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July 24, 2007

Adam the Rock as Chigwell Stodge a Draw (Coopersale Away 22/7/2007)

A nice day, but the game was rather poor due mainly to the "village rules" that removed 30 minutes from the game and discouraged a sensible declaration from Coopersale. Village rules mean that the first side bats for 2 hours 30 mins, the second side gets an hour and then "the last hour" - almost invariably 20 overs - to bat. I suppose it is possible for the first side to declare, but that doesn't usually happen, so whereas a side getting to 250 by, say, 4.30 in a normal timed game would declare early and have longer to get the wickets, Coopersale had only 36 overs to get us out, and were unable to open up the game sufficiently to keep us interested…

We were set 246 to win, and once we had made a slow start we clearly had no chance of winning, and stodged it out. Graham Hancock wasn’t best pleased with our game plan, but what can you do when it's impossible to win? It was a bit like the good old days of Coopersale, when the team seemed to be totally dependant on GH - just as well he isn't quite fit to bowl or he might have added a few wickets to his 91 off not many balls, including 20 off the only over I bowled. He did have support from Coopersale's number three, who had set the ball rolling earlier with a meaty slogging session, surviving at least two presentable chances which were shelled by Richard and myself. Indeed our fielding was generally poor, and we really are capable of much better. Perhaps we should arrive early for the Woodford Green game and practice.

Notable Chigwell performances came from Richard, who was given free rein, and used it to smash 36 runs, and Adam, who despite cat-calls from the boundary urging a more aggressive approach, followed the captain's preferred route and left the wide ones, of which there were many. Adam was finally out seeking 9 runs from the last over to get to 50. Nick and I consolidated our averages and we finished on 179 for 7.

We enjoyed the warm hospitality of Coopersale, and the cold lager of their fridge, whilst mulling over the rather inadequate nature of the day's cricket. Still, after all the games we have lost to the weather this summer it was a pleasure simply to take to the field.

Man of the match: Adam Peters, our new member!

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