Saturday saw a win for the ages at Marlins. Winning with one ball to spare in an up and down game that (from what I hear) had the pavilion in an absolute nervous mess for the best part of an hour. Now I’ll try not to toot my own trumpet too much throughout this report… but no promises.
Another windy day saw a substandard game of football in the warmup, followed by the traditional triangle drill and a quick speech from captain Beesley telling us not to bowl a million wides. We would be bowling first and as per usual no one had listened to James (including himself) and extras helped Twyford on their way to a decent start with the bat. The partnership was broken by Laura Sandy as she attacked the wickets with just enough movement to find the base of the opening batsman’s stumps. Dom Colville followed up the initial breakthrough with a couple of his own – trapping the number 3 LBW with a darting in-swinger and then a ball boomed to Ali Bee at mid-on who used his chest to take the heat out of it before grabbing it on second attempt. 66-3 and LM were in the ascendency. A counterattack then came as the Twyford number 5 and set opening bat looked to hit boundaries off any loose deliveries. Dom’s third wicket broke the partnership, a length ball outside the off stump that was edged to the Great Man at a wide slip. A deserved end to a great 10-over spell from Dom who finished with top figures of 3-39.
This didn’t stop the attacking mentality of the Twyford batsmen as they came after the spin of Bee with lots of aggression. That same aggression continued into Ed Robinson’s spell as his first ball was thwacked into the tennis courts. Now Ed is angry at the best of times and being sent for a giant six off his first ball riled him up even further. With all his size 3 might, he bowled a quicker ball that got through the sweep shot of the batsman and clean bowled him. Twyford’s (and the league’s) best batsman was still at the crease though, so the job was far from done. Again, Robinson removed the other batsman, caught behind by Storey to reduce Twyford to 159 for 6. A few overs later it was Bee’s turn to cash in after a somewhat unlucky spell. A triple-wicket maiden consisting of two LBWs and a caught and bowled and all of a sudden it was 164-9, LM back dominating. That was until in his next over he was hit for 3 massive sixes – the first of which went sailing into the back windscreen of our lovely scorer Tracy Beesley’s car (sorry Trace). It was left to Robinson to get the final wicket, straight through a slog sweep to see Twyford all out for 184. Not an easy chase…
Tea was tasty as always. Chicken skewers a welcome addition. Can’t remember any specifics of that chat so it must have been absolute drivel. Time to chase some runs.
Sim and Beesley started positively, both hitting early boundaries and looking comfortable. Two wickets in two balls saw Twyford gain a lot more confidence as Beesley lost his off peg and The Great Man decided he didn’t fancy playing at a straight one. In came Ewan Crawley, full of confidence as he hit one of his three centuries against Twyford earlier in the year. Crawley and Sim played well to secure a 50 partnership before Ewan saw his stumps rocked by a straight ball. The size 3 football entered and began to settle in but we lost Sim for a well-made 35 before Board Member Storey came and went quickly for 4 – given out for a dodgy LBW. Storey’s tantrum was one for the ages, a few effs and continued sighing for a prolonged period of time before realising he’d be paying £15 for the privilege of batting for 3 balls. Unlucky chief.
The father son duo of Simon Robinson and younger Ed then set about rebuilding at 88-5. This was a slow partnership but was much needed to keep LM in with a sniff of winning. I must admit for the majority of their batting I was lying down on the changing room floor drifting between conversations with Hamish and little kips – I think I’d over-heated and under-slept in the week previously. Anyhow the family unit put on a 40-run stand and when Simon got out it was down to Ali Bee to carry on the show with Ed. The two spinners looked busy from the moment they came together at the crease, running at any given opportunity. The equation was that we essentially needed 60 runs off 60 balls to win the match. Seems easy enough right?
The pitch had begun to take a lot of spin however and the Twyford bowlers were using it to good effect. In an attempt to counter, Bee ran down the pitch and belted one of them over his head for six. Everyone take a breath. Continuing to run hard the pair got it down to needing 30 off 30, pointing out weaker fielders and cashing in when the ball went towards them. Disaster struck as LM needed 17 to win. Robinson looked to turn the ball round the corner for a single and edged it high in the air for a well-taken catch at mid-wicket.
168-7 and enter, all the way from the windy city of Oamaruuuuuuu, Blake “The Basherrrr” Jamesss. Bee was aware at how fresh legs, and the incredibly athletic physique of Blake meant that the quick singles could carry on. The score was brought down to us needing 12 off the last two overs with Blake on strike. A back-of-a-length delivery from the seam bowler and a snatchy back foot cover drive saw the ball whistle down to third man for a boundary, surely that was all that was needed? Nope, Basher missed the next 3 balls. He loves the tension.
A couple of singles and it came down to 5 needed from the last over, 4 to tie. Bee scampered a quick single, followed by the same from Blake. 3 to win off 4. The next ball ripped past Bee’s outside edge leaving LM needing 3 from 3 to win. A bit too close for my liking. The next ball caught Bee on the front pad and a loud appeal filled Marlins, both with noise and dread… The call of not out and another completed run meant it was down to 2 off 2 with big Basher on strike.
The field crept in. Looks like Bash needed to clear the front dog and whip it over them for the winning runs. And that is exactly what he did. Well, its what he tried. A good stride down the pitch to the ball spinning into him and he completely missed it. BUT SO DID THE KEEPER!!! The two set off to complete the final few runs but it wasn’t needed as the ball trickled away for 4 byes. LM win with one ball to spare. SCENES. A massive win that could be crucial in staying in division 1 next year. Well done to everyone involved, contributions from everyone once again. And of course a special mention to Ali Bee for being the best finisher since MS Dhoni. See you all next week as we take on Didcot. Up the Marlinsss. Thanks to Tracy too.
Auto Windscreens man of the match: Ed Robinson for 3-22 and 42, vital contributions with ball and bat.
Happy Egg catch of the match: Mike Lyons for a top slip catch off the bowling of Dom Colville.
PW Landscapes super striker of the game: Ali Bee for 31 off 29 to guide the team to victory.
Nandos XX Hot Sauce DOTD: Matthew Storey for toys out the pram.
ALSKA bomb squad: A.Bee, G.Mackenzie, EGC, E.Robinson, J.Beesley, M.Storey, B.James.