A beautiful Sunday afternoon saw the Knockers make the trip to Tonbridge CC who suggested a timed game with 20 overs to be bowled after six. With three debutants in the outfit and only one out and out batsman, captain Finn KoS won the toss and generously allowed the home team to bowl. The early 1pm start meant time was no issue, and Finn's advice to bat slowly was taken more literally by some than by others.
The Knockers got off to a good start with Calver and Springett seeing the ball well. Springett started to turn up the pressure on the bowlers and as his booming cover drive started to explode, so too did his stumps as the keeper's lightning hands did for our one and only batsmen, gone for 49. Bowen came to join Calver as they both began to grind their way to an 84 run partnership which nobody enjoyed watching. Calver hoiked to cow for 67 before Scott further chose to bat time looking impenetrable in his forward defensive. The opposition's heckles of 'keep joining the dots' was interpreted literally by Bowen who sucked the life out of the 'many first team players' representing Tonbridge, yet he too succumbed to a straight one after reaching his 50. With the dressing room getting fidgety and the skipper needing runs fast, Harry George and Ben Lyster-Binns (replacing the departed Landers for a well-made 7) began to up the rate. While Ben played a number of exquisite clips off of his pads, Harry took it upon himself to plough up the pitch in a truly agricultural style. It was a devastating combination.
The afternoon meandered on and as the Knockers reached their 48th over Fin had seen enough and declared on 231 for 5. The stand-in skipper was under fire from the dressing room, some thinking we were 70 runs short and others wanting to bat the day whilst the opposition thanked him for his generous declaration with varying degrees of sarcasm. Yet he had great faith in his bowling attack, three of whom he had never actually seen bowl before.
The cumulative height of 13ft and 1inch of the two opening bowlers (Jonah Munday and James Brown, both on debut) was aggressive to say the least. The cordon was packed full of poor catchers and with Neil Dave patrolling the leg side the trap was set. Brown swung it in the right hander, Munday taking it away, both bowling heat and giving hints that in fact the declaration was perfect. After some chin music from Munday the floodgates opened and four early wickets fell. A change of bowling to Springett and Goodson saw the ball stop swinging at which point they both managed to claim injury as they so missed being in the slips, Rory managing his customary one over spell. Dave and George continued the assault where wibble and wobble were both on the menu. Dave honed in on the off peg, George everywhere except the off stump but, despite Dave's one wicket, neither could make the key breakthrough of the Tonbridge CC opener, Bird.
With the game fizzling out to a draw it took a masterclass in leg spin from Dan 'Ricky' Bowen to quite literally turn the tables. Backed up suitably by Dave and then Landers' meteoric attack, Ziggy ragged the ball all over the place. After being socially dropped by George, the key wicket of Bird caught behind for 82 sealed the deal for the knockers as the ever encroaching off side saw their 13 year old looking unsure against the return of Jonah 'the Beast' Munday from his preferred end. Needless to say, as the ball 'dropped short' of the cordon which was yet to make any meaningful contribution to the game despite its five members, tension rose. As the final wickets fell, the final two taken by Landers (Ken Cowan-esque LBW appeal given) and Brown, (for some reason their batsman were not keen to bat the final two overs, preferring to try and meet the required rate of 41.2 runs per over to win) the murmurs began that the declaration was in fact perfect and that Finn had been right all along. Oh ye of little faith. A great win for the knockers in a timed format sees their unbeaten streak continue.
|Batsman||  How Out||  4s||  6s||  Runs|
|Richard Calver||  caught||  10||  1||  67|
|Ed Springett||  stumped||  9||  0||  49|
|David Bowen||  bowled||  6||  0||  51|
|Scott Landers||  caught||  0||  0||  7|
|Harry George||  lbw||  3||  0||  25|
|Ben Lyster-Binns||  not out||  2||  0||  13|
|James Brown||  not out||  0||  0||  3|
|Jonah Munday||  dnb||  0||  0||  0|
|Neil Dave||  dnb||  0||  0||  0|
|Finn Kinsler O'Sullivan||  dnb||  0||  0||  0|
|Rory Goodson||  dnb||  0||  0||  0|
|Bowler||    Overs||    Mdns||    Runs||    Wkts|
|James Brown||    8.4||    3||    29||2|
|Jonah Munday||    9.0||    1||    39||3|
|Ed Springett||    3.0||    0||    14||0|
|Rory Goodson||    1.0||    0||    1||0|
|Neil Dave||    6.0||    0||    31||1|
|Harry George||    2.0||    0||    19||0|
|David Bowen||    7.0||    3||    17||3|
|Scott Landers||    2.0||    0||    7||1|