Ploughmans CC Blue met under a tree providing the only shade on a very hot Sunday at Barnes Elms Sports Centre. It was clear from the pre-match team talk that this was definitely a toss for skipper Simon Carson to win and to bat first. We lost and Putney told us to get in the field.
Chris Roden-Smith and Jo Hockings opened the bowling in the heat and kept it very tight. CRS’s obsession with line and length brought up 3 maidens from his opening six overs. Simon Crane and Matt Hopper had a few overs before drinks at 15 where Putney were 58-0.
Immediately after drinks Rehan Raees [copy], with his incredibly safe hands, held on to a catch off Hopper’s bowling to give the Plough their first wicket. Hopper finished on 1-17 off 4.
Crane’s wicket, caught by Roden-Smith, put Putney on 105/2 but we were finding it difficult to take any more. Carson brought himself on for a bowl, we changed the field, we tried to be aggressive but the Putney batters weren’t giving many chances and the run rate was starting to increase.
We came off for drinks at 30 overs and they were 155/2, with 10 overs left and wickets in hand. Putney had an opportunity for 240+ and we must have looked a bit worried at drinks since Carson politely told us to sort ourselves out and get the game back.
Immediately after drinks Rehan Raees [paste], this time with his bowling, made the breakthrough with the third wicket. Roden-Smith came back on to continue his dot-fest and picked up two wickets in two balls; he finished on a fantastic 2-14 off 8 overs. Hockings, also coming back on, took the wicket of Putney’s #3 when he was on 50 runs.
The final bowling change was Max Gumpert… lol… he bowled 5 overs at the death for only 13 runs, taking one wicket. The oppo weren’t overly happy with this move but I must say I thought it was great.
In the last 10 overs, Putney managed two boundaries off the bat and were restricted to adding only 30 runs to finish on 185/7 from 40 overs. The excellent job by the bowlers was equally supported by the fielders who had all worked hard to limit Putney’s scoring opportunities. Carson’s words of encouragement had obviously worked and we left the field knowing that Putney were some runs short. And so to batting…
In baking temperatures, who better named than Cake and Ovens?
186 was the target and the openers started very well, cruising at 4 an over they put on a partnership of 79 before Ovens was caught on 37. Earlier he had got hit on the helmet by a beamer from Putney’s opening bowler and then a few minutes later a fielder lashed the ball in which hit Ovens in the middle of the back.
Joining Cake at the crease was Suri Poleboina who, very cautiously, allowed seven, yes seven balls to go past before hammering one over the boundary for a beautiful six. Poleboina then continued to play some delightful shots around the ground.
Having seen off the openers and first change bowlers, Cake then allowed himself some bigger shots and soon accelerated to 58 runs before being caught behind in the 27th over. The Plough still needed 62 runs from 13 overs with Max Gumpert joining Suri at the crease.
I’d like to create some false jeopardy here and really jack up the tension, you know like in cooking programmes where they say ‘if the temperature of the sugar rises above 60 degrees it will be a disaster’…’it doesn’t get any tougher than this’ etc. But I can’t. It’s Max and Suri. Suri’s already had a few dot balls that he wants to make amends for and Max only knows red ink at the moment.
And so it was.. job done in the 34th over with only two wickets down. Max scored 39* off 27 deliveries and Suri was a run-a-ball 41*. Both bats looked in control and comfortable and probably wished they had something higher to chase.
The last ten overs of our bowling innings really turned the match for us. We worked hard, picked up important wickets and didn’t let Putney push on when they were set to. We then batted sensibly, didn’t give away our wickets and in the end won at a cruise.
The Plough then joined Putney at their tardis-like clubhouse for jugs. Great fellas, an enjoyable day and a special shout out to Niraj for coming to watch and umpire.