Sterling work from Leon saw Earlswood Strollers named at short notice as opposition to Ploughmans Gold; but as Anthony Joshua can testify, just because they’re a last minute stand-in it doesn’t mean they’ll be knocked over easily – and so it proved for the Gold team.
Matthew BOLSHAW skippered, his first time for the Plough, and genuinely led from the front providing energy in the field, 3 wickets with the ball and much needed runs with the bat. It was great to be part of the team with him. Although the prick lost the toss and we were bowling in the afternoon sun.
Matthew SPENCER picked up a wicket with only his third ball and Bolshaw followed with one himself in the next over: the Earlswood number 4 popping the ball up towards short mid-wicket and Bush, off his own bowling, dived, stretched, caught, fumbled, rolled and finally caught the ball again somewhere near his armpit. It was a great take and even more significant as it was his 100th wicket for the Plough.
So, 2 wickets in 3 overs. Great start. The bowling attack continued with Sam RUSSELL and James TISATO, who were both resilient and economical, but couldn’t make the next breakthrough until the 22nd over when Russell finally flummoxed their tidy opener with Earlswood on 120 runs. Run rate under six, so we’re ok.
The remaining 13 overs then saw 145 runs added to the score. Blimey.
Earlswood’s number 5 could hit a ball and he wasn’t afraid to do so. His century was brutally quick and included 8 sixes and 8 fours. He didn’t mind chasing spinners and Thomas PARISH and Gareth SUTTON felt the force of his aggression. Two dropped catches within two overs didn’t help the bowlers but the fielders otherwise worked hard diving and sliding to prevent further boundaries.
Bolshaw picked up two more wickets, Parish one and Spencer one more wicket. Spencer’s wicket was especially impressive as 1) he had just come back on following a couple of overs off after “popping his ankle” whilst taking a boundary catch and 2) the departing batsman was on 49.
In the end Earlswood Strollers posted an imposing 265-7 from their 35 overs.
Textbook DSG tea was taken.
TISATO and Suri POLEBOINA opened the batting for Gold and Poleboina was unlucky to find himself LBW to an opening spin bowler. Opening with spin should not be allowed.
Richard BUCKLEY crunched a sweet four before being bowled by a spinner and KEOGH also fell to spin very shortly after, primarily so he could take up scoring duties as soon as possible. Opening with spin and then continuing with spin should not be allowed.
Freddie MILLS was up next and hit an exciting 30 runs off 26 deliveries before being caught behind. To spin. Opening with spin and then continuing to continue with spin should not be allowed.
Tom LOCKHART clipped and drove to notch up 18 runs, Bolshaw added 13 runs and Gaz Sutton 14 but all three fell to well taken catches when the batsmen were looking sharp.
The target of 266 felt a long way off and in the end we posted 156 in reply with our ten functioning players. Spence being unable to bat as he was dividing his time between cooling his ankle in the doggy-paddling pool and elevating it on a bench.
Probably worth mentioning that the guy who faced the very first delivery (spin, you might remember) was there to the very end and carried his bat. James TISATO scored an impressive 62 not out, including a six to move from 44 to 50. He probably said the same thing to everyone as they came out to join him, “take your time, enjoy it, wait for the bad ones” and was never visibly angry with us when we didn’t listen. Top man and true Plough.
Lockhart and Richard debating the merits of the Médoc Classification of 1855 for Bordeaux châteaux
Gaz and Suri picking up their Ploughmans CC caps
Freddie and I celebrating our respected 100th and 50th matches for the club not by hitting a ton or a half century but buying a couple of jugs. Plough on