On a slightly cooler Saturday afternoon, we headed over to Goresbrook looking to #keeptherungoing and make it 4 on the bounce. Most of the team arrived on time and the rest turned up in dribs and drabs as a result of other commitments: Nico’s (Stimpson & Whitlock), Photoshoot (Greeno)
With everyone raring to go, I lost the toss and we were sent out into the field. With Walks opening from one end and me from the other, we came under some early pressure as anything short or wide sat up nicely on what looked a decent pitch. After being mowed for six, I took inspiration from my bowling hero Chris Jordan and sent down a canny slower ball full toss which the batsman could only chip down the ground to Greeno. This helped stem the flow of runs and whilst the young opener looked solid, he did not look like scoring too quickly.
However the wicket looked a little more spin friendly and so Meadows and Ash came on to replace us in an effort to get the next breakthrough. Meadows took a few overs to ease back in after injury but Ash started well, buoyed by the opportunity provided to him by his skipper to prove his worth with the ball. However the breakthrough came not with the ball but from the field. With a tentative prod into the legside, the batsman set off but like a golden eagle swooping down on its prey, I pounced on the ball and as the helpless shell-shocked batsmen stuttered mid-pitch, I showed the composure of a Reaper Drone operator as I identified the target, took aim and launched a Hellfire Missile towards the sticks. As the missile obliterated the stumps and the dust cleared, I emerged from the smoke like Superman and was quickly swamped by my awe-struck teammates.
After a period of consolidation, the runs started to flow for Goresbrook and as the score crept up, we again needed a wicket to break the flow. After a solid innings from the young opener, he eventually mistimed a sweep and was caught by Charlie at short fine leg. We then had another as Meadows enticed a slog down the ground and Sprulesy took a great steepling catch as the ball held up in the wind and spiralled down into his hands.
After a bit of biffing from their skipper and the number 4, Whitlock took a catch off Charlie to limit the damage from my drop the over before and suddenly we were into the tail. Sprulesy took another good catch at short fine leg off Charlie and Ash finished off his overs well going at less than 3 an over; I don’t want to say it was a masterstroke from myself but it may go down as season-defining. Walker came back on to finish off the innings and despite one expensive over, he bowled well and snaffled a caught behind before I came back on to do what I do best: mop up the tail! Another absolute beauty of a slower ball and I had my second before Waring got a stumping standing back/run out off the last ball of the innings to give us max bowling points. With a few overs to go, I thought they would get to 180+ so credit to the bowlers for some really tight overs at the death to keep them to 167.
Another complete performance with the ball (we only bowled 1 wide) and in the field despite the 200m boundary on one side and now it just needed to be backed up with the bat and we could return to the club to enjoy the many varying musical genres thrown up by the iPod shuffle night (who still has an iPod?).
Gunnar and Ash opened up and quickly looked at ease against the bowlers though they did extract some decent pace early on. Both looked in good touch on a decent wicket and punished anything short or wide. Eventually, Ash was the cause of his own downfall as he tried to biff one over cow corner but this only bought the man in form, Greeno to the crease. Despite struggling with a thigh injury that most of the team had offered to massage, Greeno picked up where he had left off last week and took the attack to Goresbrook with a few lofted drives and cuts to the rope. At the other end, Gunnar looked fluid as he swept nicely through the legside and took advantage of some short stuff, hooking and cutting his way past 50.
As the runs continued to be knocked off, it looked like the boys would see us home until Meadows triggered Gunnar to see him run out despite appearing to be in by some distance. To be fair, we’d have needed the Hubble telescope to be able to tell whether he was in or out from where we were sitting on the rope so we will give Meadows the benefit of the doubt.
Sprulesy came in with the intention of getting the last 14 runs in 3 balls and he almost succeeded sadly falling short by 10 runs. Whitlock came in and saw the game out with a few nice shots on his way to a classy 5 as he simultaneously champed Greeno (49*) and Stimmo (TFC).
Another great win for the Renegades 2.0 and it has put us up into 2nd. Next week we face Terling in the final game of the first half of the season. It is a great opportunity to #keeptherungoing in our quest for promotion and to build up some momentum/pressure on Great Waltham before we play them again in a month.
T Stimpson was fined 50% of his match fee for throwing a cocktail sausage at the captain.