Last year Stowell Park thrashed us on a baking hot summers day. This year the weather was just perfect but the result the same.
Eric won the toss and elected to bat (possibly with the memory of fielding forever in the heat last year) and yet again good probing bowling got the better of Cowley as they never really got going and wickets kept on falling with the inevitability of England being knocked out of football world cups.
Only 4 of Cowleys batsmen got into double figures: Jonny promised much with a mature balance of defence and attack in his lively 17. Eric was looking confident and playing well before being caught for 13. Joel was playing really nicely, many of his 2's only just holding up before the rope, right up to the point when he drove uppishly straight to cover for 20 (and we don't need to talk about the bowler who was making up the numbers for the opposition). Aji made an entertaining rearguard assault (taking half his runs from the same bowler) to propel us into three figures, finishing top scorer on 31 not out. The rest didn't really trouble the scorer too much, either getting out to a good ball or more often getting themselves out (twice in Mikes case). Cowley had mustered a below par score of 118 from 40 overs and over a pleasant tea contemplated an uphill struggle to get back into the match.
Eric used all the bowling options available to him as Stowell Park made steady progress towards knocking the runs off. It was Eric himself who broke the opening partnership as he caught and bowled one of the openers for 49 in the 17th over with the score on 90. Daniel, Keith and Aji bowled very tight spells but the opposition cruised home as Lord Vesty watched on to win by 10 wickets in the 25th over. Certainly we have bowled better and been tighter in the field but we didn't have anywhere near enough runs to play with and I suspect Stowell Park could have ramped up their game a notch or two if they had needed too.
Another defeat but I struggle to think of a nicer ground to play cricket at and Stowell Park are wonderful hosts. Maybe next year will be third time lucky and we can give them a more competitive game... In this strange world we live in anything seems possible.