Working on the principal that if the match report isn't done before the next game, it probably wont get done at all I hereby give somewhat truncated details of the match last Sunday.
Won the toss, inserted the opposition. I decided to try out Owen as opening bowling partner for Rob A. Owen took a wicket, rather fortuitously with a pie, but the second wicket pair added over 200 runs, benefiting from Chigwell's total inability to hold any chance that was offered. John Clifford suffered most as his admirable first bowling spell for the club went unrewarded. Charlie and Imran suffered at the hands of the increasingly confident batsmen, and the scoring raced out of control. Willing to take my own share of the punishment I brought myself on and was delighted to trap the West Essex number one LBW, 4 runs short of his century. The poor number four had been waiting for 90 minutes for his chance, but perished first ball, playing on. The skipper thus arrived and gave a spirited swish at the hat-trick ball, but failed to make contact. In my next over the other tormentor departed, well stumped by Paul for 94. First ball of my fourth over produced a looping edge from the skipper, which found the secure hands of Rob A at deepish slip/gully for the first (and last) successful catch of the innings. West Essex declared on 244 for 5 after only 32 overs, one over from Brad enough to convince them to get the hell out of there, while the going was good.
John's luck did not improve in the Chigwell innings; he received the ball of the day, cutting in a foot or so to bowl him. Olly suffered a rare distinction - triggered out (caught behind) by the skipper, when the noise was, apparently, that of bat on pad. Sorry Olly! There followed a spirited 3rd wicket partnership between Rob A and Paul, Rob in particular lashing some wayward bowling to all parts. Paul departed to a leading edge, and first Brad and then Imran tried to keep the momentum going, but perished in the attempt. I had only been out there a few balls when Rob was bowled for an impressive 74, the score now 126 for 6. Owen, armed with Nigel's railway sleeper, batted with intent, the high point of his innings his first boundary 6 for the club. He departed for 19 fun-filled runs, while I remained struggling for touch at the other end. Charlie joined me and we took comfort from our unbeaten 138 run partnership of the previous week. We managed 66 this time and it was beginning to look as if we might steer the team to an unlikely victory when we reached the last 3 overs needing 23 runs to win. Sadly this was not to be as first Charlie (25) was bowled and then, despite encouragement towards heroic deeds from the boundary, my own wicket was shattered (33), both with no further addition to the score. Hannah and Nigel comfortably saw off the last 11 balls between them and an enjoyable match ended in a draw.
West Essex were a good side to play against, and were extremely well skippered: a good declaration and sensible bowling changes - I look forward to playing them again. Chigwell put up a good display with a not-so-strong team, and who knows where we might have got to if a few of the catches had stuck. Better not drop that many at the Paddock next Saturday...