross. Silly running narrowed the odds with 9 needed for a tie off the last 2 balls. Cathcart had other ideas and bowled him. The death bowlers ended with (7-1-24-2) to Povah and (8-2-33-1) for Cathcart. Egham ended up with 150 all out. No super over was needed to decide this one.