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September 2007

September 11, 2007

Borrowed Seamer Stitches up West Essex 9/9/2007

West Essex 9/9/2007

It was a shame for the batsmen that I failed to win the toss, as I would have batted first. Colin the West Essex skipper elected to instead and I envisaged a difficult few hours chasing the ball over the sizable outfield. I had reckoned without Roger Braithwaite, a guest from F&H, who wiped out 4 of the top 6 in an aggressive spell yielding only 12 runs in 6 overs. Rob pinned the aggressive opener, A. Ali, LBW just when it looked like he might smash a very quick and large score. After that things were always under our control and I was happy to spread the bowling around as West Essex recovered to 119 all out from being 68 for 8. John's impressive double growl appeal secured a positive LBW decision against 80 year old Stan to close the innings.

After another tea that put Old Chigs to shame, we addressed the task of scoring 120 in a maximum of 38 overs to win. No need for rushing, but Daree is a pinch-hitter and so is Richard, and both found the pitch unsuitable for such methods, particularly Richard who got a straight on that didn't bounce much. Enter James who played a great knock, his partnership with Rob realising 100 runs to win the game. The Uzi was certainly firing and James used it sublimely to score 60, even having the nous to pick out 80 year old Stan for the one chance he offered. We won by 7 wickets with 13.3 overs to spare. Rob finished on 37 not out, a well judged anchor role given the low total required.

After the game Rob Allum was presented with the president's cup, which he won last season. The absence of a club dinner robbed him of a more formal presentation, but his sheer weight of runs and excellence at catching, not to mention his parsimony with the ball made him a deserving winner.

September 03, 2007

GPR Settle for Draw after BGC Ton 2/9/2007

Gidea Park & Romford 2/9/2007

A decent batting line up, so I decided, on winning the toss to bat first (for once). John and Rob faced a decent opening attack, and with John's favourite spot at backward point astutely blocked after one crashing boundary a slow but steady start was made. After 19 overs John fell for 28 with the score on 60 and Rob was joined by DaRee, our Caribbean guest. After a period of trying to swing Nigel's railway sleeper DaRee called for a lighter bat, and reluctantly I had to proffer my own underused blade. So mixed feelings for me as the scoring rate suddenly exploded. From 73 for 1 off 25 overs we eventually reached 245 for 3 in 42 overs, taking 2 hours 50 mins. Rob finished on 122 not out, Daree smashed a brutal 58, with a short break mid-innings when he felt unwell. It was a superb century by Rob, who more than made up for a careful start by smashing 4 sixes and numerous fours towards the end of his knock. Some GPR players felt we had gone on too long, but I was keen to exceed last years total which brought us a draw with the scores level in a game we had looked like losing.

With Rob having batted through our innings I couldn't really open with him, and with Adam carrying an injury and Zarghum fresh back from a 2 month holiday, our opening attack lacked penetration. Zarg did take a wicket eventually, but only 3 wickets were to fall in total as GPR initially raced away, then inexplicably stopped trying to win, ending up only 20 or so short of our total. Their opener scored a century too, 121 not out, but refused numerous singles and went through a long period of not attempting any aggressive shots. We bowled 42 overs, which was the same number as we had received; an asking rate of 5.88 per over, which is not excessive on that flat track. Still, at least we didn't offer them the draw...