Ploughmans Gold XI played host to the Pimlico Strollers (who didn’t live in Pimlico) at the DSG on Sunday afternoon in a game that looked unlikely based on the forecast. However, a morning shower and a very brief drizzle between innings was the only sign of any dampness. A wrong call by the visiting Skipper gave Grant the choice at the toss, and he elected to field first.
This decision was very quickly vindicated as Spence’s first ball, a shin-high wide full toss, was middled to Reez, who took a nice catch at cover to set up the score at 0-1. Continued good bowling from Spence and Bisi put the opposition under pressure for the first period of the innings, with the latter bowling out for figures of 8-2-15-1, with his wicket falling on the very last ball of his spell, after the opposition’s wicketkeeper got tired of being bamboozled by the laser-focused line and length and heaved it skyward to be caught at mid-on.
Spencer picked up a second wicket by bowling a player for the Oppo who was also called Spencer, then was replaced by Reez, who struck instantly, bowling the surviving opening batman for 21 as he was looking to accelerate, meaning the Pimlico top 4 had been done away with for 36 runs between them. Reez followed this up with a second wicket, with a diving catch at wide mid-on (which would have a lot more headline coverage if it hadn’t been made by the person writing the report).
*Editor’s note – This was a superb diving one handed catch by Max Wright, an absolute grab, made even better when later in the day he claimed it was down to his new Plough Baggy giving him the extra bit of flight to get to it.
Drinks were taken, and Pimlico were 75-5 off 18 overs.
However, Grant’s words of ‘Keep it tight’ at the break were not acted upon, as the Pimlico Skipper and the no7 proceeded to each help themselves to fifties each, a partnership that even a very tidy cameo from Tis couldn’t break. A couple lapses in fielding allowed the two batsmen to get away with some mistakes, until Rahul manage to coax one of them into slapping the ball down Spence’s throat at midwicket. The other high-scoring bat went to his 50 with a 6 into the tree down the ground that Tis was waiting to snaffle up, but then Nigel had his revenge the next ball, trapping him in front to leave the umpire no choice but to send him on his way.
Spence then returned to the attack and picked up a third wicket with another catch, this time from Grant, before the captain bowled the number 10 off his own bowling, with Tis picking up a well-deserved wicket to finish off the innings with 1 over remaining, so the target for Plough’s batsmen to go for was 198 in 40 overs. There was some good fielding all round to back up the bowlers, with 6 of the wickets falling to catches all over the field.
The innings began with Leo Nieboer on debut and Umar – negotiating the first few overs safely. However, Umar was bowled by a skiddy ball that kept low, leaving the score at 11-1 after 5. Leo continued his patient knock, amassing 20 off 46 balls, before also being bowled. This started a mini collapse, as Leon and Tis both departed to the opening bowlers within 4 overs of Leo falling, leaving the score at 32-4. Grant and Max managed to stabilise the innings, seeing off the remainder of the opening bowlers’ spells, who finished with 2-24 and 2-15 off 8 overs each.
The partnership continued slowly, getting to 62-4 at drinks, still needing 136 off 120 balls. Max’s yellow helmet was removed in place of his brand-new Ploughmans’ cap, and scoring began to flow a little more easily for both players. Unfortunately, a nudge from Grant into the off-side that had a potential of 2 ended Max’s innings, not helped by leaving his bat at the turn. Annoyingly, the completed run before the run out brought up the 50 partnership, so possibly the shortest lived 50 partnership ever.
A 33-run partnership with Reez followed, before Grant was stumped trying to force Plough back into contention, but with the score at 120-6 with 9 overs left, the task was looking daunting. A couple of very nice cameos for Rahul and Spence put a couple of jitters into the opposition, with each striking a beautiful 6, including the former who’s shot ended up over the fence and into the Dulwich sunset.
Bisi followed up his economic bowling performance with a neat 20* off 14 balls, but all in vain, as the unbroken 23 run 10th wicket partnership with Nigel left Plough 30 short, finishing on 167-9 off the 40 overs (Wolledge 43, Wright 25, Rajasooriya 20*).
Editor’s note: Great game played in great spirits. Pimlico Strollers we’re a brilliant oppo, who said the game was a lot closer than the book suggests. Their skipper also said that our Spencer was the better Spencer.