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« Chingford Snaps | Main | Not a Winning Draw, not a Losing Draw, but a Drawing Draw. (Ingatestone 3/6/2007) »

May 10, 2007

Chigwell Home and Hosed by 6.30 (Hadley Wood Green 6/5/07)

There's no place like home... there's no place like home... there's no place like home... Chigwell CC clicked its heels together three times last Sunday, and the team was transported back to the land of victory. After three defeats, the last two sound spankings, Hadley Wood Green were beaten by six wickets with the whole of the last hour to spare; even the christening party which occasionally spilled onto the field of play couldn't dampen the reignited spirits of the Chigwell XI.

Ironically things started badly, with the toss being won by HWG. Their skipper chose to bat, much to the irritation of many Chigs, whose "bat first" lobby had been in keeping with my own opinion. We appeared to have a strong batting line up, and HWG seemed to be a little short in the bowling department; certainly no sign of A. Randall, a thorn in our sides all too often in the recent history of the fixture.

Rob Allum and Tim Mitzman were entrusted with the new ball and claimed an opener apiece. To Tim fell the prize wicket of Mike Davey, a quicker ball rifled through the gate, the extra velocity perhaps generated by the disappointment of seeing him survive a difficult chance (to Oli at second slip) the previous ball. Jim Wallace departed after Charlie took a good low catch at point off the BGC.

Around this juncture we witnessed the start of the Rob Allum catching master class. His first catch was probably his best, at slip to Brad. Great positioning and reflexes, a steady hand and eye combined with a seemingly telescopic arm to dismiss Blake. Rob went on to take three more excellent catches; the rest of the team took a further three - at last a good catching day for Chigwell! Not too much resistance was realised by Hadley Wood, Chaddha alone shone with a quick-fire 36 before Brad induced a drag back onto his stumps; two important wickets for Brad in an eight over spell for 34 runs. Just one somewhat less important wicket for me, Oli making good ground to a ball scooped to mid-on. Nick did what he is so good at doing - tied the batsmen down, then got them out. He finished with 4 wickets for 16 runs in 6.5 overs. Charlie was brought into the attack two overs too late, and showed my mistake up for what it was by bowling a wicket maiden first over. Nick's last wicket and Rob's last catch brought enforced closure to the HWG innings and Chigwell "enjoyed" their poor value, unimaginative tea, contemplating a target of 141.

John was surprised first ball by a delivery that lifted alarmingly at him, but relieved sighs went up as the ball looped short of any fielders. Harvey began to show signs of talented stroke-play, before he failed to get on top of a cut and rather chipped it to gulley. Enter Oliver who was in no mood for a marathon innings. He had crunched 30 runs from 16 balls when he fell trying to repeat the mighty six he had smitten the previous delivery. He was well caught by Coburn off his own bowling from a shot that went straight up into the air and took a long time to come down. John continued his love affair with the Old Chigs pitch until he perished in an action replay of Harvey's dismissal.

Seventy-seven for three might have caused the jitters, but Mitzy, extremely ably assisted by Nigel who seems to be improving with each innings, steered us to within sight of the promised land of victory. Tim's lapse on 38 caused no problems for Chigwell, indeed it gave Paul the chance to cream a couple of fours through the covers to end the game an hour or so before the scheduled close. Nigel scored 17 not out, a mixture of sensible defence and clinical clouting.

An easy win then in a game where everyone played their part, victory achieved without the need for compromise on our preferred cricketing methodology.

Chigwell man of the match: Rob Allum - I can't remember anyone taking 4 catches in a match as an outfield player before!

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