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August 08, 2005

Chigwell gain comfortable bore draw against confused opposition (Aztecs 7/8/2005)

Vice Captain Eggly Cressvis reports: I arrived at the ground at 1.30 to an empty car park full of euphoria and anticipation after the extraordinary events at Edgbaston in the morning! Sadly, the rest of the day was not to live up to expectation.

Nick had warned me that I had to make sure that the opposing skipper was sure of the rules of a time game as they were used to playing 40 overs games and seemed a little confused. After about 10 minutes I thought he had the picture and had reluctantly agreed, he correctly called heads and after some deliberation chose to bat. Maybe I could have become a rocket scientist after all!

We did not start until 2.20 and to be fair to them I did say to him that they should expect around 45 overs if he looked to declare around halfway by no later than 4.45. We did only bowl 42 overs in 2 hours 50 minutes, which was painfully slow. In saying that that they batted 10 to 15 minutes too long, in fact 2 of our players attempted to leave the field an over early, when their skipper at 4.40 for some reason only wanted to know how many overs had been bowled, he was told 39 although in fact it was already 41, c'est la vie.

Guest player Adam Peters opened the bowling with Phil and we got off to a good start with a smart piece of work from James as he threw down the stumps with the opener standing a yard out of his crease. We had to wait a while for the next wicket but Adam then took 2 in 2 balls! Owen bowled well to begin with before being hit out of the attack.

Our fielding today was very poor and we probably gifted them the best part of 40 runs. The notable exceptions to this were Nigel who fielded superbly all day culminating in a lightening run out when facing the wrong way and Nigel's mate Dave who was filling in as we waited for Rob to arrive from LA. Dave fielded really well on the boundary all day, so well in fact that he ended up breaking his hand! To steal a line from Niall how can you expect to win a game of cricket when 2 of our 3 recognised bowlers bowl poorly and your fielders drop 8 or 9 catches?

After Nigel's run out we had to endure a very long stand although both batsmen were dropped at least twice and although Nick, Ritchie and myself were far from at our best we did create some opportunities and we should have had them out earlier or at least restricted their scoring. I admit that I did not have my best day today and that hindsight is a wonderful thing in cricket. When I belatedly brought Adam back he took a wicket it straightaway to end up with a well-deserved 4, but I was short on bowling today and my options were always limited. Another great display by James who took 2 catches, a stumping and a run out.

After a leisurely tea we went out needing 234 to win and having to score at over 5.5 an over from the off. We started well enough if not slightly slowly which meant the run rate was always increasing. Rob made 22 in even time having arrived from the airport and we reached the final 20 needing exactly 7 an over but with 9 wickets still in hand. Unfortunately, as always happens in these situations wickets began to fall as we tried to keep up with the asking rate. Adam fell for 38 and Hamad shortly after for 35. Nigel was looking good for 24 before being triggered and after Phil and Nick went cheaply I came out at number 8 with the rate now over 8 an over and only James who could give us a realistic shot at an unlikely victory.

There were easy singles available and I managed to keep him on strike at 2 or more a ball until he was unlucky to play on and our hopes departed with him. Ritchie came to join me and I was out to a horrible shot soon after. Charlie had been promoted to 10 as I could not get him on to bowl and batted very well as he and Ritchie saw us through to a comfortable draw even though they brought the opener back at end. We finished about 50 runs short with 8 down.

The opposition had all disappeared just leaving their tea money before I was even out of the shower. Whether their complete lack of grasp of the concept meant they were annoyed they had not won or they are just completely unsociable we may never know.

Overall a disappointing performance by the Chigs with our guests proving the stars. We can all do much better. There seemed a distinct lack of strength and honour today, which was surprising after England's heroics in the morning. Not my best day in the chair either after the glory of South Woodford on my last outing!

Let's make sure we go all out to win our penultimate home game next Sunday.

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