Win :: Played on Sunday 10th September 2017
Knockers arrived at St Lawrence’s under dark skies and with some pessimistic predictions for the afternoon. An initial inspection of the track revealed that it was very difficult to get the ball above knee height and suggested that it could be a difficult day for the batsmen. Due to the bad weather forecast, Captain Marsh managed to agree a T20 and returned from the toss with the good news (for everyone apart from Snellers who didn’t seem to fancy the rain) that we were batting first. Then the rain arrived for the first time and it looked like the match was going to be postponed.
Fortunately, the rain moved through quickly and Snellers and Ed Springett set out to start the Knockers’ innings. They got the innings off to a flying start as we reached 23 off the first 10 balls before Snellers was caught by square leg off the captain. Ed, now assisted by Freddie Young, continued the momentum as we reached 60 from the first 6 overs. A change of bowling now brought on a skilful left arm over bowler who bowled Freddie in the first of four overs. David Cooper-Parry was the next man in the middle and after he got over the surprise bounce from his first ball played a nice cut shot and looked good before he too was caught. Ed Marsh, possibly due to the after effects of his trip to Lords, departed quickly caught as well.
Gez was Springett’s fifth partner and was in the middle when Ed celebrated a very important fifty. Gez after doing well to survive a testing spell of bowling was unlucky to be run out by a direct hit from mid-off. Ollie Marsh joined in but unfortunately did not last long either as he was bowled for a duck by what he described as a ‘jaffa’. Neil Dave then joined Ed. They managed to last for the rest of the innings as they added between them a very important 57* partnership. Neil played very well as he both kept the score ticking over by facing very few dots and managed to hit several boundaries including a very nice leg glance. Ed meanwhile continued to add to his score with some powerful hitting, especially evident when he hit a flat six. Due to their combined efforts, Knockers managed to reach 162 from 20 overs. Goodson was left once again disappointed at having to pad up but not getting a chance to face a single ball. Chiddingstone fielded exceptionally well throughout the 20 overs, which contained no dropped catches and a direct hit run out.
After a quick turnaround, the Knockers were in the field and Goodson was at the top of his mark, eager to finally get involved in the game. He had to wait a bit longer as the rain arrived again and an early tea was taken. The rain again moved on and Knockers returned to the field. Goodson was just about to beginning the innings when we suddenly realised that there was no keeper. Minutes later Snellers appeared from the pavilion having finished his last mug of tea and the game could continue. Goodson started well and was unlucky that the Chiddingstone opener who had early claimed that ‘the middle of the bat is over-rated’ supported his opinion by edging a six. Finn opened at the other end with a tight over despite Ollie Marsh’s generous proposal to the opposition umpire that he should enforce legside wides on the Knockers’ bowlers, who had kindly not enforced this rule on the opposition. Goodson continued to beat the outside edge particularly of the left-handed opener, but continued to suffer from the edge of the other opener who could have been caught had luck not been so firmly on his side. Finn got hit around a bit before he managed to bowl one of their openers who had raced to 27 in the first five overs. Captain Marsh then brought on himself and Freddie Young. Freddie from the start bowled his spin with great control; both batsmen struggled to get him away and he was very unlucky not to get a wicket. Ollie after suffering from his desire for legside wides bowled very economically and induced five consecutive play and misses from the opposition captain who could not handle his pace and bounce.
The pressure finally told as Ed Marsh managed to get the big wicket of their captain as he tried to go over the in-field but could only find Finn at mid-off. David CP bowled well at the other end, particularly after he had borrowed Ed’s spikes and so could run up, and got himself two wickets including their left-handed opener, who had now got a fifty and was looking to hit out, with a moon ball. Neil Dave bowled the nineteenth over and effectively sealed the game for Knockers as he only conceded on boundary to give the opposition an unlikely 20 to win off the last over.
This fine Knockers bowling performance was backed up with an outstanding display in the field. Gez deserves particular mention as the ball seemed to follow him around the pitch all afternoon and yet he made no errors and cut off many boundaries with his dives as he put his body on the line to support the bowlers and ultimately win the match. The difference between the two teams can be found both in Ed Springett’s fantastic innings on a difficult pitch and in the extras column as Knockers (despite the harsh wide rules) conceded only 17 extras compared to Chiddingstone’s 30, a difference which is greater than the margin of victory.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable afternoon despite the weather and a committed and skilful performance from Knockers earned a tenth consecutive win for the summer, coming against a strong Chiddingstone side.
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Finn Kinsler O'Sullivan