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July 26, 2004

Deja Vu for Fives as Chigwell Grind Out Another Draw

There was an air of bemusement in the Chigwell camp as the skipper, returning from 2 weeks off, exhibited more erratic decision making than a deluded prime minister with dodgy intelligence.  At least I won the toss, and definitely got the decision to bowl first just right.  Dom was awesome, deserving of at least five wickets, suffering several drops off his highly belligerent bowling.  The problem is he bowls so fast, nobody can hold the edges!  Dom ended up with three wickets and had the opposition muttering about "facing bullets". 

So who did the skipper elect to partner Dom as opening bowler?  Well Owen, primarily because the conditions seemed right for a bit of left arm in-swing.  After a mixed start Owen found a good line and length, bowling a maiden to our customary bete noire Norman, whereupon he was swiftly removed from the attack! Rob A was wheeled into the attack, but seemed to struggle to find the right length and line, although in mitigation he was bowling into a stiff breeze.  Nick bowled a few tidy overs, but I followed a hunch that the area outside the right-handers leg stump was so poor that a left arm spinner (me) over the wicket would make life difficult for the well set batsmen, and passed the keeping gloves to Phil.  With the innings approaching its conclusion Brad was somewhat belatedly brought into the attack, but bowled far too short and suffered to the tune of 35 runs in 2 overs.  Dom was brought back to replace him, all too late, and despite a direct hit by Tim to run out one half centurian Fives strode to a total of 242 for 5.

This was not a memorable display in the field, with a general lack of concentration and a few very half-hearted attempts to stop or chase the ball.  Dom deserved much better support.  The captaincy was, I confess, erratic, and I take my share of the blame for the loss of control.  Fives are a good team, and it's difficult to get everyone into the game and remain competitive.  Perhaps sometimes the best way to keep everyone interested is to keep things tight; it was always likely that everyone would bat, so it may be that the tightest bowling, including a much longer spell for Dom, should have been employed throughout.  Ho hum, such are the trials of captaincy!

The Fives opening bowlers, whilst not as fearsome as the Dominator, enjoyed more success and soon put an end to the slim chance that Chigwell had of winning the game.  James displayed his batting potential with a sparky 21, including his first ever six, before heaving across the line to a straight one and falling to the Fives five wicket hero.  Brad and Tim started the staunch resistance, their partnership highlighted by the unlikely sight of an all run 4!  Eventually it was a farcical piece of running which saw the end of Brad; a shame when he was looking in good form.

I joined Tim at the wicket and, with the opening attack at last rested, we dug in and progressed well into the last 20 overs before Tim was adjudged LBW.  Owen arrived at the crease and fought his way to his favourite score, 0 not out, as the last pair secured a draw, yours truly finishing on 47 not out.

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