Win :: Played on Saturday 5th August 2000
For once the Knockers arrived determined to get a result, so having won the toss the captain of the day (Edward Irwin) put Tonbridge into bat.Lynden Spencer-Allen opened the bowling with an impressive slip cordon and soon dismissed an 80-year-old man with his cold-hearted approach to a Sunday friendly.This however was exactly the kind of ruthless attack that the skipper was looking for.Martin Thomas(4-0-13-0) struggled bowling into the wind so Andy Darry(7-0-19-0) made an early entrance into the attack. Darry tied down the batsmen while Spencer-Allen JR maintained a superb opening spell from the other.
Wanting to get in on the action, Edward Irwin(3-1-8-1) came on and after an erratic start managed to pick up the wicket of the other opening batsmen with a textbook leg stump yorker that would have seen the likes of Brian Lara tucking his bat under his arm.
With two new batsmen at the crease it was time for Irwin to play his wildcard.Woody can be brilliant but when he’s bad he’s awful. Ably supported by a good spell from Miller (8-0-25-0) the ball beating the bat on numerous occasions, Woody(8-0-37-2) produced a very good spell of leg spin bowling. Despite the fact both of his wickets came from his worst balls he had done enough to deserve them.
Tonbridge were reeling at 125-5 and desperate for a positive result Irwin brought back Spencer-Allen JR to finish off the Tonbridge tail. Spencer-Allen Snr produced a good three overs of off-spin (3-1-12-0) but didn’t produce the wicket that would have made up for his less than inspiring display of wicket keeping. The plaudits unfortunately have to go to Lynden Spencer-Allen who returned figures of 11.5-2-39-5 that were admittedly very well deserved.
Set a target of 170 for the win Tonbridge had, however, only left the Knockers 36 overs in which to get them, 11 overs less than they had bowled. A dubious piece of gamesmanship by the Tonbridge captain, and naivety on the part of Irwin admittedly, saw them open the bowling with a second new ball. A fiery spell of short-pitched bowling was not enjoyed by Pete Smith who has the bruises to prove it He battled well and was looking more settled before Trouncey triggered him in hotly disputed decision. Trouncey was unmoved by Smith’s protests after the game and returned the verdict, “You were absolutely plum!”
Guy Howe was the next man up and he fought for a well-deserved 7. If you look at the photos you can see for yourselves the kind of punishment Guido took. The ball that eventually beat Guido was a daisy cutter that pitched half way down the pitch and never bounced which was an injustice after the fight he had put up. Meanwhile Corin Spencer-Allen was quietly chipping away the runs and was soon at being applauded for an excellent 50 when the total stood at only 70 runs. With around 100 needed from the last 20 overs the Knockers needed to keep a consistent scoring rate. Marshall tried hard but was tied down by the spinner and eventually got frustrated into a bad shot. The next man in should have been the team ringer Simon Kember but with quick runs needed there was only one man for the job - The Ginger Enforcer AKA Big Punisher! A textbook Thomas innings was required and that was exactly what we got. 43 runs off around 30 balls including 3 massive sixes meant that by the time Thomas’ wicket fell Knockers were in complete control.
The game’s not over until Jariwalla sings, and it was up to Kember and
Corin to finish the runs chase. With less than a run a ball required they could have taken their time but Kember immediately showed his intentions by rocking onto the front foot and playing a full blooded cover drive for four off their opening bowler. A couple of square cuts later Kember (11 not out) and the impressive Corin Spencer Allen (85 not out) returned victorious. A brilliant run chase had seen us reach the required target with 4 overs to spare, a total of 15 overs less than our opponents. An excellent performance from the Knockers meant that a poor run of results was brought to an end, and as they enter the village stage of the season the winning ways look set to continue.
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