After being loaned a suspiciously shiny £2 coin by Sprulesy (Probably one he taxed off some poor hard-working citizen), I promptly lost the toss and after much deliberation, we were eventually asked to field.
Albert and Shammi settled in and it quickly looked like this hadn’t been a bad toss to lose with some pace and bounce in the pitch. Shammi bowled some enticing tempters outside off and the Hornchurch opener couldn’t resist, edging through to Peth at slip. Soon after, we had our second as Shammi found the edge again and Sappy took the catch behind the sticks. At the other end, Albert was causing some issues for their batsmen and with the runs drying up, their number 4 decided to have a big old swipe. As the ball passed Sappy at some speed, it looked like it would run away for 4 but Peth stuck out a big left paw and took a stonker of a catch just before it hit the ground. This proved all too much for the batsman who decided to go and ponder his shot-selection at the far end of the ground.
This was the point when we really needed to rip through them but some solid batting from their skipper and number 5 saw them
reconsolidate their innings and so myself and Clarky came on to find a breakthrough. I dropped a sharp low caught and bowled off their skipper but thankfully at the other end, Clarky threw one up above the eye line and a big top edge allowed him to claim his 4th caught and bowled of the season.
We continued to dry up the runs and Hornchurch were struggling. Their skipper passed 50 and though there were some suspicions he was stumped by Sappy, their batsman who had finally emerged from his coma on the boundary edge, returned as umpire and judged it not out.
Clarky continued to bowl well and after Walker came on and copped a bit of a beating from their skipper, Yorkey came on to stem the flow of runs. Flaggers took a great catch running round from cow corner to leave them 5 down but at the other end, their skipper was still going. I bowled 2 particularly bad overs and coupled with some poor fielding and dropped catches, you wondered if it was going to be our day. Thankfully Yorkey continued to bowl tightly and picked up a second wicket, snaffled by Clarky. Shortly after, he had his 3rd as Sappy palmed onto the stumps after the batsman danced down and Shammi returned really well to mop up the tail.
Their skipper passed 100 before Shammi had him LBW and the icing on the cake came when Albert recorded his hundredth run out of the season. The ball was pummelled to him at mid-wicket but he tactically spilt the catch to allow himself to run out their batsman as he attempted a second to get them to 200.
After a cracking tea (if I do say so myself!), Sappy and Els went out to open and knock the runs off sharpish. Hornchurch had obviously done their homework because they tossed one out wide and Els slapped it straight to backward point for a duck. This brought Peth to the crease in his first game since injury and he quickly got back into the swing of things with a few meaty pulls through mid-wicket and a couple of clips off his legs through the vacant fine leg area!
Sappy carried on from where he left off last time out and played some lovely shots to get us past 50 until a lapse in concentration as the spinner came on saw him balloon one up in the air to leave us 52-2. Sprulesy went out to join Peth and did what Sprulesy does (Play and miss everything for 10 overs, then start booming it around).
Peth continued to send the ball to all parts and as he approached 50, he remembered he’s a non-drinker and so opted for the jug avoidance option of guiding the ball to the keeper to leave us 95-3 with 20 overs to go.
Manno and myself came and went, both scoring breezy 10’s but thankfully, Sprulesy was now seeing it like a beachball and unleashed a couple of big sixes over square leg to put us in the driving seat. T Walks, keen to avoid a TFC sensibly worked the ball around, rotating the strike and Sprulesy crunched a few more before being caught behind with us needing 26 off six overs.
Hornchurch’s least favourite player Walker continued to chip away at the score with singles while at the other end, Clarky who was in a rush to get home hit a few meaty strokes. Despite some rather village scoreboard operating by myself and a rather confident Shammi changing and packing up to go home before we’d got the runs, we chased it down to record another great win!
The fielding still needs to improve as could the catching but at the end of the day, we got the result we wanted and hopefully we can build another little win run to take us towards the end of the season! Next up, Great Waltham away!