Beam me up Scotty!
Adam Peters Writes:
A long 'trek' was had by all the Chigwell faithful as we descended down the A23 towards to coast to yet again defend our honour!
Upon arrival, which was very premature for most as the journey was smooth... the Brad-Mobil head straight for the sea and some fish and chips! Returning to the ground the rest of the team had arrived and were 'warming up' used very loosely; although ironically a proper warm up would have been greatly approved by most as the warm journey in the car had not acclimatised us to the chilly south coast wind.
Ron lost the toss on a very green wicket but to our amazement was forced in to the field, much to the delight of the Chigwell Team. Confidence rippled through the team as after a low scoring encounter the previous year, the chance to bowl first on a slow, damp, green track had us licking our lips. Richard started us off from the Petrol Station End with some inconsistent and stiff bowling. No swing surprised us all and the pitch seemed to be okay. The latter thought was soon dismissed as Richie got one to literally crawl along the floor from a bowl pitched half way down and trapped the opener, Bailey, plumb in front (6-1). Rob A opened from the Sea End and although bowling well again failed to swing the ball and again the pitch seemed to have less demons in it than we all thought with some straight blows over the top proving to be main retaliation of the Beamers Batsmen. After some 'dodgy fielding' and a couple of chances going down Chigwell heads seemed to drop and as Rich continued to struggle, returning figures of 3-0-22-0 from his opening spell, Rob A turned to spin early trying to regain control of the game. Rob O struck early in his spell dismissing Smith for a lusty 19 (44-2) but the game was still moving at a great pace.
Rob A toiled away for a couple more overs but runs continued to flow from both ends and Chigwell were forced to deploy Nick 'Granddad' Allum, fully equipment with thermals from head to toe under his whites. Nick bowled well slowing the game down both in runs and pace but failed to take a wicket. Rob O was struggling for line and length at the other end and the Brighton Pitch looked better and better with every over. Rob O eventually struck for the second time forcing Beamers No.4, Hewitte, to drag on with the bowl again coming slow and low off the pitch (117-3). Beamers continued to accelerate despite losing wickets through the middle overs. Nick got in to the wickets with a Allum one two after Rigby skied one (143-4) and then a brilliant one handed, diving forward, caught and bowled from Nick dismissed Nicholls, firmly cementing the theory that Nick only fields well off his own bowling (162-5). Beamers again rallied though dispatching Rob to the fence again and Nick, losing his length also felt the pain of the continuing onslaught of Brighton's Opener who blasted his way to a fantastic century. It was only when Bradley Davis entered the fray that the Beamers centurion lost his cool. After chasing a couple of wide balls outside the off stump and eyeing up cow corner again and again, Brad got one spot on and a little outswinger was B Rigby's undoing as he ran passed the ball trying to use his feet and was stumped by Adam (186-6). Another partnership soon emerged as again Chigwell were unable to turn one wicket in to two, Brad was able to sneak another cheeky wicket towards the end as Chaffey went for one shot too many and again ran past the ball and was bowled off stump (242-7). When Rich and Rob both returned for the last overs of the innings, the extra pace on the ball only seemed to helped the bowl find the boundary and Beamers ended on an impressive 251-7 (43 overs).
Tea was not a joyfull occasion for our boys but discussions on our batting line up and strategy lifted the mood when we realised that anything they can do we can do better. Plus a draw would again leave the 'Mini Ashes' trophy in limbo between the city and the coast.
Francois and Rob A opened the Chigwell account playing some nice shots and both batsmen looked comfortable on a wicket that had looked to promise so much for the bowlers. Francois got a good delivery and was caught on the crease, bowled for just 1 leaving Chigwell 18-1 with just 3 overs gone. Adam came in at 3 and looked to rebuild with Rob. Again some clean stroke play and big hits got Chigwell moving again until Rob A took a quick single to extra cover and was run out by the fielding move of the year so far with a one handed pick up and throw, crunching the one visible stump leaving Rob in no mans land. A run 9 times out of ten but Rob's number was up leaving Chigwell to rebuild again from 29-2. Adam escaped a good LBW shout the next bowl as he received one that shot along the ground from short of a length. Aqeel came in at 4 and played some nice shots. Some talks of playing straight and in the V were had and seemed to work as Chigwell passed 50 and hit one of the Beamers openers out of the attack. Some sweetly timed shots from Aqeel were moving us along nicely but unfortunately a nothing shot left his stumps in pieces as Lowe claimed his 2nd wicket of the innings (58-3). Enter BOOM BOOM Richie. We all new that Richie had it in him and this pitch seemed to suit him perfectly as the pace allowed him to pick and choose were to send the ball flying with great ease. Dispatching his first ball for 4 of mid wicket, Richie even left the ball outside the off stump, showing great control and raced along to 54 in just 33 balls. Some helpful bowling on an already slow pitch allowed Adam to sneak a boundary and rotate the strike back to Rich who in turn blasted it all round the park until Rich got some of his own medicine and was bowled by the rolling ball (151-5). Adam passed 50 and looked good, striking the ball cleanly through the covers and down the ground with relative ease. Dan came and went for a run a ball 12 (165-6) and all hopes of Chigwell chasing the huge total were lessening as the 10 an over target began to grow. Owen came in and was told to swing for the tree line with Excalibur (Richie's Bat) but was unable to connect with the tree trunk wrapped in gaffer tape. The last couple of overs descended in to nothing as the field was brought in to force something to happen, perhaps 5-8 overs too late. Owen was eventually bowled by a good yorker from the returning Lowe and Adam swatted away a couple more deliveries to end on 82 not out off 94.
A draw perhaps... but a fighting display from the Chigwell faithful.
A special note to Owen for his excellent fielding and to Richie for his maiden Chigwell half century!
Willingale next boys.... To Victory!