Looking at the playing surface on Sunday it was a definite bowl first kind of pitch. It was more tacky than one of Duray’s pick-up lines but the oppo skipper surprisingly decided to have a bat.
The Plough welcomed Luke Howard for his first outing and Scoops had no hesitation in tossing him the ball to open the bowling. Luke looked threatening with his left arm seamers and bowled with real control. He was unlucky not to pick up a few in his opening spell. Lilford bowled with less control and didn’t look threatening in the slightest so Si whipped him off and replaced him with Nigel. This decision was vindicated as Nige picked up two quick wickets and The Plough got a foothold in the match.
From the other end Logan bowled an amazing spell. The batsmen simply could not get him away. Playing and missing as though swatting flies to shouts of “too good for these blokes” ringing in their ears. As soon as it looked as though it may not be Logan’s day, he bagged three wickets in an over to rip the heart out of their middle order. He finished up with the outstanding figures of 3-14 off 8. Niraj chipped in with a couple of wickets and Putney ended their innings on 172.
The tea break consisted of us watching Jofra Archer toy with the Australian batsmen while Paul Hynes sat speechless with a menacing look on his face. What happened next was simply remarkable. Out strode Hynes and Ridgeway to get our innings under way. Their opening bowler came off his long run with the keeper well back which got all of our attention – not Hynes, from ball one he went on the offensive. He was brutal on anything too full, too short, too wide or too straight. He raced to 50 and never looked in trouble. At the other end Nick rotated the strike and enjoyed the show.
Hynes shifted through the gears and before we knew it he had brought up his 100. It was an outstanding demonstration of batsmanship that we were all lucky to witness. Hynes was caught for 102. Out strode Lilford to a barrage of abuse from the South African contingent from the oppo. I still don’t know what I did to wind them up but they took an instant disliking to me. Nick and I were unsure what had happened but all of a sudden there was more needle out there than a Taiwanese sweat shop. Nick took over the role as the aggressor and pumped their spinner for a couple of boundaries and all of a sudden the required target was within reach. Lilford and Logan fell with only a few required but there was just enough time for Nick to notch up a well deserved 50.
A thoroughly enjoyable game and Paul Hynes was selected as the player of the match.