The year of 1984 saw the great Dean Jones debut for Australia in the West Indies, that same year England toured India under David Gower and the great Chris Cowdrey made his debut.
That same year Chris Roden-Smith entered the world, little did his parents know some 37 years later he would be debuting for the greatest cricket club in the world – they do say fast bowlers are like a good bottle of red wine.
We all arrived at The Hollies pumped for a game of cricket but with some doubt over the weather and if we would get a full game in. Grant won the toss and elected to bowl, there was going to be no other choice given the wicket was still soft underfoot.
After Greg and Chris marked out their run ups, Greg gave Chris the honours to start the proceedings for his very first game for Ploughman, hitting his stride his first over was 0-4, which was a tidy start.
His partner in crime Greg Willis opened from the other end and the Middxstricker opening batsman made their intentions clear with hitting two fours in the second over, not even having a sighter or playing themselves in.
The carnage started in Chris’ second over, where he bowled the opening batsman around his legs after setting him up beautifully with some late outswing bowling, dragging the batsman across to out side off stump he then sent the straight one down and made the batsman look very silly and this was only the 14thball of their innings.
Chris was hitting all the right areas and causing the new batsman issues and then he managed to take a caught and bowled that saw a great diving catch to his right just inches off the ground.
With the score on 2-16 after four overs we knew we were on top, which then saw the batting team put their shots away as Chris bowled 3 consecutive maidens and Greg keeping it tight at his end and picking up a brilliant bowled wicket hitting middle stump, this saw the score on 3-22 after 12 overs.
Trent and Jo were introduced into the attack with Jo having figures of 0-2 after 3 overs he is clearly obsessed about line and length, meanwhile at the other end Trent struggled with his line and length and was being hit to all parts of the ground until in his fourth over, when he picked up the prize wicket of their number four batsman who had been doing all the damage with a brilliant catch taken by Hector at Long On.
Jo continued to keep it tight and was very unlucky not to have picked up wickets due to the team putting a few catches down and Greg nearly losing a digit at first slip.
With the score on 4-76 at drinks, we knew we had to come back out and continue to fight as the batsman were not going to die wondering and continued to play their big shots around the ground.
Spin wizard Niraj celebrating his 50th match for Ploughman and Mo were introduced to the attack and bamboozle the batsman they did, with Niraj keeping it very tight at his end and unlucky not to have picked up wickets, meanwhile Mo was getting great flight above the eyeline enticing the batsman to go the aerial route which saw a great catch taken by Greg as well as Paddy picking up a stumping. We ended up bowling them out in the 39th over.
Clearly scoring is not their strong point, with the bowling adding up to 164 the batting adding up to 152 and then when you include the byes and leg byes into the bowling adding up to 171. Both skippers agreed that it was 164 to win.
Iskander and Jo opened the batting seeing off the opening bowlers and playing them selves in, putting on 50 for the fist wicket. This was one of the best opening partnerships I’ve seen on a Sunday given how tough the wicket was to bat on, the opposition opening bowlers not taking any wickets although they bowled a very tight spell and full credit to Iskandar and Jo with not throwing their wickets away.
There had not been any rain, although Jo did start a shower of sixes with one of the cleanest hits I’ve seen in a very long time, with the ball being deemed lost and their captain trying to bring out another brand-new ball even though it was 14 overs old the headmaster stood firm and wasn’t going to be dragged into these school boy tactics.
Jo was out in the 14th over which saw the ever-reliable Tom Lockhart join Iskander at the crease with his second scoring shot being a glorious straight drive for six, really showing the opposition that we could match their big hitting but this also being the downfall for Tom being caught on the long off boundary for a well compiled 19 which helped continue to keep us above the run rate.
The very patient Paddy, joined Iskander at the crease managing to keep some of their very good balls out until one brushed his glove and in true Ploughman spirit walked although Mo at umpire couldn’t see what it had come off and wasn’t going to give it out.
This saw our Skipper Grant stride out to the crease reminiscent of Richie Richardson with the wide floppy hat joining Iskander who had just brought up his 50 and looking very solid, this saw them put on 47 for the 5th wicket which brought us needing 7 to win and Iskander hit a 4 to bring up the victory in style and finish 81 not out, his batting performance was exceptional and very well supported by Jo, Tom and Grant to get us the chocolates.
Gold win by 5 wickets in the 37th over.