Spoils shared in close clash at Sandon
posted: July 20, 2020
Our second clash of the belated 2020 season turned out to be a hard-fought low-scoring contest that resulted in honours being shared with our namesakes, the Sandon Strollers.
Having won the toss, the start to our innings faltered somewhat and never truly kicked into gear. Thankfully, Kashif (39) and Matt (38) showed some tenacity and through steady accumulation along with bursts of attacking strokeplay we were able to post a modest – if defendable – 154... unusually for 11 wickets. With the Sandon team over-subscribed the match was effectively 12-a-side and Gav – having failed to trouble the scorers initially – was permitted an encore innings to even up the numbers.
After a brief turnaround, Sandon equally struggled to kickstart their innings, mainly thanks to miserly spells from Varun and Harry - both unlucky to collect a wicket early on. Our first wicket came courtesy of Tom, who fizzed one down at the potentially dangerous Simeon Green, who played on. This was followed up by an excellent spell from the skipper Davie G, who collected a well-earned threefer, thanks to what George described as his 'heavy balls'.
Perhaps our key breakthrough came when, following a misfield from Gav, Tom collected the ball at fine leg and hurled down the stumps to run out the fabulously-named Nick Pain (surely a character out of Rocky, no? – Ed). However, with only a low score to defend, whilst the big-hitting Zahir was at the wicket there remained a distinct danger that the oppo could reach their target. Thankfully after reaching a deserved fifty Kashif came on and castled him to effectively snuff out Sandon's hopes of a win.
With three wickets remaining, Sandon had just to see out the final over. However Kashif, bowling at the death, brought us tantilisingly close to sealing victory for ourselves firstly by trapping young Wastell LBW and then, on the penultimate delivery, bowling Bob 'The Fish' Fisher for a duck. With all eleven Strollers crowding round the bat, Sandon's last man Green had to survive one ball... which he calmly defended.
And so ended a most enjoyable day's cricket with Strollers of both persuasions sharing the spoils. Both teams retreated to the lovely Moon & Stars pub afterwards to savour the pleasure of finally being able to talk about cricket again, rather than the other C word, so prominent of late.