The Windiest Game Ever!
The net was in the car park and the covers blown 3 strips over, getting a fixture in on Saturday seemed an unlikely task with more rain forecast throughout the afternoon. The wind still blew, the first task of the day. Find some bails that where heavy enough to withstand the onslaught. Luckily, the Zingers delivered, and on a green strip The skipper Chalky had done his homework and having decided they were slightly more vulnerable batting first, wasted no time inserting them, 4th Placed AWE Tadley the visitors for the day and first to make use of a hard but green Bourne Wicket. Brenda Bulpitt (1-25) returned to the playing XI giving us a full-strength bowling attack, some deliberation from the think tanks of the team had the SMB opening bowlers switching ends to bowl with and into the wind. Brenda wasted no time in adding to 2019’s wicket tally when a flighted delivery held up in the wind, the opener finding mid-wicket. The old cart horse Clay faced the howling wind from the Bell end, an alien environment in his opening spell. The new ball just nipping off a length. The number 3 played all around a beauty on off stump. The Tadley No.4 drove the moving ball straight to Angry Bummerhands in the covers, defying gravity as he lept into the wind to snaffle a good catch low down. The No.5 followed 2 balls later a plumb LBW and another to Martan.
Some brutal hitting from Shot a Ball No.5 saw a change from both ends as Joe Prodger (2-32) and Alex Aldridge (3-14) were introduced to the attack. Joe struck with his 5th ball a sharp steepling delivery finding the remaining openers outside edge and just carrying to Chalky behind the timbers. Alex didn’t take much longer, the No.5 who still hadn’t played a defensive shot charged down the wicket to a low full toss and hit high to Dave Prodger at long on. Tadley in 58-6 as the rain started to come down. The SMB fielders soon had the covers on and retreated to the shelter of the pavilion for the duration of the 30 min monsoon. Sky now clear, the super sopper was on the square to take off the excess water and play started 10 minutes later. The Doctor spinning a web with 2 wickets in 2 balls. The Hattrick ball however must go down as one of the worse in SMB history, a triple bouncing no ball. Keen to end some late order 10th wicket resistance Martan (4-18) returned to the attack, the Tadley no.11 chopping on to a ball just outside off stump. AWE Tadley all out 95, a top bowling and fielding performance on a difficult day condition wise.
Keen to avoid more disruptions due to the rain the players headed straight back out, the total needed adjusted due to the delay. SMB needing 83 from 31 overs. Both Tadley openers steamed in getting the ball through with good pace. Swifty (8) the first to depart clean bowled, never looking comfortable against the pace and movement of Stead. Chalky (17) having played some sumptuous glances and a back foot drive for 4 at the other end, joined Swifty in the hutch as he managed to get on strike at the other end, his stumps castled first ball as he tried to manoeuvre a straight fast one to leg. Kinger was in for a lucky day clean bowled by a front foot no ball, 2 or 3 overs later he was struck on the pads smack bang in front to another big front foot no ball. Stead the unfortunate Tadley bowler. Dave Prodger (28) looked good as always but managed to find another unusual way to be dismissed, leaving a wide ball outside the off stump which tailed back a good 2 foot to clean him up with the chase all but over. Alex Aldridge (4*) survived an absolute peach of a first ball which cut him in half to see us home with Rob King (12*) just 3 wickets down.
Another top win against a higher placed team, SMB up to 6TH now and that’s 9 wins on the trot! There was a couple of contenders for the Captains vegetable this week, Rocko had several votes for his dog antics but the Skipper felt the deserved winner was the Doctor for his appalling hat trick ball. Hopefully the weather stays fair as SMB travel to bottom of the league Aldershot next Saturday looking for a record equalling 10 wins in a row.
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