Win :: Played on Sunday 18th August 2019
Knockers proved victorious in a declaration game where nobody technically declared and the oppo had five wickets in hand with seven overs remaining. Lynden Spencer-Allen top scored with 73, Rory Goodson took three wickets and Ed Springett had an all-round influence on proceedings in this rain delayed match at Eridge.
An hour before the advertised start of play the track was close to a puddle with as many doubts about the chances of a game as there were about Guido’s elevation to captain. Lynden negotiated a timed match as he felt ‘there are not enough draws on our books these days’ before handing over the mantle, at which point Guy lost the toss and immediately announced he was opening, selecting Landers (average 5 for the summer and going Southwards) as his partner.
Pretty much perfect drying conditions did much to turn the deck around for the late start and while it shaved the pace off the ball, the bounce was remarkably consistent all things considered. Guido fell early to one on the top of his off stump while a few balls later Scott got on one too early and sent it helpfully to mid-on.
This brought the welcome return of Tommy Dove and Lynden to the crease. The pair played the conditions with a patience rarely seen in the modern game, forming a partnership of 64 off the next twenty overs. Those cynics reading the words ‘playing for his average’ into the above should note that good shots rarely brought reward on an incredibly slow outfield.
Dove was eventually bowled trying to up the 2.5 run rate leaving Knockers at 67-3 after 23 overs. Springett then began teeing off as if all the previous hard work was unnecessary and it woke Lynden up too as the pair smashed 86 off the next ten overs before LSA’s attempts to match Ed’s sixes (two to three in the end) saw him stumped. On any other day Lynden would most likely have notched another Knockers ton, but conditions dictated.
James Mitchell shinned one onto his stumps, birthday boy Snellers survived a close run out as did Sponge (the wicket keeper graciously admitting he’d dropped the ball) and hard running trickled the score to a healthy 183-5 at tea (of usual Eridge good standard, home made apple sponge a highlight) where Guido forgot to declare but everyone treated it as the end of the innings anyway. Springett’s influence over the competitive total should also be noted.
Goodson and Kuts opened the bowling, immediately pinning the Eridge response down despite batting conditions improving. Rory made the first breakthrough, splitting the timbers. This brought Forbes to the crease and his usual quality was evident, if tempered by mistrust of the track somewhat.
First change saw Springett remove the remaining opener with Lynden grabbing a blinder in the cordon. He near cartwheeled to his right to bag an outstanding one-handed catch an inch or two above the ground. Two balls later, Ed trapped his man LBW. His spell ended at 4-2-9-2. In the meantime, Ziggy was causing no end of trouble for the batsmen at the other end and with Pooley joining Forbes the game was now heating up.
Ziggy did for Pooley who’d given up on an edge that Snellers dropped, picked up and eventually directed towards the stumps. Eridge then dug in. JT began to see the funny side after having his bowling dropped for the fourth time. Dove appealed well at the other end. Eleven overs later things were going nowhere fast. Guido called on his old friend, James Mitchell and Forbes sensed it was now or never if the hosts wished to chase down victory. He tickled a long-hop to Snellers’ gloves and James beamed. He was smiling again as next over Sponge almost nonchalantly took a one-handed catch at mid-off from a fired shot. Mitchell finished on 3-0-8-2.
Up until this stage, a draw had felt the most likely result but with Eridge having four wickets in hand, Guido successfully appealed an LBW from a slower ball. Sensing victory (and going for fourteen off his next over), Guy brought back Kuts and Rory. Kuts split the stumps to bring it closer and add a wicket to deservedly fine figures. With eight balls remaining, Rory also hit the woodwork to take the ninth wicket and repeated the trick next ball to bring about the win.
Lynden ignored many previous tedious draws we’ve been through to state how much better a timed game is while Guido (who did well on the day) ignored many previous calamitous efforts to announce how good a captain he is. Nice that everyone went home happy.
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