Saturday 11th August 2012, the fixture the entire squad of Colden Common Cricket Club have been looking forward to.
What delights would Bentworth Cricket Club bring to the tea table....
At 4.40 this afternoon, all was revealed. So step forward and take a bow to the following fine selection; Coronation Chicken, Cheese and Pickle, Roast Beef, Egg Mayo and Chicken Mayo. Not only these, but also some magnificent cakes, scones and doughnuts, all swilled down with an excellent English cup of tea!!!
Massive respect to Bentworth CC in CCCC eyes, if Carlsberg did cricket teas, then Bentworths would probably be the best cricket teas in the world!!
On either side of the tea, there was a very important game of cricket played. Skipper Champion did something most unusual and won the toss, he followed this up with something even more unusual by opting to bat first.
Bentworth are renowned for having a miserly bowling attack, all of whom always seem to find a way to swing the ball, and today was no exception. Both Hill and Cole caused problems for openers Swain (2) and JPJ, and Cole found one to nip back to trap Swain in front of the stumps.
Stevens (15) came to the wicket and began accumulating runs in his normal steady fashion and took the score to 36 with JPJ before he was brilliantly caught by Cole at slip.
(14) looking to build on his 97 last week looked to take the attack to Bentworth, but was sensationally caught by a diving Yorke at slip, to give Gay his first wicket of the day (I'm sure Larry Grayson made a catchphrase out of those words many years ago - one for the older members of the team!!)
When Ben Watts
(10) missed a straight one from Gay, the score stood at 85-4 off 26 overs. This brought Mitchell to the wicket and along with JPJ, they started to increase the run rate with some typically lusty blows from Mitchell (66 not out) and the elegant stroke play of JPJ (67) the pair putting on 96 runs in just 13 overs.
Common finished on a highly respectable 196-5 after completion of their 42 overs.
After tea, Common looked to get some early in-roads into the Bentworth batting line up, but faced with the highly experienced Yorke and Cole (not the Man Utd forward line from the late 90's), this was going to be a difficult task.
Champion and Jacobs opened the attack and surprisingly, both bowled straight through - Champion finishing with the very respectable figures of 1-32 off his 10 overs and Jacobs again showing excellent line and length and troubling Yorke constantly bowled superbly to finish with 10-7-15-1 (including a spell of 5 consecutive maidens). Jacobs celebrated by decorating his cricket shirt mainly with the homemade coffee cake he'd eaten some 30 minutes earlier!!
The two Watt brothers then took centre stage, with Jamie getting Yorke (19) with his first ball although the rest of the over proved entertaining - in the "guess where the ball is going to be pitched" competition.
Ben got mercilessly spanked in his first two overs, going for 19 as Phillips (12) and Hill (29) tried to dominate the King of Spain, but the guile of Benjamin lulled Hill into a lofted drive whereby Benjamin showed a turn of pace to get to the ball before JPJ to snaffle the catch.
A mention to young Vincent behind the stumps, he kept well and took a sharp catch off the bowling of Ben Watts
, this despite the palm of his right hand looking like a well cured rump steak!!
Ben finished with 2-34 (including 5 maidens) and Jamie finished with 2-26.
Blackman was then brilliantly run out by the sharp shooting Stevens standing at short mid-off, leaving Common in touching distance of bowling out Bentworth.
With two overs to bowl, Champion turned to the Over-50 Swain, who even after 83 overs managed to get a fair amount of movement and induced some false strokes from the batsmen.
At the other end, Stevens was thrown the ball - what followed next needs some explanation.....On the 23rd June 2012, Lee bowled 0.4 overs against Ashford Hill and wrapped up the innings with 2 wickets in 2 balls....so, technically he was on a hat-trick. As he trundled up to bowl to Bentworth skipper Max, no-one could believe his first ball would be a straight one that would hit the stumps, but indeed, had Max not got his pad in the way, the stumps would have been demolished, and so the umpires finger was raised and the hat-trick was achieved.
Common just failed to bowl out Bentworth, but with the home side finishing on 118-8, Common finished up as fairly comfortable winners by the margin of 78 runs.
Two new olympic sports were also celebrated during the Bentworth innings, one was "the Father/Son ball chasing race", JPS being handsomely beaten by Junior, and the other was "the Over-50 diving competition", which to date seems to be a closed tournament with Ricky dominating the event by diving for the most innocuous shot coming his way - although it should be said saving a number of runs by doing so.
Finally a hearty thanks to Bentworth CC, they are always excellent hosts, always provide a good game of cricket and always socialise after the game - top club, we look forward to playing you next season.
Next week Rowledge away, another tough game, but one that could cement Common's position as top dogs in the division.