Ploughman 2’s descended down to Morden for a “Home” games vs Croydon, onto a cricket pitch which resembled the Salt Plains of Bolivia – Uyini.
Croydon 4th XI had turned up early and were already jogging round the outfield which seemed bizarre on a hot and sticky day and the fact they were batting first after winning the toss.
Great energy in the field by the Ploughmen with opening bowlers Lewis Wilby and Greg Willis running in and bowling heat, skippers instruction were to keep it tighter than last week and straight from the off opening bowlers LW and GW were hitting great areas, and this led to early breakthrough with the opening bat leading his bat and smart catch (though slightly juggled) by AGW… Bowled GW Caught AGW.
Croydon 7/1, then what can only be described by some of the jammiest shots in the world as Croydon set on a partnership with tactical edging and making the most of a very fast outfield and a couple of dropped catches. Two quick breakthrough LBW’s by Azharul and Spencer got us 3 wickets before 1st drink breaks (at 14 overs ).
Post drink break more jammy batting and the odd good shot and Croydon raced away with a few runs. Was tough work in the dry Serengeti heat from over 14 to over 28 but energetic fielding and good chat kept the spirts high and again just before next drinks breaks we strike twice with a very good bowing spell by Harvey Stevens and a magic flighted spin bowling by Tom Glynne-Jones.
After 2nd drinks break we took a couple more wickets and kept it quite tight, with Croydon finishing on 236 – 7. Really good bowling spells by all and on another day we’d skittle them, they really pushed their luck on the edges.
A good tea break of Slush puppies, Lucozade and Squashies was exactly what was needed on a scorching day and Ploughman padded up, ready to chase 237 for win on a super fast outfield.
Umar and Hugh off to open the batting. Hugh gets off to a flyer and you can really see his eye is in from the off. Not the greatest start though as we find ourselves 50/3 before drinks.
But knowing that if we keep our wickets in hand after the drinks break we can get quite a few 4’s so still feeling positive, Hugh looking excellent forms a good partnership with Greg Willis. Chicken shop and GW get us a sold 30+ partneship and up to just shy of a 100. GW gets unlucky as they ball kept very low and was LBW.
In comes AGW who enjoyed the banter with the oppo by showing off some defensive shot shadow batting and then trying to hit a 6 first ball and completely missing it. Knowing the importance of staying in but also needing to up the run rate, Chicken Shop and AGW consolidate with some smart 1’s and 2’s and some juicy 4’s. Chicken shop calls for a tactical shoe change as spikes were broken, and his borrowed trainers (from Spencer at Umpire) didn’t stop him continuing to on to get his 50.
At 2nd drinks break Plough are 135-4 after 28 overs, requiring 103 more to win off 12 overs.
AGW knowing this goes a bit mad after drinks break, hits to two 4’s in a row then gets bowled.
Another important partnership of 40 runs secured and in comes Azharul. Azharul bats brilliantly and takes it to the bowlers hitting a 6 and some 4’s early on and Croydon rightfully started getting worried. Hugh and Azharul going nicely, Hugh falls on 77 – fantastic batting with some lovely shots.
Tom Glynne Jones comes in and quickly hits a juicy 6 and 4’s and Azarahul continues from the other end. TGJ then gets caught and Spencer comes in – unlucky to get out from a wonder catch – fairplay to Croydon they took 2 very smart catches (but not as good as Spencer’s catch on the boundary in the first innings), after an unfortunate run out for Lewis Wilby – Plough are 9 down and its left up to Azharul and Harvey Stevens to bring it home – needing 50 off last 3 overs was always going to be a big ask and we fell 29 runs short, but a fantastic effort getting the 200 on the board which secured us bonus points and a brilliant 49 off 40 NOT OUT for Azaharul, who deserved the 50.
Great effort by all – huge improvement from weekend before and still third in the league so all to play for with promotion, Plough on.