Tim takes us tantalisingly close to beating Beamers in season opener
posted: May 1, 2017
The domestic season began dramatically yesterday with batting heroics from Tim taking us within a whisker of a win against old rivals the Beamers.
Earlier in the day, having been upgraded to play on the main pitch at North London, the Beamers had no hesitation in choosing to bat first upon winning the toss. They were rewarded by a towering and ultimately match-winning knock from Richard Verity, who carried his bat on an unbeaten 145. However his huge score was doubtless a tad inflated by some early gaps in the field and having been let off by three dropped catches through the course of his innings - these amongst several chances that went begging through the course of a chilly afternoon on which we clearly needed some warming up.
However Davie G did manage to take a sharp reflex return catch to see off Alan Dixon (himself let off early on by a shelled chance to Gav at gully) and when Gideon took a fine catch on the square leg boundary to dismiss the ever-dangerous Kyle Pittman we managed to stem the oppo's progress. With further wickets beginning to tumble and a fine controlling spell of 2-35 from Ron we eventually restricted the Beamers to 231-6, a total that at one stage looked to be climbing well above 250.
In response we made a faltering start, losing both openers early on. Uncharacteristically both Harsh and Spencer struggled to find their rhythm and were dismissed in their twenties — the former seen off by a thin under-edge change chance sharply taken behind by Christian. By the time Ron took an agricultural heave and missed entirely, allowing a slow one from Hyam through the gate, we were five down for less than 65 and all looked very grim.
However some spirited running from the Kitten and some sensible batting from Tim steadied the ship and we began to get the scoreboard ticking over again. With the Beamers bringing on the slower stuff in the shape of Ralph Edney and Joe Wood, the Sturminator's eyes duly lit up and the ball began to fly to the boundary. Dave chimed in with a huge Vaughan-esque six clipped over midwicket and suddenly we sniffed an outside chance, albeit with the required run rate already in double figures with ten overs to spare.
We had just made it past 150 when Dave, misjudging the flight from Wood, chanced his arm at one too many. But this brought Gideon to the crease who read the situation well and cleverly managed to farm the strike to Tim who, by now, was in fifth gear having sailed past his half century. The lighthearted laughter evident amongst the Beamers fielders earlier in the innings was by now noticably absent as they made necessary adjustments to the field to protect the boundary but Tim kept finding ways through, particularly square of the wicket. Gideon chimed in too with several beautifully timed drives through the covers.
With just three overs to go and over 40 still needed Tim's fortunes eventually ran out. With a bona fide opportunity to notch up a ton for himself, he selflessly put the interests of the team first, swinging at a straight one from young Ted Dixon that wasn't there to be hit and was bowled out for a magnificent 84 — an immense effort that so nearly changed the fate of the game. However Gideon remained undeterred and took up Tim's mantle and opened his shoulders to knock the ball around and take us past 200 and to 20 required from the final over. Despite Gideon's best efforts, smashing three fours in that final over sadly wasn't quite enough and the Beamers left the field relieved they had made it... just.
In the pavilion afterwards we rued the small margins that might have swung the game our way — dropped catches, gaps in the field or just silly shots — but nonetheless it had been a great game and, in addition to acknowledging Richard's huge innings for the oppo, a special mention must go to our Tim for taking us so tantalisngly close to a first win of 2017.