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April 23, 2010

Chigwell up and Winning

Chigwell vs South Loughton 18th April

Chigwell began the season a man light, writes Rob Orange, but enjoyed a stress-free victory over South Loughton, a team never before vanquished by the brigade of strength & honour.  In previous seasons we have either been soundly spanked, or lost from a dominant position, so without reference to the make up of the South Loughton side I made up my mind to bowl first, given the option.  Having called correctly and got my way I began to notice that we were taking on a side made up predominantly of colts.  Terry ventured that the game might not last too long.

Richard and Ahsan opened the bowling, Ahsan slightly reluctantly as I pressed him in to bowling seam as we were pretty short in this department.  He bowled really well, but never caused the scorer to rotate the wicket wheel in the score-box as the numerous edged deliveries refused to fly to Chigwell hands.  Richard meanwhile struck the most significant blow of the match as he had Terry Heman, a man who usually clumps many a run against us, coolly caught by Nick at gully.

There followed a quiet period as the highest partnership of the innings tentatively prospered.  Richard was punished for a couple of loose deliveries and left the attack with figures of 5-2-17-1.  Ahsan bowled 9 luckless overs for 28 and was replaced by Nick, Charlie under captain’s orders, bowling seam at the other end.  Young Rudkin produced a beauty to claim the second wicket and finished his short but impressive spell with 6-1-13-1.

Nick began the season in ominous form.  The South Loughton colts became his playthings as he ripped through the middle order, taking 3 wickets in 4 overs.  He was so effective that I was forced to stop him at this stage as the chances of getting the whole team involved were rapidly receding.  Brad took over from Charlie and showed the value of not netting by grabbing three wickets of his own.  Admittedly two of them were from not –so-good deliveries, but the third was the result of a well executed plan of pushing the ball a little wider and forcing a false shot from the South Loughtonian batsman.  In general Brad bowled a tidy line and length finishing with accomplished figures of 8-2-17-3.

Ahsan’s cousin, Kash, bowled five overs, which after a wonky start improved noticeably.  He joined the party with a wicket of his own before giving way to the return of Nick, and the inevitable wicket that closed the South Loughton innings on 98.

We certainly had plenty of time to get the runs, so after a prolonged tea Nigel and Charlie settled to their task.  Nigel was facing some very tight bowling from Dave Smith who racked up three consecutive maidens, bowling exclusively at Mr. Barfoot.  Inevitably as soon as Nige got to the other end he was bowled for a duck.  Charlie fell (after a prolonged umpiring change) to the same bowler an over or two later.  Ahsan departed  to a false shot while trying to have a bit of fun, but as we were facing such a small target it was easy to consolidate and between Russell, myself and Adam we cruised in with 15 overs to spare.

It was satisfying to have been able to give everyone a game, and of course to win.  I always prefer to bowl first in the first fixture of the season – I think the team rediscovers its bonds better that way, but perhaps next year I should take a closer look at the composition of the opposition (before deciding to bowl anyway...)

Man of the Match: N. Allum 5 overs 2 maidens 4 wickets for 5 runs (and 1 catch)

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