Match Report by August Pandey
Wed 22nd May
It was yet another gloomy evening in Lincoln and Gully were back at their home ground playing against Nettleham in their third and final Cup Match of this season. A must win game for both teams to qualify for semi-final and GC fancied their changes having won against defending champions Sturton. However, the young Nettleham side looked enthusiastic and prepared, choosing to bat first in 14 over per side match.
Openers Ollie Ward and Billy Hart made a brisk start scoring some quick runs and putting the fielders under pressure. Senthil set the tone in the field with an accurate direct hit. However, it took some excellent bowling by Tarun and a good catch by Pravin at point to get GC their first wicket in the third over. Kalyan followed with two quick wickets from the other end with a display of exceptional swing bowling. With 3 down within 6 overs, Nettleham's no. 4 (Reece Jones) and No. 5 (Jordan McCardell) batsmen showed maturity with some careful but intelligent batting in the middle overs. The ball follow Shashi who did very well in the deep saving lots of runs along with GC debutant Sridhar. Tarun was once again brilliant in the outfield and never let the batsmen take the extra run. Nagaraj created chances with his leg spin and was unlucky not to get a wicket. With wickets in hand, Nettleham went on the attack in the last 4 overs scoring regular boundaries and setting a target of 150 for Gully to win. Reece made an 69 and Jordan got 41* with Kalyan picking up 2 for 29 in 4 overs.
With an asking rate of over 10, work was cut out for Gully’s batsmen. Amol and Linu made a steady start against some accurate Nettleham bowling. But it was not long before Linu decided to cut loose hitting some delightfully shots including a six over mid wicket and a well timed leg glance for 4. Unfortunately, Linu lost his wicket to a brilliant catch on the boundary. This brought Pravin to the middle and what followed was one of the best hitting displays under pressure. He announced himself by hitting the first ball for a huge six and continued to dominate the bowling including a 27-run over off young leg spinner Will Daubney. By the 6th over GC were back on track with the run rate and the young Nettleham team looked under pressure forced to make bowling and fielding changes. On the other end, our newly appointed ‘Welfare officer’ was full of energy and rotated strike. Amol was out shortly after hitting a beautiful on drive for 4. Kalyan joined Pravin and both played some delightful shots. However, Nettleham's game awareness and excellent fielding made it difficult to score freely. As the run-rate started to creep up, Pravin was out catch on the long off boundary for 36 and Kalyan was run-out for a well-played 31. August joined Dan in the middle with 2.4 over left and 40 runs to get. They decided to run aggressively and put the bowling and fielding under pressure. However, Dan's dismissal for a well played 15 brought Tarun to the middle with 4 balls remaining and 27 to get. As it all looked done and dusted, Tarun hit 3 consecutive boundaries to end the game on a high for GC. 137 in 14 over for 5 wickets is one of the best batting efforts by GC and a lot to be proud of.
Considering that Nettleham’s average age was almost 20 years less than Gully’s, we can take a lot of positives from this game into the rest of the season particularly our batting. Improvement areas from the game are our death bowling and overall fitness. Having said that, we can’t take anything away for Nettleham who played smart cricket, showing great game awareness and executed their plans effectively.
Thanks to everyone who come to support and help during the match. Enjoy the bank holiday weekend and WC.
Updated 15:16 - 24 May 2019 by Gully Cricketers