XCC win by 10 overs
285 to 122
This home match for the SCC was interestingly played in Brighton. Patcham to be exact. We had hoped to play at St.James Montefiore but this was not to be. We may discount that pitch for future fixtures. But The Xiles CC kindly agreed to do a tea for us and we were soon all struggling to park at Patcham cricket pitch. There was then a small dilemma of having to unscrew the padlock from the door of the pavilion but we were soon in and the day stretched out before us like a heavy sea – much the same in shape as the pitch!
Dacha (Dan Woodhouse) was keen and eager to skipper us through this one and in his capable hands we were fielding first. Their opening pair of Scolze(?) and Hannant were not easy to shift. We kept their run rate as low as we could by opening with some zip from Ruboneoff (Will Roberts) and Yuri’s lugubrious lobbing. Not easy and not always pleasant as they plugged away a refused to get out. Finally Yuri slid a long one up the leg of Hanant and took out the stump to boot. But all that did was release a the Hooper we know as Hooperoff.
Bowling rotated to bring in Hodderoff and Chipmonkski. The run rate was beginning to rise, less due to the bowling but more the eyes snapping in as the overs progressed. But on we battled. Hodderoff exchanged in the bowling and Daggers comes in from the North end. So nice to see his flicky little wristy action. This proves enough and a smashing ball zips past a Scolze who was strolling down to smack it. Brandonovski wasn’t going to have that and with both hands clasped on the ball, he clatters the stumps down. Lovely.
But that was the last wicket to fall. Bailey was walking out to bat and even swinging as he did so. Sadly this continued through his innings. He scored 118 and Hooper retired injured with 52 to bring on Hatrey who also added 31. We chucked all manner of things at them, even Skipper Dacha, who has a broken arm still in recovery. But it was that Bailey that did the damage. Psychology is a powerful mistress, I feel chins were heavier. At drinks it looked alright, at tea it looked ridiculous.
Tea completed, we needed to set up a steady ship and bat liked we meant to draw. An option left open for us! Our openers were to the field, Vlad (Charlie Richards) and Ruboneoff (Will Roberts). This opening partnership were both surprising, different but delightfully ‘in’. Vlad was well off-book and knew his orders well. Dorothy and tactical runs were his bread and butter. Ruboneoff had us all frightened at first as her clattered shots about and ran with astonishing vigour, was he playing too aggressively? Not really, he worked hard at it and stayed in! Great stuff. Indeed our openers got through over 60 balls before Tulley forced a catch from Ruboneoff, exiting with 20 runs. The catch was actually not an easy over head two hander at a close mid-wicket.
On comes Dagleyev (Neil Dagley). He and Vlad set up shop. A partnership of 7 overs. Dagleyev is always a splendid watch and was keen to push the score up safely. He had his eye settling in on this raggedy wicket and with 20 to his name, slapped away a beefy stroke to the deep off. But Deep point man, JD (Hartley) collected it and Dagleyev was off and Brandonovski on.
Kathick was bowling well enough and he finally got our man, Vlad caught behind for 35. But great stability from our man from the steps and there for the first 21 overs is the kind of solidity we need to foster – not fester! Simon Woods, our new blood and his first game, then joined us. He had some very nice strokes on display but suddenly Brandonovski was walking home. A bouncier delivery from Kathick and straight onto his finger. It pitched up and was caught. Brando home for 5.
Owenoff was valiantly in and out, aureum anatis. Woods out next ball with a balletic LBW for 5. Yes comrades, the SCC disease was upon us! Hodderoff was there and the new replacement was Sewelski. Cometh the hour, cometh the birthday boy. His ninety three years barely showing as he opened up with two runs and all this despite a variety of bodily injuries. A few balls in and a sweeping hook brought a boundary 4 at fine leg for the celebrating, Sewelski. Birthday congrats! However just before that, Hodderoff hand his stumps removed by Karthick for 4. Then in a snap Sewelski was LBW for a very useful 10 runs.
Skipper Dacha (Dan Woodhouse) and Chipmonkski were now holding fort. But not for too long either. Dacha worried away a nice 13 but was then bowled by Matt and so the brothers, Yuir and Chip were there together – briefly. Not known for his skills with the bat, a little nick scored him a single before running for a second he was run-out off Matt.
There is no pretending it was close. We were whooped. Bailey was a very good bat and despite a reasonable bowling field, we couldn’t get to his stumps. We need to make sure that our bowling line-up ‘thinks’ some wickets – take a breath before running. We also suffered our frequent batting collapse. But in the old days, it wasn’t frequent, it was usual. So that’s good! Thank you Skipper, Dacha, all comrades and all PAWS – and thank you Xiles CC