As the sun began to peep through the clouds 11 Ploughmen awoke with excitement and anticipation.
After an awkward conversation trying to convince the other skipper, he should just allow us to Bat first to give everyone a game. He politely told me to get stuffed and that he would be sending his openers in. The engine room had to be delayed?
So after an excessive warm up, 11 Ploughman took to the field with Matt Bolshaw and Ashish Puff opening the bowling. Matt got to work straight away in his second over as the opener drove a lofted catch at mid-off to Mr Ovens. Ovens unaware he was about to have his best day of cricket for PCC.
After 10 overs Ironsides (23/1) were already realising what a long day they had in store when on came the tandem of Beesley and Lillford. Both bowling tight and keeping the pressure on the batsman. This would eventually tell as it always does in this league? Tight bowling = low runs = stress = risks? Unnecessary risks like when you sneak a single because you hit it to the left of a fielder? Lillford took it well and Grant took the bails off? Oops..
The next 3 wickets fell for under 50 runs and at 88 for 5, the Plough batsman were worried they wouldn?t have much to aim for? Special shout out to Beesley who bowled with guile and accuracy taking 2 wicket in his 7 overs and going for only 25. Ending with a wicket maiden and a maiden. Excellent bowling!
?Ajit? was brought on for his first spell for the plough and what a spell it was often beating the batsmen all ends up.. Unfortunate to not get more wickets in his 7 overs. But his one was quite crucial, bowling at the main batsman having made 30 off 20 balls he was scoring freely but his generosity knows no bounds as he scooped one to myself at long on for some early season catching practice.
AJ as he prefers to be called? A nickname is crucially needed, will be a crucial bowler for the Plough this season. He is Northern and has cricketers on his LinkedIn? Make of that what you will.
I came on and bowled like shit. The less said about that the better. But the pace bowlers came back on and restored calm. Ash was unplayable all afternoon finishing on 7 overs for 15 runs, it really is great to see him steaming in again.
Bolshaw bowled impeccably for his two wickets and even Ovens who, due to 39 overs of warming up and bowling the ball to everyone in the field was due a wicket, besides for a drop he would have had a great figures..
192 needed to win and tea needed to be scoffed. The usual excellence from the DSG sandwich team which also looked like they had a few fresh faces.
What resumed was pure carnage. Engine room was getting warmed up and took to the field with a calm swagger.
While Britto was plumb out LBW by a very good delivery cutting back in and keeping ankle height Barraz was in no watching mood.. He made 97 against this team last year?
He carried on where he left and made 25 in 15 balls tearing their opening bowler to shreds. He finished on 63 off 64 balls, again LBW. This set the tone for the rest of the game and it was always going to be really tough work for them from here on in..
By this time Ovens had come on and begun asserting himself at the crease hitting a cover drive in his second ball that gave him the confidence to smash his way to 62* and take an early lead for the batting trophy. Excellent performance Microwave..
Grant Wolledge made a very free flowing 37 and I made a pretty shit 13.. Lillford cleaned things up and we were back in the club house watching Spurs getting ripped to shreds by Hazard before 7pm.
Big shout out to Rory Stewart Richardson who had obviously over indulged the night before having arrived in his suit, slightly drunk had a massive performance in the field. ?He ploughed on like any true plough would and gave up his batting place to those that might enjoy it more. He did everything I could have asked of him as a skipper in that form and credit to him for that.
All in all, it was good to be back. Playing a sport we all enjoy, with quality people. Thanks to Rich and Fred for popping down for the support.
We knew going into the game we had a quality side but we had the class to keep our heads down and prove it on the field. The effort in the field was superb and everyone made being Captain a privilege and an honour.
Go on the Plough!