Last weekend we welcomed Terling to Coxtie Green and when they eventually turned up and the game got under way 10 minutes late, Gunnar and Sappy strode out to bat on a decent looking pitch. Terling’s opening bowlers however were sharp and possibly the best we’ve faced so far this season as they had Gunnar caught behind off the glove and then Sappy had his off stump uprooted to leave us 9-2 in the second over.
As Ash dug in at one end, Sprulesy came out and took the attack to Terling, taking advantage of some pacey bowling as he flailed his way into the 20’s to take some of the pressure off us. To Terling's credit, their first change bowlers were just as good and despite some poor catching/fielding, they continued to restrict us to no more than 4 an over.
With the boys looking to start to kick on just after drinks, Ash put one up in the air and Manno came to join Sprulesy with us 89-3. He soon also saw his off stump go cartwheeling and Waring followed soon after prodding one back to the bowler as a result of the slowness of the pitch. With Sprulesy still going fluently at the other end and cracking boundaries to take him past 50, I came in with a 15 overs to go at a pivotal point of the innings.
After some watchful overs as I got used to the pitch, Sprulesy and I decided it was time to kick on however shortly after, he was caught for 80 and suddenly with me on 17 off about 10 overs, I was a little nervous we would end up 160 all out. Luckily though, I started to hit my stride, finding it easier to use my feet and this bought a few welcome boundaries. Despite a couple of dropped catches, I continued thugging and with Charlie alongside me, we looked like we would get past 200.
Sadly Charlie, who was on 8 at the time, had other ideas. Not wanting to be out done by his Captain who was going well on 49 and was about to record his maiden 50 of the season, a decent feat considering his poor form at the start of the season, Charlie had clearly had enough of me taking centre stage. As I swung and missed at a wide one, I turned back round frustrated I had missed the ball and prepared to face the next delivery. To my disbelief, Charlie was hurtling towards me like a Spanish bull and I, the plucky matador was clearly about to be cut in half.
Fearing for my own life, I sidestepped his charge and as I scampered away pleased just to have escaped unharmed, the ball flew past me and I was run out by a good distance. Trudging off ignoring Charlie’s Inbetweeners like apologies (oooo sorry), I just stared daggers back in his direction.
At tea with the pitch quite difficult to read, 202 looked a decent score and filled with some top quality Eton Mess, we went out into the field to defend our total. Terling came out looking to play their shots and whilst I started well at one end, Albert took some tap. Even a couple of wickets from myself could not control the flow of runs and despite my numerous appeals for LBW, we could not seem to dish out the killer blow to their top order as we dropped a couple of tough chances. Their skipper started to open his arms up spurred on by his 2nd and 3rd lives and though Ash replaced Albert and bowled really tightly, taking a top drawer C&B, the runs still flowed as they got to 80-3 in about 12 overs.
Yorkey replaced me, keen to make up for champing his captain, but he couldn’t quite find his rhythm against some aggressive batting. As they got closer to their target, we became more frantic for a wicket and after Meadows had a few more LBWs turned down, we eventually found the breakthrough as a few more wickets tumbled to Ash and Gav. However it was all a little too late and despite some pressure in the final few overs where they seemed keen to play out a draw, they eventually got home to leave us all a little dejected.
At the time 202 looked a good score but in hindsight, we were maybe 20 short. In the middle overs, we batted quite slowly and didn’t quite hit the sort of total that might have been beyond Terling. In reply, we were a little scrappy in the field and though they were mostly difficult chances, we did drop at least 4 catches and missed a run out. If a few more LBWs had gone our way as they should have done, then it could have been a different game but annoyingly, that is village cricket and we all know it goes both ways.
Credit to Terling for how they bowled, probably the best bowling attack we have faced which makes Sprulesy’s knock even more impressive; it is great to see him hit a good spell of form! With the ball, Ash was superb as he again relished in his new found all-rounder role and he thoroughly deserved his 4 wickets. However as a team, we need to make sure we lift our game in the field and with the ball next week. We know we should be towards the top of the table so let’s make sure we go out and show everyone we deserve be with a strong performance next week against Little Waltham.
Many thanks too to Ali for helping us out in the field as it could have been a much easier game for them considering the way they were hitting it!