Theydon's bowlers suffocate Strollers' batsmen to set up defeat
posted: June 24, 2018
After the run-fest that saw us win our first match away to Theydon Bois last season, this year's encounter was a much more austere affair which sadly resulted in a 5 wicket loss to end our four match winning streak. Having delayed the start in order to enjoy England's demolition job of Panama in the World Cup we won the toss and strode out to bat first on another hot sunny afternoon with overs reduced to 30 per side.
However, thanks to the utterly miserly bowling of the Theydon opening attack, runs were a genuine rarity and, having defended dutifully for several overs, Gav lost patience and lofted a mistimed drive to cover and was was sent packing. However neither George nor Spencer, next in, found scoring any easier and at drinks 15 overs in we had only scrambled to a paltry 35-1.
After drinks scoring opportunities were slightly more forthcoming although George too looped one up back into Clarke's hands and departed for 18. Abhik and Tim both came and prompty went, both bamboozled by the left arm leg spin of the moody Mo Tariq and it looked fearfully like we would struggle even to get to three figures.
Thankfully however both Gaurav and Spencer managed to find their rhythm and, with it, boundaries. With Theydon's second string attack offering much more in the way of scoring opportunities our batsmen began to cash in and, over the next ten overs, mounted a 100 run partnership with Fowler and Jain both notching up vital and unbeaten fifties – Spencer reaching 61 and Gaurav 52, both not out. In the end we closed on 162-5 which, although a modest total by any reckoning, at least gave us something to bowl at and a sniff of a chance.
After tea, that sniff became more alluring as we made early inroads thanks to an excellent opening spell from Spencer who firstly castled the oppo's dangerous wicket keeper Small and then dismissed Rana with a stunning diving catch by Dave Gorton at point – a surefire candidate already for catch of the season. This was followed up by a penetrating spell from Gaurav who clean bowled both Malik and Makin.
However this brought oppo skipper Tariq Ahmed to the middle who, having survived a sharp edge behind early on, began timing the ball well and reignited the Theydon innings, taking them over 100 just after drinks. Abhik, suffering from a sore back, gamely bowled spin and managed to dismiss Costas with his second delivery. But sadly this was to be the last wicket to fall as Ahmed, joined by younger sibling Mo, assuredly brought their target into view. Theydon cruised to victory in the 26th over to put their noses back in front in our head-to-head stats, the Essex side having now won twice to our once. In retrospect we probably needed another 40 or so to be truly competitive but we had applied ourselves well and thoroughly enjoyed another hard-fought clash on the edges of Epping Forest.