Having waited a few weeks for our batting to properly fire, it was typical that when it did our bowling let us down for the first time this season.
We lost the toss, but it turned out not to be the calamity that it had seemed at 1.30. The pitch was playing pretty well even after some heavy rain, the outfield was quick and the predicted rain in the afternoon never really arrived.
Flaggers and Gunnar opened up, and initially looked pretty solid and untroubled. However, when Gunnar moved too far across to one and lost his leg stump, we then lost Munch and Dave quickly and were wobbling at 40/3. However, Crossy then came to the wicket and played a really good hand. he clearly wasnt quite timing the ball as well as he had at times this year, and the bowling was probing, but he really dug in and made sure he did the donkey work of the innings.
At the other end, Flaggers was playing a pretty special knock. Its hard to remember him putting a foot wrong as he pinged the ball around with an ease that was almost unfair. A couple of highlights included a straight six on the up into the road and a clip of his toes for 4. Despite losing Crossy and me in quick succession with about 10 overs to go, Loz came in with a very effective cameo and the two of them really upped the run rate to make sure we got maximum batting points for the first time in God knows how long.
Unfortunately, we couldnt back that up with the bowling. Without wishing to take anything away from the two Great Waltham openers, who both made excellent half centuries, our bowling (bar Albert, who was excellent again) really wasn't good. A succession of long hops and half volleys were well punished, and in no time we were well behind the game. The only way to keep us in it was to bowl Albert through, but he really needed a bit more support.
As Cyril chipped away with the odd wicket, and Crossy replaced Albert after an expensive initial spell, we suddenly managed to haul ourselves back into contention. We never really seemed to properly get ourselves ahead, but the one big positive was that after our awful start we had the balls to pull our socks up and make it hard for them. Suddenly, a couple more wickets fell, Sean came back to replace Cyril and found his length and the game was going to go the distance. We managed to drag it out the the last over, which began with Great Waltham needing 8. This came down to 3 off 2, but a huge straight 6 ended our hopes.
All in all, a disappointing defeat as the first 15 overs of their innings pretty much cost us the game. You shouldnt lose having scored 250 too often, but the fact that we didnt throw the towel in when the game looked gone was encouraging. This league is tight, and there are going to be some tight, important games ahead. We just need to make sure we come out on the right side of the next one!