Keith Miller Match
Draw :: Played on Sunday 16th September 2018
Keith may well have recognised this as a Knockers game just from the mix of hangovers, late signings from the bar, a tardy start, loose play suddenly switching to intense periods of good cricket and in the end a great sense of occasion. A draw played out with the tradition of Knockers old boys edging it continuing.
Ollie's Captain's XI won the toss without Ollie being present and were informed they were fielding by Gups. Tom Cobb and LSA opened the batting facing Ted Marsh and Neil Dave. Lynden survived an early LBW shout as the umpire believed the ball was going under the middle stump and the pair got the President's XI off to a good start before Ted pinned back Cobb's middle stump. Ben Cobb stepped in and kept the run rate ticking over doing his best to target Lando in the field before Ted did for him in much the same manner. Neil almost got Lynden but it was Ted once more, rounding up the top order to take his wicket tally to ten and completing a fine summer.
Ed Springett's low one-handed snatch off Ollie's bowling to send Guido back to the hutch was a rare moment of quality in the field. His work with the gloves backed the bowlers well as the on-field atmosphere was dominated by various emissions from the previous night.
Ziggy, Rory, Finn and Gez all had a go while Gups and James Rawlins and then Geoff Smith rebuilt. Rawlins, who'd once had the club's wooden spoon award named after him, was resolute in defence and well timed on the drive, backing up Guthrie's lusty blows before falling to Finn. Geoff had borrowed several of his cat's lives on the way to a breezy 22. Gerald eventually hit the timber to swap Geoff for Knockers legend, Pete Smith who used his bat's edge well in his way to another unbeaten innings at a sprightly 71 years of age.
Gups was beginning to find the boundary with ease with one over going for sixteen, bringing up his half century and the 200. Ollie finally brought on Scott who duly mooned Gups with Ed stumping him. JT possibly should have suffered the same fate but was still denied the runs he needed in his box bet with the absent Kuts as Guthrie declared on him at 219-6.
There was a good crowd at lunch where Pete Smith delivered a fine speech outlining Keith's long and significant service for Knockers cricket club. Keith's widow, Lorraine was present as were Andrew Sims, Dick Bates, Bob Golds, Richard Botting, Mike Hibling, Ian Hitchcock, Paul Seldon, Nick Jariwala and Ken Cowan, Knockers legends all.
Ed Springett and Richard Calver opened as Ben Cobb and DT bowled in tandem. The Captain's XI looked well set to eat into the target when Springer sliced it to point and Geoff surprised himself by holding on as Ben claimed his first wicket. Matt Landers also found Geoff clearly getting into the role at point as he took a very tidy catch diving forward off Tom Cobb's bowling.
Scott joined Calver and the pair steadied things for a while as the run rate slowed. Calver was in fine form with the bat, taking the senior role on with solid defense and and runs around to all areas of the park. Ben Cobb took Lando's off stump bringing Ziggy to the crease as a more resolute partnership built before Ziggy fell to a casual one-handed caught and bowled by Gups.
Ollie Marsh walked out and the game hit a key period. The runs were gettable but a few quick wickets could see the President's XI on their way to victory with a very patchy bowling attack. Marsh and Calver quickly brought on the sweats as JT and Steve Huggett (Vine barman roped in last minute) toiled. Field changes followed the ball but Ollie, who was attempting to sweep everything, suddenly casually paddled one straight back to JT. Ted Marsh stepped in and carried on the scoring rate among nervous sledging.
Ted was clearly getting into his 360 scoring while a mixture of DT, Ben and Gups plugged away. Ted was bowled around his legs by Ben attempting another showy shot and the bowling side sensed blood. Gups did for Rory, taking the off stump he'd taken guard in front of and then Gups completed a fine afternoon's work as Calver ended his fine innings picking out Tom Cobb at deep mid wicket with a skied shot. An awkward return from Tom also ended Lynden's afternoon with a fractured jaw.
Survival for both teams was now the order of play, the Captain's XI now providing two fielders for Smith and Spencer-Allen and Finn and Neil having to negotiate six overs. The field crept in with each ball as previous chirps about extras become ardent requests for wides on fifth stump but both Finn and Neil had the gumption and skill to see the situation through and secure a draw. An occasion to savour. Thanks, Keith.
Figures from Captain's XI
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Keith Miller Match
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