Strollers batsmen slump to hand unlikely T20 win to Trundlers
posted: June 28, 2018
Us Strollers are this morning left licking our wounds from the night before to reflect on yesterday's T20 clash when we somehow snatched defeat from the jaws of victory to hand a highly unlikely win to the Tetherdown Trundlers in what, on reflection, was an absorbing match.
Having won the toss on a balmy evening at Highgate CC, Abhik opted to bowl first on a pitch that looked like a mixture between a meadow and a concrete car park. Initially this looked like a good decision for despite some solid and sensible batting from the ever-stylish Guy Grainger we made early inroads, kicked off by an excellent running catch from Danny Betts (making his long-awaited return and now considerably taller than when last seen) to dismiss Roberts who looped one up from Spencer. This was followed up by a rather fortunate run out off a no ball when Hayward was caught ball-watching as Abhik flung in a sharp return from deep square leg.
Buxton, next in, was enormously lucky to survive a huge appeal for a stumping off Danny's own bowling, but when Guy was trapped LBW by Sid for 26 he took on the senior role and began striking the ball well. However Buxton's partners simply couldn't handle Sid's expert off spin as one after another misjudged – notably oppo skipper Adam Frais who took a stride too many and handed the Kitten that overdue stumping after all. In the end, the Trundlers closed on a seemingly modest 118-6, with Sid picking up fantastic figures of 4-15.
Having posted a record 217-5 in our last T20 match the previous week, we rightly felt confident that chasing down a sub 120 score was well within our capabilities. But confidence possibly gave way to complacency and after a boundary from each, both openers Gav and Ron were dismissed cheaply – the former beaten all ends up by a yorker from Kohler and the latter sending the first of numerous catches lobbed up to midwicket.
From here on a succession of Strollers batsmen found new and original ways to get themselves out... most offering up the tamest of catches to the surrounding Trundlers field who looked like they couldn't quite believe their luck. Typically only Harsh looked threatening as he took on the Trundlers' attack with customary elan. For a while, when Davie C joined him in the middle at four wickets down, things settled down and the chase seemed to be back on course. But then the Kitten lobbed another one back to cover and our nerves jangled once again.
Skipper Abhik also holed out to long off shortly thereafter and then, disasterously, Harsh too was caught in the deep before managing to reach his fifty and with our score still thirty short of our target. Davie G gamely worked the ball around and took us finally past 100 but our momentum took a further setback when Danny, somewhat dazed and confused by a no ball call, was stranded short as he attempted to run through for a quick single to the bowler's end.
Spencer, appearing abnormally low in the batting order – thanks to a back spasm he had picked up when bowling – was perhaps our last genuine hope for salvation but clearly struggled to get his feet working and nicked behind for just a single. Down to our last wicket (young Alfie Buxton from the oppo's ranks kindly guesting for us to make up the numbers) but with just ten runs needed and plenty of overs remaining to get them, there remained a glimmer of a chance that the game might still be ours. However when Gorton scooped one up to cover the end felt all too inevitable.
The celebrating Trundlers whooped with joy, justifyably elated, having just snatched the unlikeliest of wins from right beneath our noses. In turn we trundled off ourselves, thoroughy chastened and scratching our heads as to just how we had managed to mess that up. To the neutral it would doubtless have made entertaining viewing and the game was certainly an ode to how crazily unpredictable cricket can be. Bl##dy embarrassing for us though. Ho and furthermore hum...