Wednesday 24th May 2017, Stapleford Rec.
Another top-quality performance from all 11 players, again against opposition who battered us last season. The evolution of this team had been as rapid as it has been satisfying.
Gareth won the toss and put the Sharks in. And just like last week it was an early catch that stoked up belief that it could be our day once again.
Sharks came and went; some made runs but the key thing was that they came and went. Only one retired undefeated past the 25-run threshold; our bowling was tight and our fielding lively.
Alex picked up three wickets, all to catches; Nusrat’s tidy spell, often against their most aggressive batsman, brought him two wickets and there was one apiece too for Simon L and the Fixtures Secretary. Who also took a catch described by a team-mate as “on the bounds of possibility”. Further inquiry brought the clarification that it was on the bounds of possibility for the Fixtures Secretary, which is fair comment given his track record, but it cannot be denied that catches are being pouched now that probably would have been spilled last season. Nusrat and Tim are leading the way as this season’s super safe hands.
The Sharks posted 116-7 (for comparison they made 169-2 last time; we conceded 20 boundaries and two 6s) and in beautiful late summer evening sunshine Ralph and Dave set out in reply.
Ralph was first out, for a rapid 15 that included a 6. Last season it would have been a case of ‘oh no, Ralph is out, we’re all doomed’ (especially if Aidan was not around) but now we just wonder who is going to knock the runs off instead.
The answer was Dave and Tim, who both made enterprising 27 not outs to put us in a commanding position. Sharks had one bowler who was especially pacy and accurate but Tim, in particular, played him superbly and the run rate never dropped. The skipper bludgeoned a few more late on and Simon L clinched victory with a couple of lusty blows in the last over.
We’d shown we can defend a total, now we have chased down a target. It’s all good.
|Jamie||c J West||A West||2|
|Michael||c Harrison||A West||12|
|Pat||c Nusrat||A West||16|