And so to Hitchin on a glorious , if slightly windy , day . And to play on the second strip which was a lovely little amphitheatre, set behind and down from their main pitch .
It did little to inspire most of Bars batsmen though , after Captain Martyn Taylor lost the toss and was put in to bat . First up and out were Thangiah and Harris , the former caught and the latter bowled each for one . Next up (and out very quickly) was young Taylor L. the captains son, who was on the receiving end of an absolute snorter, clean bowled for nought .
This led to bright spot of the day no.1 - Scott De La Fuente making a most welcome return to the team , having been unavailable until this week . His confident attacking batting style lifted the team for a while until bowled for 18 attempting a hook shot to a ball that didn't get high enough . Ellis was in next but not for long , bowled behind his legs for 5 . The second bright spot of the day was the first-match-ever debut of Manny Smith . Taking advice from anyone and everyone before walking to the crease , he acquitted himself very well with a selection of unorthodox shots taking him to 8 before also being bowled . Bright spot no.3 was seeing the imposing figure of Andy Silvey striding to the wicket . Promoted to bat at 7 , he didn't let his captain down and a swashbuckling innings ended when holing out to mid off with the teams top score of 23 .
Next in was Captain Taylor about whom more of later . He was followed by another new recruit , Phil Root . His time with bat in hand was also short lived , run out without scoring following a lively call from Captain Taylor . Last man in, Jeffrey Barnes, looked steady and ready to take the battle to the opposition but alas it wasn't to be after Captain Taylor was out in rather a rather unusual way . Upon receiving a very slow ball , Taylor lined himself up to crash another boundary through mid off . However he overbalanced whilst waiting for the ball to arrive and fell forward onto the floor like he'd been shot by a sniper hiding in the bushes . As he did so , the ball deflected off his pad and rolled into the stumps knocking off a bail . Hilarity ensued and his innings was over for 17.
So the ten men of PB amassed a grand total of 82 , unlikely to be enough against a team who'd scored 240 the previous week . And so it proved but PB did not go down without a fight .
Opening the bowling , Ellis and Barnes were straight into the groove , Ellis taking the first wicket in his second over with the batsman LBW . Barnes also claimed an early wicket when Harris , diving low to his left , took a smart catch at first slip . Barnes took another wicket and then Smith , continuing his impressive debut , picked up his first wicket with young Lewis Taylor taking a nice catch at square leg . Suddenly the home team were 15-4 and things were looking interesting until batsmen 5 & 6 each scored 21 and restored relative calm before being out to Barnes and the returning De La Fuente . The home side knocked off the remaining required runs to win by 4 wickets .
So ultimately a valiant effort producing 6 points to the cause . Better luck next week Potters Bar 4s .