On what threatened to be a rain effected game the sun decided to shine in Amersham and play was only delayed a hour due to the opposition turning up late + 1 man short. Their casual attitude (and dress code) was evident especially when Sandeep asked one of their players what LWCC stands for and they were clueless! Sid won the toss and put the opposition in on what looked to be one of the worst batting tracks we have seen. With a slow outfield and the pitch still damp we knew batting would be tough.
Hitesh Bowled the first over and bowled a beauty of a yorker with his first ball to bowl their captain middle stump. Their number 3 came in and played some big swing and misses to the remaining 5 balls of the over. We had to double check with Sid that they did know it was a 40 over game and not a T20. Ritesh opened at the other end and bowled the best spell I have ever seen him bowl but luck was not on his side. The batsmen were still swinging and missing everything apart from a few lucky edges which flew over the slips. Hitesh and Ritesh were a pleasure to watch as they continued to terrorise the batsmen with pace and bounce. 10 Overs gone 1 wicket down and around 30 runs on the board the batsman’s frustrations was evident as they were trying to slog anything they could but could not connect,
Kunal B and Kunal V came on and although they went for a few more runs than the openers they managed to get movement off the pitch and take vital wickets. KB took 2 wickets one caught by Sandeep and one LBW in his 5 over spell while KV took 3 wickets all bowled in his 8 overs. MP3 had to wait his turn to get into the action and he didn’t waste any time by picking up 3 wickets in his 4.3 overs 2 bowled and one caught in the inner ring by KV. MP3 is racking up the wickets this season with 13 already to his name. Tushar who is the second highest wicket take so far this season didn’t get a bowl as we bowled the opposition out in 28 overs but I’m sure he will be looking to try and catch MP3 up. The opposition finished on 101 all out with 26 runs coming as extras.
We knew chasing 102 we should win and we had plenty of time to get the runs but the pitch proved difficult to bat on. Sandeep and Punit opened but punit played across the line and was out LBW without troubling the scorer. Sandeep was out in similar fashion out LBW. With the score at 9 for 2 off 4 overs Gaurav and I took our time to try and see off their openers. Gaurav played some good shots and was looking in good form but was caught at mid-on for 10. Sid was in next and again was looking solid until their controversial sling bowler came on and pitched one short outside off stump which looked like it was there to cut but it cut back in and clipped the top of off stump. The pitch was proving a minefield to bat on and I was next to fall in similar fashion but this time the slingy bowler managed to get a ball to cut away from me and bowl me out.
At this point we were around 45 for 5 with plenty of overs to go.
Tushar and Ritesh battled it out and looked to survive while picking up any singles available. The runs dried up and Ritesh took a risky single and with a direct hit was run out. Hitesh was next in and with a leg injury was unable to take many quick singles. He did well to get 10 runs as the bowlers were keeping it tight and not allowing H to connect with his big shots. He was caught behind and priory were looking like they were in deep trouble 7 down and still needing 35 odd runs. Tushar played well and the opposition were getting desperate appealing for anything thing and everything but he was eventually bowled for a well played 11 runs. MP3 and KV batted well picking up singles and surviving a few LBW shouts. MP3 played the shot of the innings which was a straight drive down the ground for 4. MP3 was eventually bowled and we were 9 down needing around 12 runs of 4 overs. KB was in at number 11 and with the instructions of block and let KV take the strike he did a good job and played some solid front foot blocks. It was down to 2 runs needed off the final over and KV flicked it onto the leg side to score the winning runs. KV ended up on 18 n.o and KB 1 n.o. It was a real battle to the end and they both did very well to seal the first victory of the summer for PPCC.
It was a scrappy win and there were a few heated moments but we fought our way to the finish line. Let’s hope we can carry on and get another victory next week.