Purley Cricket Club

Cox Tosses Off...Spin

by Andy Macdonald

Purley arrived for this game with a mix of optimism, the thrilling climax to our first game still fresh in the mind meant an eagerness to continue where we left off. The downside being that the weathermen had predicted rain and thunder for the afternoon so not many held out hope for a full afternoon of cricket.

Fortunately to become a meteorologist you clearly just have to attend university for 4 years, the met office will cough up a few million on some satellites and predict an hour by hour account on how much rain will fall. Whereas the rest of us mere mortals were able to just look at the blue sky and fluffy clouds and get on with the game.

Alans enthusiasm to make sure he can smoke at least one full pack of cigarettes before the game begins meant we were an hour early at the ground. Plenty of time to decide who would bowl from the Everest end and who would tackle the crevasse from the other end.

Surrey seamers were in no rush to get the game underway, a theme that continued throughout the day. A lost toss meant Purley were put into bat first.

A good opening spell between the seamers frontline bowlers saw Purley got off to a slow start. Alan ensuring that neither God nor man would allow him to ever score quicker than the over rate. Mark attempted to clip one over mid wicket and lost his off stump to a good ball that cut back slightly. This brought Ben in who “seemed” to be beaten for pace by a slightly quicker one and was duly bowled, excuse the pun.

This brought James “Sunday run machine” Harper to the middle who along with Alan began to consolidate. Alan doing well to keep both the good balls and bad balls out.

Alan then punched the ball to the keeper and subsequently turned into a catwalk model by going down the runway before turning back to his crease noticing Rashed had not raised his finger. Sensibly Rashed gave him his marching orders after some deliberation.

With the score on about 60 – 3, Hunt joined the middle and never really looked comfortable to the spinners and was soon bowled for a quick 12 citing poor vision to his downfall. Perhaps this explains why after looking in the mirror he sees Brad Pitt?

Young Ben Jenkins then joined James, after a nervy start, and facing some continued excessive appealing including one that involved ball to ball contact, got into his stride. This proved to be a crucial partnership with James batting superbly to bring some of his Sunday form to Purley and Ben aptly supporting him.

James made a deserved 58 before patting one back to the seamers captain when he looked set for a big score. In came Adam Bailey and again with Ben continued to up the scoring rate, both batting well together with some quick running and the odd boundary.

Ben departed for a well played 36, and with 4 overs left Purley cantered to finish on 187 for 8. Mike Thake finishing the innings unselfishly trying to steal another impossible run off the last ball and throwing his average away in the process.

A break for tea and some firecracker pepper chilli tuna sandwiches, delicious!! Soon after Purley took to the field minus any batsmen for some time.

Sensing the batsmen may look to hit out Purley opened with the old ball pairing of Hunt and Mike Thake. Clearly the opener had seen enough of Hunt in his run up and duly hit the first ball to cow corner for a good catch by last weeks man of the moment Rambo.

The seamers number three who I shall call SpongeBob Squarecut due to his ability to soak up the bowling and his attempts to cut balls that were on leg stump looked to hit out from the off.

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Some woeful Purley ground fielding allowed the odd boundary to sneak through. Nick continued to tempt the batsmen and after lighting the eyes up of squarecut had him bowled coming down the wicket to meet one and duly lost his off stump.

Mike was unlucky to not pick up a wicket having seen the other opener dropped by the usually reliable Ben Jenkins off a relatively straight forward chance.

Stand in keeper James showed why he is single with some heavy hands managing to demolish the stumps on several occasions. He did get one stumping that went his way giving Nick a good return of 3 – 38 from his allotted 10.

Mike was replaced by Adam Drew who bowled superbly throughout with pinpoint accuracy and rightfully picked up 2 wickets clean bowling numbers 4 and 6.

Alan sensing that the ball was turning decided to bring on this seasons surprise package in Ben Cox who is more known for his batting than his part time off spin. The captains faith in Ben due to a promising start to the season with his bowling saw a wicket in his first over with one that rolled along the floor. The batsmen seeming to be surprised that he had to indeed walk.

Drew and Cox continued throughout to bowl well and the lack of depth in the Seamers batting line up was apparent with no answer to some tight bowling. Ben picked up a quick brace of wickets, meaning last weeks best bowler Adam Bayley was unlucky to only get one over with his services to be saved for another day.

With Purley in a rush to get back home and head out for the night, Ben picked up the final wicket with Mark taking a good low catch at mid on to end the proceedings with the Seamers all out for 123. Ben finishing with fine figures of 4 – 22 who will be able to offer some good options in the games too come.

A great start to the season with 2 wins from 2 games. A bye this Saturday is rather unfortunate but roll on Sutton in 2 weeks time.

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