One Swallow Doesn’t Make A Summer
By John Richardson
The old problem reappeared this week as Milford failed to stop the runs flow.
In last week match report I hoped our unexpected win over league leaders Garforth PC had meant we had managed to stop leaking runs when bowling, unfortunately this weeks performance didn’t back that up.
They say stats never lie but if you look at our website it states our average performance is 192 for 7 against 188 for 7, so we should have won more than we have lost. Sadly that is not the case having won on 5 of the 18 matches we have played. So when we win, we win big and when we loose it’s pretty close.
This week was another classic example, Scholes were the visitors this week, a team we hammered in the first game of the season. Once again we failed to stop their batsmen scoring freely and their 277 was 30 to 40 more than they should have scored.
There were two changes from last weeks winning team, Stuart Morley returning for Pete Batty and Rich Taylor in for Alex Ward who was away visiting Lourdes. The weather once again was bright & sunny, just a blustery WSW wind taking the edge of the temperature. Milford skipper Paul Hebden lost the toss and Scholes decided they fancied a bat.
The opening pair of Sri Lankan Danusha Ranasinghe and Dan Whitehead got Scholes of to the perfect start with a 138 run partnership with Ranasinghe taking the lead. The boundaries started to flow and just when he looked set for a century he holed out to Harry Jackson at deep square leg after smacking James Bramley for 22 in five balls. To James’s credit it didn’t knock his confidence and he repeated the performance in his next over to dismiss Whitehead.
James was the pick of the Milford bowlers today but once again just missed out on claiming his first ‘Michelle’ (a five for) for the first team. The second Saturday when he got four wickets.
If Milford hoped that removing the Scholes openers was going to slow the visitors down they were very much mistaken and though none of the Scholes middle order went big they all chipped in and the boundaries kept flowing. 200 hundred came up in the 35th over with 5 wickets still in the shed.
Towards the end of the Scholes innings Milford skipper Paul Hebden made what I thought was a strange decision. He brought Ben White on to bowl rather that Sean Nesbitt. Sean had opened the attack with Joe Raynor and though not claiming a wicket his opening 5 overs had gone for only 18 runs. With 7 overs still left of his allowance he could have easily closed the innings from the football ground end. Instead Ben bowled four rather expensive overs, going for 44 which left the visitors the wrong side of 250 from the Milford perspective. Paul did take Ben off before the end but I think the damage had been done, though that is easy to say with hindsight.
In fact Scholes were all out on the last ball of the innings when Matty Paul ran out wicket keeper Chris Bradley for a golden duck. This went along with Matty’s now customary spectacular catch in the slips, I wont mention the drops Matty – oops sorry.
So off we headed for tea with a very challenging total of 277 to chase. It was Joe Barr’s turn to do teas this week, not sure how much of it Joe was responsible for. It seemed he had roped in all the Barr clan and his girlfriend to help. Word of advise Joe, keep Emily her white chocolate chip cookies were fab. Though my personal favorite was the jam sponge sandwich cake. Note to self, stop having cucumber at tea as through out the second innings it comes back to haunt you….
Though a big score 277 is not an impossible target at the Swan Croft, just over a run a ball was required. Unfortunately Milford got behind the run rate early on and never really recovered. Scholes had scored 47 boundaries in their innings where as Milford only managed 36. The big difference been the number of 6’s hit. Scholes thumped 9 compared to our 2. To make up that shortfall we would have to run a lot more between the wickets.
Stu Morley opened the batting with Harry Jackson this week but neither of them could impose themselves on the bowling. Even Ben White didn’t seem to be able to dominate as previous weeks and was bowled by Mike Ford when he was just looking like getting on top. A huge blow. Another knock to the Milford run chase was when Stu had to retire when getting his thumb trapped between bat handle and ball. Very pain full and you could almost hear it throbbing in the pub beer garden later as it swelled up and changed to a lovely purple colour.
Hopes of an unlikely Milford win started to flourish when Joe Barr and Sean Nesbitt joined together for the 4th wicket. Both batsmen getting half centuries, Joe off 41 balls and Sean 49. Sadly just when it looked like these two might see us to the win they both holed out to Mike Ford on the beck side boundary. The loss of these two batsmen really stymied the Milford charge for victory and when Milford skipper Paul Hebden once again failed to clear the boundary the game was up. Stu Morley came back to bat the last over out to deny Scholes the full 6 points but we ended up around 30 runs shy of the target.
So a rather disappointing results which sees Scholes leapfrog us in the table. A week off follows due to the shortened season this year then we end the year with an away game at Thorner and the final match when we play host to title chasing Barwick. I am not predicting anything but I am sure the curry after the last match will be a good one.
“Kill them with success and bury them with a smile.” – Usain Bolt