Week 4, and another good win.
Although some quick cover and mopping up work in the week had meant that the wicket was basically dry by the start of the match, winning the toss was always going to be handy and my luck continued.
Some good bowling from Dinesy and especially Cilla meant that runs were at a premium early on, but Canvey dug in and ensured that they only lost one wicket in the opening skirmishes. Cilla was particularly unlucky as he found a really awkward line without any joy.
Cyril then came on to replace him with some extremely wonky radar. However, once he had got through the first dozen balls he settled into a line and length that brought joy, and with Albert miserly at the other end we began to turn the screw. Canveys opener had batted well through the early part of the innings, and was just starting to really free his arms when Albert skidded one through his defenses to ensure that he departed for a well made 72. After that, the innings petered out as Cyril chipped away with the odd wicket while Albert strangled the batting with plenty of maidens. A late flurry got Canvey up to 160, which was probably 40 short of par and was testament to our bowling and fielding in the last 20 overs.
Runs were at a premium at the start of our innings, as some disciplined bowling and well-set fields ensured that we had to work for every run. Kev saw the shine off the new ball before chipping one back to the bowler just as everything was settling down, but his innings ensured that Azhar came in at a time when the ball was starting to go soft, and he really cashed in. Slow at first, he was soon pinging the ball to all parts which meant that all I needed to do was ride on his coattails and nudge the ball around. I departed just past 50, strangled down the legside, and we then made a touch hard work of knocking off the last 25, but a huge six from Azhar over the pavilion ensured the game was ours and that his maiden Bentley CC 50 was an unbeaten one.
All we can do is keep going. We have always said the we would assess the season at the halfway point, but this start has given us a bit of confidence and belief that had maybe ebbed away over the past season and a half. Playing cricket is fun again!
Report by Steve Coleman