On a day with glorious sunshine (when not hidden by the many clouds), two Sunday teams were in attendance at DSG, both hoping for victories to make another it memorable Sunday for the Plough and neither team disappointed. Blue had an eager opponent ahead of them but one we were all confident of overcoming. With a strong team led by the ever reliable Si, we were eager to start what would prove to be a close fought battle. Winning the toss, Si elected to bat first so we could set a target that would be defendable in the second half of the match.
First up were Tom and Freddie to open the batting, with the latter hoping to have the bragging rights over his father come the end of our innings. After a slow and measured start, Tom suffered a rather unfortunate run out with him being unable to make up enough ground before he was stumped without being able to avoid the dreaded duck. In came our now semi-regular stand in from Southbank in the form of Simon James hoping to provide some stability in our innings. Freddie looked great at the crease, hitting a few lovely shots to the rope and running well for the occasional 2 or 3 before unfortunately being caught for 20 just when he seemed to be getting into his groove.
Next up stepped Drew, looking to follow on where Freddie left off. After a slow start he began to find the occasional boundary, before he giving the opposition another catching chance which they took, scoring only 12. Silva stepped up and joined Simon in the middle, and after a few balls looking to get a read of the conditions and the bowling attack on display, both Silva and Simon started finding the ropes again, including a beautiful 6 over the ropes from Silva, before he too fell to a catch with a score of 20. Up stepped Martin hoping to add a few runs to the score and providing back-up to Simon who seemed to be finding the boundary much more regularly now. After some busy running between the wicket from them both, and Martin nearly embarrassing himself by running himself out when no run was ever on, Simon’s innings came to an unfortunate end when the ball struck his stumps departing for a rather well earned 34.
Next up stepped Dave Graydon to join Martin in the middle hoping to accelerate the scoring to bring us up to something defendable. While he was able to strike a few valuable 4’s at one end, Martin was the opposite, unable to hit his shots regularly and that would see him eventually being bowled for only 4 runs. Then came Jo who showed his intentions from the start by striking the first ball he faced for 6 but this was short-lived as Dave and Jo fell for 13 and 9 respectively. Then it was the turn of Greg, father of Freddie, and Nige to get as many as they could. While Greg was able to hit some lovely 4s, Nige was not so lucky as he was bowled for a duck. Si joined Greg in the middle looking to get us to the end but he fell for 1, leaving Greg on a very handy 17 not out. That give us a score of 138 to defend, which we were confident of doing so given the bowlers we had at our disposal.
Tea was the usual affair at the break and we were ready and eager to start the second half of the match.
Jo and Silva opened our bowling attack and were very dangerous from the off. The opposition looked unable to cope with both and within 6 overs, 4 wickets had already fallen. Drew was well placed to take 2 catches (and almost gathered a third), one each off of Jo and Silva, while Jo was able to trap one of the openers LBW and Silva clean bowled their number 4 for his second wicket. With the opposition already 4 down, 3 for no score, we were into the middle order and keen to capitalise on our lightning start.
The next two batsmen proved a tougher nut to crack, prompting a change in attack with Drew and Nige stepping up, hoping to provide a breakthrough. After a rough start for both in their first few overs, Nige found his rhythm at one end to dry up the runs and Drew gained the wicket of one of their danger men after he had struck a few impressive shots over the boundary, before he was caught preventing him from inflicting any further damage. As we reached the latter half of the opposition’s batting line-up, we could smell a victory. Dave was next up in our bowling attack, and while he was unable to provide a breakthrough, some good, consistent bowling gave us confidence that the victory was getting closer if we were to take our chances when they came.
Jo was brought back into the attack looking to get a few more wickets and he was successful, taking 2 vital wickets in his final 2 overs, leaving him with very impressive figures of 4-19. Alongside him was Drew to close our bowling innings, aided by a single over from our captain which presented a very good opportunity for a wicket that was not seized upon. On another day, that chance would’ve been taken and Si was very unfortunate not to pick up the final wicket. However, with their top scoring batsman just needing 2 runs to win in the next over, Drew was able to hold his nerve and claimed their final wicket as their batsman caved to the pressure and nicked the ball behind with Freddie taking it into his waiting gloves.
Jubilant scenes followed as the Plough celebrated a close fought but thoroughly deserved victory.