As the late Richie Beaud would say ‘What an absolutely marvellous day for cricket’ and how right he was.
The 30th of June brought the Ploughman’s CC to the mighty Bromley Common with its picturesque team rooms and lovely surrounding. Bromley Common is based in the county of ‘the middle of nowhere’ near some horses and old planes. As you approach the ground you feel like you are a Hobbit on an adventure around shire. There are two grounds at the venue the A22 and the A23; we were playing on the road that was the A23.
We were playing the Earlswood Strollers who we played only a month previously. The match was a stroll in the park for Earlswood, after being spanked by a 6 Foot 4 Freddie Flintoff look alike for 60 runs in 5 overs I was obviously devastated not to see him in the opposing side.
As usual Tis lost the toss and we were put into bowl, after making our way onto the field we noticed that there was an electronic scoreboard. Two thoughts came to mind. 1. This is fancy 2. How are we going to negotiate to control such an advanced mechanism?
After the first 5 overs we knew that the A23 was going to live up to its expectations. I recollect glancing up to the score board and it being 1 for 70 off five overs. This did not reflect the start that we had. Spence opened the bowling with some good lengths and pace after making his comeback from being injured in the last game. Cassin steamed in from the other end looking like B McCullum after a winning night at the races. He bowled with good control yet the ball still ended up at the boundary. In a tactical move from the Captain Tis, he brought on the imperious Ridgway to stop the flow of runs. This worked well with the first 4 balls of the spell going for 4s, then the batsman chopped one on to the disappointment of the players.
We fielded with 10 players for the first bit of the game until McEwen turned up was apologetic and once he took of his cap we knew why he was late because he was at a Sunday morning gathering of Eminem lookalikes. Fair enough really – bowling was on par with hair style – fiery.
From there on in, the run rate was steady but regular wickets from Sam the man Russell and Spence kept us in the hunt. At the half way point the state of the players and the ground looked like the WACA from 1986. The highlight of the first 20 overs was the drink given to the fielding side, Cassin had been seeking this from ball one. The general consensus at this point was if we could limit them to fewer than 650 it would be a good effort at 170 for 4 at the drinks break.
Enter Sutton and Tisato, spin gods. Tisato who usually bowls express pace was turning the ball square and getting bounce with his tall frame bowled really well to restrict the run rate and pick up two crucial wickets. Baveas was having a great game as keeper it was not easy out there, he took a great catch do give Sutton a bonus wicket. Normally when facing Sutton the urge is to pick what shot to hit a six with, for some reason today this was not the case and Sutton bowled okay dribble.
The fielding was solid, in particular from lightning Lockhart and Flexible Flannery, and Eminem.
At the half way point the score became 248 for 8 a really good effort considering the score at drinks.
The food was amazing at the tea break and we had great hospitality throughout.
The first challenge of the run chase was figuring out how to score, do the scoreboard and the electronic scoreboard.
Tisato and Suri strolled to the crease with a big chase on their hands. Tisato started well and looked like he had the timing for of the pitch but was undone by a good catch at slip. It was a similar story for Suri who was given out LBW. Enter Ridgway and Cassin, both who had bowled miserly and looked to buck that trend with the batting and score fast. The pair batted well, timing exquisite, balls flying to all parts of the ground. Putting on around 60 and developing a platform until Cassin cut a ball to point for 32 off 16 balls.
The run rate was never going to be a problem – wickets were the decisive factor. Lockhart came in and looked to be playing lovely until he too hit a shot to a fielder. Ridgway continued to play well dispatching the ball to all parts. Flannery kept him company for a short time and looked good until he went. Sutton was poor and left.
At this stage we were around 140 for 6 with Yanni coming to the crease. He looked good and continued a good day until he was undone by a good one.
Ridgway brought up his 70 and continued to look good, until he was caught for a glorious 75.
The Plough needed around 50 from the last 10 overs, Spence and Eminem put on some entertainment, hitting 6 fours and 2 sixes between them to give get the Plough close. Russell was the last man out and the Plough was 20 runs short.
Although this was not the result the Plough was looking for it was a great day for all concerned. The hosts were great, and the day was glorious.
Definitely cannot wait to visit next year.
Marvellous day all round.
As written from the obscured view of Gareth Sutton.