Win :: Played on Sunday 8th September 2019
In a shocking turn of events captain Marsh lost the toss and was asked to field first in a timed game. However, in an even more unusual turn of events, he had the fast bowling trio of O’Sullivan, T Marsh and Springett all chomping at the bit for use of the new cherry. O’sullivan and Marsh won the battle and both produced immaculate new ball spells. O’sullivan bamboozled the opening bats with McGrath like accuracy, eventually forcing one to chop a back-of-length delivery onto his off peg. At the other end, a hungover Marsh powered through an excellent 5-over spell evoking memory of Flintoff post the infamous Caribbean pedalo incident of 2007. A chance came, only for an even more hungover Young to let it slip through his grasp.
Ratcliffe and captain Marsh took over the bowling and both continued to frustrate the batsmen. Ratcliffe moved the ball both ways and could have easily had a cluster of wickets. Captain Marsh on the other hand, was frankly average at best and stole some picture-perfect figures.
With wickets proving hard to come by, the skipper turned to tweakers Calver, Young and Bowen to garner some breakthroughs. It was Young who broke the back of the Beechwood batting line-up, deceiving batsmen with a combo of moonballs, leggies and Xavier Doherties. Incase this wasn’t enough, Young even took his 2nd wicket with an AJ Tye knuckleball. For a man not legal to drive 2 hours previously, Young’s 4-wicket haul sparked some life into his tired soul. Calver kept things very tight and could have easily snagged a couple, had calls for a bat-pad not been denied. Bowen bowled beautifully and would have replicated Shane Warne’s round the legs dismissal had captain Marsh not rudely ripped him out of the attack in full flow.
The ever-reliable Mitchell came on to clean up the tail and continued to keep things tight whilst grabbing a deserved scalp in the process. Following tea captain Marsh decided to offer Anand and brother Ted a few overs at Beechwood’s young guns. Anand’s eyes lit up as he saw an opportunity to close the wickets gap on Young and Bowen. The ball was skied, the captain settled underneath and proceeded to complete a Monty Panesar piece of fielding. Distraught, Anand assumed no other Knockers would produce such a horrifying error. The very next ball was chipped straight to T Marsh who ‘accidentally’ let it slip through his fingers. It was at this moment that Anand decided to retire from bowling.
Now you may be wondering how Beechwood managed to amass 149 against such a well-drilled bowling attack. This was thanks to the exploit of keeper extraordinaire, McCulloch. His unique brand of one-handed keeping, whilst wonderful to watch, leaked runs aplenty much to the amusement of Springett.
Another inspired decision by captain Marsh was to appoint the one person who slept through our batting innings to write the report for it.
After a good tea and a few more overs for Knockers - taking us to 52 for the day, (which I was awake for) Ed Springett and Callum McCulloch strode our to the middle with the target 150 looming large over them. The target was especially large for McCulloch as nigh on 50 of them came from his inadequate and at times baffling wicket keeping.
The bearded wonder’s day got even better as he was dismissed for a golden duck off what he described as a good seed, but everyone else laughed in disagreement. I will never know however, as I was asleep. Springett followed Cal back to the hitch pretty soon after. Ed was apparently caught at mid off.
This however bought super John Mitchell to the crease, joining the effervescent Akhil Anand who was in fine flow after a pretty torrid bowling spell, as I’m sure you have already read about in Akhil’s bowling report.
John needed 4 to take him to his season goal of 50 runs. We were all ecstatic to see (or hear in my case) Johnny hit a delightful cover drive for four to bring up the target, which means his chosen charity will be getting a donation from Knockers. Lovely to see and couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. This didn’t stop John however as he kicked on and along with Akhil took the game to Beechwood. I was awake by this point and listening to Springett and McCulloch discuss how good their balls were, as the other Knockers around them were nodding off. This was after Springett emerged from the dressing room after talking to himself for about half an hour.
John’s sumptuous cuts and late cuts were complimented by a vocal Anand who effortlessly floated his way to 73*, with leg glances and cover drives aplenty. Akhil hit his first ever 6 in this game as well, and after hitting hit proudly raised his bat and shouted for all of Otford to hear ‘I HIT A SIX’.
Anand was applauded by adoring Knockers on 49, 50, and 51. If you’ve ever seen a man less happy to have hit a 50 it was Anand. The bat was thrown down after the third round of applause but this didn’t distract him from the task at hand. Him and Johnny bought it home for the Knockers with an unbeaten stand of 136 in a fine 8 wicket victory.
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149 - 8
Finn Kinsler O'Sullivan