1st XI - Report
Date: Saturday 19th May 2012 - Start Time: 13:00
Plymouth CC won by 34 runs
Devon Premier League
|Sidmouth CC||282||vs||316/6||Plymouth CC|
PLYMOUTH (GIN) PROOF’ed TOO STRONG FOR SIDMOUTH
Father and three sons suffer in scoring glut
With the third weekend upon us we were blessed with a bright humid morning. We had won two from two but could so easily have been none from two if we had not shown such fight and resilience. The toss was an interesting occasional with the Plymouth captain Callum Whittaker, (he does have an affectionate nick name in the league but I forget what it is at this precise moment)…. Anyway - He mentioned that he had been disappointed by the general tone of the Devon Cup Final last year at Bovey Tracey last September and pleasingly said he was not keen on playing in such environments again. Whether this would transpire during the game was to be determined later. The coin fell and landed on my trusty head call and Callum was pleased as he admitted they were unsure what to do first if they had won the toss. I decided to bowl as the Sidmouth wicket although looked beautiful, history has shown that there is always a little bit of help for the first 5-10 overs for the bowlers if good areas are hit. With Billy Gater struggling for form and confidence (with the ball) I had asked Josh Bess and Sam Anderson to take the new ball from the Belmont and Bedford Ends respectively. Josh took the first over and the ball kissed the top of the surface and zipped through to Pete Randerson. With the talented James Toms on strike, Josh steamed in, the ball pitched back of a length bounced and seamed, the ball took the outside edge and flew to second slip. In that split second my head raced and told me – ‘Toms out Plymouth 1-1, good decision to bowl first’. However, by some uncanny reproduction of the previous week’s events, the ball erupted through the hands of Sam Anderson at second slip and hit him just below the left eyebrow. Staggeringly the ball struck in almost the exact spot where Anthony Griffiths had taken his impact the week before. The bleeding Sam sadly had to leave the field and was chauffeured off to hospital by grounsdman Colin Whitehall - thanks Big Col. This left us with 10 men on the field but - the just getting comfortable in his deck chair, paper in hand, tanning oiled up and very sporting Graham Bess donned the whites and joined us on the field. This had to be the first league 11 that had 4 Bess’s on the field and even more astoundingly that none of the 4 were fit to throw over arm. As I did the week before I had to think fast and change the plan due to the injured player, my opening bowler this week, as it was with my opening batsmen last week was unable to take his spot as had been hoped. I hurried through my options and chose myself to take the new ball. I was hoping to assert myself into the game and try and win the first momentum – incidentally my trusty Vice, Nick Gingell wasn’t 100% taken by the idea of me starting off and maybe I should have listened. Considering that one area where we have had some success in the first two games has been in the middle over’s, where myself and Miles Dalton have managed to keep things somewhat more placid than our frantic starts. However, today that luxury was being compromised and my hand was forced. Despite the effort to stop Plymouth getting off to a flyer (as North Devon and Sandford have in previous weeks) they did just this, I disappointingly bowled a bit to full and in spite of a very very close stumping not given by the umpire, I got punished down the ground. After Josh’s exceptional early burst which both Plymouth openers struggled against he began to fade slightly and the Plymouth openers picked off a few boundaries. Miles Dalton replaced me at the 10 over mark with the score 60-0 and Bill Gater followed Josh shortly after. In the next few overs Plymouth continued as they had started, scoring freely off a wild Will Gater and semi stiff Miles Dalton. As Miles settled in after some early looseners he first had a very close LBW turned down against Sandi Toms and then got the breakthrough wicket of Dale Stein stumped. All the while the runs kept coming; the rate not dipping much below 6. Will Gaters first 3 overs were expensive and not terribly reassuring as they hadn’t been in previous weeks but the injury to Sam and my desperation to get him into any kind of bowling form meant I wanted/had to persevere………and as I had hoped he would, gradually but indisputably I began to see a bit more THE Will Gater with every ball. The whinging was waning, the smile re-appearing and with it the ball seam upright now, began to swing and carry through to Randy more consistently. At the other end Miles was keeping things relatively serene but the score board was still rattling along. Toms and the first of 2 Claremont, Perth boys, Bryant were composing another authoritative partnership and the score was up around the 130-1 mark, with 2 overs before drinks to go. Since Plymouth had got off to such a powerful start I had decided not to take the bowling powerplay at the 11 over stage, but at 130-1 we had to try something different. I took Billy and Miles from the attack and replaced them with myself and Devon bowler Josh Bess. The plan in our first two respective overs didn’t really work, I went for 3 boundaries and Josh bowled a couple of no-balls which now result in free hits and they were costly. However, I then managed to trap Aussie Chris Bryant on his probably less favoured front foot and he was given out LBW. My last 3 overs were then maidens as I did my best to bowl a mixture of paces. I was just very frustrated I had not found these areas earlier in the day. The powerplay plan had to some extent worked and the scoring rate had slightly slowed. Miles once again replaced me at the Bedford End and the newly born 2012 form of Will Gater continued at the Belmont end. Albeit the day was not going our way, I was incredibly happy to witness what was unravelling from Will Gaters latter over’s; he really was approaching his best with his last 7 overs only going for 14 runs. This really put the brakes on the Plymouth dominance and was an exceptional turnaround from the adversity it had evolved from. To be honest the rest of the innings is a blur of boundaries combined with a weak mix of wickets. James Toms made an impressive 120 and Choccy Barr made a quick fire 60 odd. The effervescent MJ Cooke took a casual 3 wickets (one caught by a very stable based Graham Bess), and showed once again what a vital cog in the team he is. Plymouth had stung us hard and terminated with a demanding 316, this is the highest team total we have had to chase for a very long time…….but not unachievable with a run rate of a little over 6 runs per over. However, one of the top 4 batsmen had to replicate the innings of James Toms. The opening batsmen had been restored to our very successful pairing of Josh Bess and Anthony Griffiths. Over the last 3 years both players have scored 500 or there abouts League runs and shared in many steepling partnerships. Could they do it again today and ….well the answer was no on this occasion. Griff mis-read the length of a fairly full delivery and was bowled without making Scorer Alex lift his pen, …I mean tap his keyboard. Luke Bess and Josh put on a solid partnership of 53 but sadly couldn’t do so at the required rate. Josh was out bowled for 36 by the strangely familiar Gordon Bennett. Everybody thought they recognised him, but everyone thought it was some-one else, his eclectic mix of look likes stretched far further than what could be counted on one hand. He certainly didn’t have the Scent of a Woman after he finished his first spell, but he was performing in the A Team on this particular afternoon. Luke followed shortly after his brother Josh, (68-3) being bowled by the nude off spin of Babe Ruth Nicholls. Now with Pete Randerson and Zak Bess at the crease the run rate still fell under the ever expanding rate, Zak made 12 before he was adjudged LBW. (102-4) Batsmen Pete Randerson, Sam Anderson and Will Gater did their best to get the rate back to an attainable run a ball rate. Their attempts were valiant but with the rate approaching 10 and all but one powerplay used up something very special was going to have to happen to get us back in the game. Runs came predominantly in boundaries and unfortunately inbetween these boundaries were dots and only sporadic singles, two’s and three’s; despite some impressive blows the run rate just never came down to a manageable amount and unfortunately wickets kept falling at the wrong times, meaning we fell further and further behind the necessary. First to go of the belligerent trio was Pete Randerson caught and bowled for 36, then Will Gater for 39 and lastly Sam ‘Anders’ also 39. At 192-7 and then 208-8 when Matt Cooke was dismissed, I once again for 3 weeks running had to strap on my pads, I hadn’t batted this regularly in years. Nervous again I made my way out to the middle to join VC Nick Gingell. Freshly in my mind were the words of Callum Whittaker apologising about his teams rather uncricket behaviour in the previous game. ………and the first thing he said to me was ‘we have snicko out here today so you’ll have to walk’…….and to be honest I was actually quite pleased he was his ever charming self - as once again, rather than disconcerting me it inspired me to try and make him field for as long as I possibly could. I have of course felt this sentiment many times and more often than not not been able to execute it, however, on Saturday as if in a time wharp from 2006 when poor Griff had to captain me in losing draw scenarios, I managed to execute nearly every shot I attempted. Again to be honest most of my innings was a bit of a blurr. Unfortunately the hero Nick Gingell from week one was out stumped bravely chasing down the exponentially escalating run rate, 212-9 things looked bleak but at Sidmouth we are lucky enough to have Miley Dalton coming in at 11. This is where the elegance of the team is savoured and stored. The Mark Butcher-esque Miles punished the Plymouth attack with shots all around the wicket, deft touches to third man, majestic strokes through the covers (Louise you lucky lady)………and crunching pull shots into the pavilion front thatch (ditto), he finished 8 not out, …..haha, I am only joking…..he finished with an immovable 27 not out. With every boundary he grew in brazen aplomb, his eyes began to glaze over his belief began to flourish. He was up for this chase and his testosterone levels were mutating his peaceful demeanour. …..With 4 balls remaining and 35 still needed I upset Miles’ apple cart and was caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary for 45, the tragic reality hit me we had lost. The game was over and I of course was distraught, we could no longer blame our short comings on lack of game time or practice, we now had to face the facts and accept we had been out played with bat and ball. We indeed did bowl badly, but not one batsman managed to reach a half century in very favourable batting conditions. In fact the only 50 of the year has come from Nick Gingell batting at number 8. Incidetally this is not a judgment just the truth. We do not have time to make excuses nor dwell on the ifs and buts, we must start hitting our premium form fast as we are now very much in the cricket season and the fight for the Devon League Premier Trophy is well and truly on.