Beaconsfield Thunder vs Hawridge & Cholesbury Friday 15th June
Thunder love a chase....
On a pleasant summer evening, a newly confident Thunder, ventured out into the countryside past Chesham to the most picturesque ground we’ve visited this season, at Hawridge & Cholesbury (nope, we’d never heard of the place either!) All team members eventually found the ground, most parents happily discovered the bar, and Ben finally got his wish to be captain. The manager had a quick chat with the team before the game to emphasise the importance of underarm throws and backing up, and the message seemed to go in. Ben won the toss, opted to bowl first and the game commenced.
Liam and Guy opened the bowling and got us off to an economical start. Liam was delighted to bowl someone out in his first over and backed this up with lots of dot balls. Guy’s bowling tempted the batters to hit the ball in the air and he was rewarded with two wickets in his second over, due to stunning catches by Max and Thomas. Suddenly it felt like Thunder had remembered how to field, and we had a game on. Next in were Panshul and Tom, Panshul with the uphill task of trying to get an incrediball to spin, was tantalisingly close to getting a wicket in both overs. Tom bowled accurately, but was unlucky to be up against a batter intent on finding the boundary in his first over. However, he adjusted and only went for 3 runs in his second over. Our fielders also moved to limit scoring options for the batter, and threw accurately to stop the runs. Great to see the boys learning on the pitch. Eight overs in and the score was 231. In came Ian and Lucas, both noticeably improving each match. Lucas got a wicket in his first over when the batter stepped back to whack a long ball and instead took out his own stumps. Ian showed lightning reactions to take a caught and bowled in his second over. Score 243 with 8 overs to go. Ben and Thomas were the 4th pair of bowlers. They bowled accurately and economically, and it was a surprise that neither got a wicket – next game boys! Max and Jack took the final four overs. Max needed a couple of balls to find his length - the batsman just about surviving with head intact - and he then bowled with intent to minimise the scoring opportunities. Jack was on the hunt for wickets. Denied his first wicket due to a dropped catch, he maintained his focus, and took two wickets, both hitting the stumps beautifully. Hawridge ended the innings on 267.
Brief pause for biscuits, squash and some liquid refreshment for our hardworking umpire, David. The boys were delighted with their fielding performance, and captain Ben was confident they could chase down 267 with no problems. His batting partner, Thomas, later discovered just how much ‘chasing’ Ben was going to do….
Liam and Guy opened the batting and found themselves facing some accurate, pacey bowling. They defended well (good straight bat boys), took the runs where they could, and were really unlucky to be run out due to some tight fielding. However, the manager plans to use the above run out to illustrate the importance of ‘grounding your bat’ so their loss will not be in vain. Next in were Panshul and Tom, with the bowling still pretty good. Panshul scored a beautiful 4, took any single offered, and encouraged Tom to seize opportunities for runs where available. Score after 8 overs 221. Ian and Lucas came in looking for boundaries and runs, and they certainly found them, scoring lots of 4s. Unfortunately, they also managed to demonstrate three of the ways you can get out in a match - bowled, run out and caught, which significantly reduced their partnership score! The 'bowled' was a great ball and unlucky, whereas the other two could probably have been avoided (ground your bat, find the gap). However, they still added to the score and left the field on 227. Captain Ben and his new batting partner Thomas, came to the crease, seemingly having decided to knock off the remaining 40 runs themselves. Thomas, who is known for his boundary hitting and occasional jogs down the crease, found himself running more than he’d ever run before. When their shots didn’t make the boundary, the boys capitalised on the kind of misfielding they’d been doing only a few days earlier to run 3s, and even 4s. On one occasion, Thomas who thought they’d finished with a second run, turned round to find Ben next to him, and had to make a frantic dash to the bowler’s end. With huge grins, and faces the same colour as their shirts (the red bit, not the green…) the boys left the field with the score on 257. Final pair Max and Jack needing only 11 runs from 4 overs to get us home, could obviously take it easy and just tap a few singles here and there, but no… the running baton had clearly been passed to them, and they decided to run on absolutely everything; big hits, small hits, byes, misfields, you name it, they ran and ran and ran, and through luck rather than judgment did so without losing a wicket. They jubilantly, and rather exhaustedly brought Thunder’s innings to a close with the score on 290. A well-deserved second win for Thunder.
Well played boys – a significant improvement across 3 games shows how much can be learned by getting out there and playing matches. Hopefully we’ll take this into the next match (and the one after that). Thanks to our volunteers; umpire David, and our scorer Ben, whose hard work meant for once I was able to watch the game. Thanks again to the parents for giving up your Friday evenings to get your boys to the match and to support them. We really appreciate the efforts this takes.