Last home game of 2020 against top of the table Nantwich. Often a low scoring affair but always competitive. Injuries ravaged the initially selected line-up with Jim, Brayno then Griff all succumbing to injuries and unable to play. Joe's Maddocks and Killoran plus Captain Tommy Evans himself came up for what was potentially a tough game...only no one told Noah that.
Dan won the toss and inserted Nantwich not because he thought the ball would do too much on what looked like an excellent wicket but so that the batters could try and improve in chasing. 180 upwards looked infinitely possible and with Nantwich choc full of batters, it looked like a good afternoon's cricket brewing.
Noah took the new ball with the returning Alex 'Wiggy' Townend. Wiggy bowled with real pace and excellent direction and looked too sharp for Nantwich's young opener who got in line and played bravely. The 'keeper and slips took a couple of steps back to compensate. Noah was in to the wind but hit the perfect line and length immediately. Bowling balls in the second team that will hit the stumps is always the best policy and that is exactly what Noah did - much to Fishy's delight. The pair then proceeded to dismantle Nantwich. A Griffesque call from Ferris saw him expertly run out by Spavo who is some fielder but all the other wickets were scalps to the bowlers. Noah castled 3 and both Fishy and Dil took simple catches (although Fishy juggled his to make it look trickier!). Wiggy's LBW just reward for excellent pace bowling.
With both bowlers having done 7 overs and off, Nantwich were 34 for 7! Both equally excellent but Noah's 5 for 8 particularly outstanding.
Fishy and Reg took over and continued the procession as Fishy induced a false shot from Newts and then bowled Chesters allowing Reg to account for the last wicket to end Nantwich's innings in the 20th over for 45. The best bowling performance in recent memory which made a complete mockery of Dan's reason for taking the field.
Surely there would be no dramas here. Tommy so confident that he got changed and took his stuff home!
Luke and Joe Maddocks opened up. Good attack Nantwich and one to be wary of. Young Ben Wright the league's leading wicket taker this season plus Ferris, Cork and Woodfine who extract movement off the pitch. 49 is too few though and despite losing Luke and Joe, Chester won at a canter in the 12th over. Spavo dug in and watched Noah drive the victory home literally. Down the ground and square of the wicket, he found the rope with ease to cap one of the most complete all round performances in the second team for years. Victory sealed and game over at 2:30. Not ideal in many ways but totally unexpected. The new ball bowlers just had one of those days that come around so rarely you just have to sit back and enjoy them. Noah off to pastures new for school and we all wish him well. From that 150 in the 4ths a few years ago to winning the double last season then ending on a PB with the ball before striking the winning runs, he's been excellent.
Bowden next week and strict instructions to avoid anything resembling exercise!
MotM - Noah.
DotD - Wiggy - so trivial a reason that to slipped my mind!