A habit is defined as a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. Everyone has them, whether individually or as a collective. Habits can range from pre-game morning routines, to eating the same foods at tea every week, to always spending at least one Saturday a summer in Croydon, to always finding a way of winning.
This Saturday gone, the Plough demonstrated the latter two of these examples. Another trip to Croydon, having spent what felt like the whole of last summer at Croygas Sports Club. More importantly though, another win.
Playing on the ground next door to where we are used to when visiting Croydon, play was possible thanks to a cover on the pitch and less overnight rain than expected. With a slight delay to play because of a wet patch next to the cover, the Plough won the toss and were out ready to bowl.
Again true to habit, the Plough started fast when bowling. Croydon under pressure from the off with Bolshaw bowling the opposition skipper in the 3rd over. This was followed up by some sublime fielding by Logan at mid off to run out the number 3 without scoring. 7-2 and the Plough were up and running. Ash Paul began to find his length, changed his field accordingly and soon had Croydon reeling at 12-3, caught Bolshaw at Slip.
Croydon, as Croydon do, fought hard and put on 49 for the fourth wicket. As the old adage in cricket says though, three brings four – except for this occasion where “Sri brings Four”, Croydon’s main man Srikanth Gorlla caught by Freddie off Logan just before drinks and Croydon were four down.
Things slipped slightly more after drinks with Croydon beginning to fight back again, although this was more due to the attacking nature of the Plough fields than good batting. Jo Hockings and Stu Campbell were both extremely unlucky not to have catches taken with a couple of drops in the cordon, as well as chances just finding gaps on numerous occasions.
By the end it felt like Croydon had perhaps got more than we should have let them, although the Plough never bowled badly at any point. Our catching was good, but just not good enough, with one or two too many put down. Although it felt like Croydon had done well, the Plough were still on top, the pitch was getting better by the minute and we had stacks of batting. Croydon finished 178-9 off their 40. Bolshaw 2-20 with two catches, Paul 1-21, Logan 2-28 with two run outs and the other wickets shared between Silvapulle and Hockings.
At tea there were chicken goujons. How posh is that?
Britto and Doctor Stu opened up after tea and got off to their habitual good start, putting on 61 for the first wicket when Britto was caught pulling for 18. Stu departed 10 runs later for a swashbuckling 42 with seven 4s and one 6 but with a platform well set at 76-2. Logan, true to how he has batted all season took the attack to Croydon and hit 25 off 22 balls including three 4s and one 6. Tisato came and went for 10 but not before he had anchored two partnerships, first with Logan and then with captain Fred. Freddie smashing 35 off 29 balls with five 4s and one 6. The 6 perhaps being the biggest of the day with the ball dispatched over the hedge and onto the next pitch. After Tisato departed though, wickets started to fall more regularly. Fred the next man to be caught followed quickly by Olli Lonsdale for 0 with the score on 138-5. We have played against many teams who when getting themselves into these situations just do not have the guts to get themselves over the line. Much like against Wimbledon Corinthians though, the scene of Nick Ridgway’s heroics, there was no panic and we kept picking up runs where we could. All that was needed were a couple of partnerships and Hockings managed to create two of these, first an 18 run partnership with Kesh and then the decisive 20 run partnership with Silva. Hockings ending with 19 off 21 balls. The maturity shown by all players in these two partnerships was exactly the skill and intent that Ploughmans are becoming synonymous with. Running between the wickets hard, putting pressure on the opposition, when it would be so easy to welcome it onto ourselves. Hockings finally ended Croydon’s hopes with a massive 6 over long on to win the game – God it’s fun when you win it with a 6.
Another win for the Plough and another step closer to the title. With three games left we are in great shape and regardless of how we get on this year, we know we’ve played some shit hot cricket. Shit hot cricket aside though, one win to go boys…