Win :: Played on Sunday 17th September 2017
Captain Ollie Marsh won the toss and decided to bat in what was a 40 over game before being shortened to 35 overs as no-one fancied playing in the dark. The two Eds (Marsh and Springett) opened and got the innings off to a good start, putting on 52 for the first wicket in only 8 overs. After Springett was bowled by Waggoners’ surprisingly quick opening bowler, the Knockers’ collapse started as Ed Marsh fell caught on the boundary and Paul Seldon lbw without the total being increased. Lynden and Rich Elston then added some stability to the innings although the run-rate was continually falling particularly due to the miserly bowling of the opposition’s spinner who took the enviable figures of 7-3-6-3. Elston was this spinner’s first victim well caught by the keeper. JT’s short stay at the crease was spectacularly ended by a casually taken one-handed catch at extra-cover. Matt Landers then joined Lynden at the crease and put up a determined resistance before he too was caught – hopefully this will be his first of many innings for the club. Ollie Marsh then joined Lynden with Knockers’ winning streak looking threatened as the scoreboard read 76 for 6. The situation then became even worse as Lynden was bowled by the spinner to leave Knockers 79 for 7. Kuts then joined Ollie and they put on a very useful partnership of thirty runs, which featured hard-hitting from both batsmen. Kuts was run out as seems to happen so regularly to Ollie’s partners (although in this case he was blameless). Scott then joined Ollie, who continued with both his hard hitting and dodgy calling as he first passed Ed Marsh for season runs and then past his fifty. Meanwhile, Scott was rotating the strike well and coping admirably with Ollie desire to run singles to the keeper. Ollie finally was out caught and bowled in the last over as he, clearly not interested in the benefits of a not out for his average, continued to try and raise the Knockers’ total. Finn then joined Scott for a short-lived partnership before Knockers were all out with one ball of the 35 overs left.
Scott provided a delicious tea, featuring many different sandwiches, cakes and even Buck’s fizz. Knockers then entered the field feeling well-refreshed and determined to defend their relatively low total. Finn and Kuts opened the bowling, causing the openers problems (once they had found their rhythm) and both regularly beat the outside edge. Finn was particularly unlucky not to pick up a wicket as he saw a sharp chance to second slip dropped by Rich Elston (included in the report at JT’s request). The Marsh brothers then took over and both continued to restrict the run-rate. Ollie quickly broke the opening partnership, having one opener held low at second slip by Rich Elston (included for fairness) and he proved too quick for their number three who played on for a duck. JT then came on and immediately started producing chances. Matt Landers deserves a special mention here as he threw himself around in the field all afternoon and was agonisingly close to getting a hand on many chance. JT’s bowling finally got the results it deserved as he took two very important wickets: first he had the opposition’s skipper held at cover by Ollie Marsh off a hard cut shot; and then he also had the remaining opener, who now had 74 runs, held by Finn at deep backward square leg. Ed Springett also struck in between these two wickets as he had their number 5 caught by JT at fine leg. The Waggoners now needed 18 to win off 16 balls. This total was quickly reduced as their number 7 hammered two fours to leave them needing 9 off the last two overs. Ed Springett bowled an exceptional penultimate over taking 2 wickets for only two runs as he had their number 7 caught at long on and bowled their number 8.
Ed Marsh then came onto bowl the final over with 7 needed to win. The first ball was chipped to mid-off where, as Knockers would never like to win too comfortably, the catch was dropped and the batsmen got a single. They worked another single off the next ball. The third ball of the over was hit straight to JT at cover who also could not hold on and allowed them a single. 4 off 3. The next ball was worked for a single. 3 off 2. Ed beat the bat with the next ball and Paul Seldon took it cleanly. 3 off 1. Ed then managed to go past the bat again, securing the win for Knockers as they could only run one bye. This was an unbelievable win as the Waggoners had been looking very comfortable needing four and a bit an over with 9 wickets and 15 overs left. Paul Seldon deserves a mention as he kept very well, particularly as the variable bounce of the wicket made it very difficult.
This exciting and well-earned win was a fitting ending to a very enjoyable and successful season. I hope everyone has a nice winter and the Knockers will be back next year searching for an unbeaten season.
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Finn Kinsler O'Sullivan