4’s maintain their perfect 25 point average with another crushing win
By Ian Thistlewood
The 4’s once more had reason to be grateful for the change to win-lose cricket, wrapping up a straightforward victory with outstanding performances from Jack McGovern and Jamie Littler.
An odd game that in seasons past would have had us pulling our hair out as an opposition refused to try and chase a total, opting instead to stubbornly bat out for a draw. Except we now play win-lose cricket so refusing to chase a score means you lose. Meaning we got to watch Caldy’s opener bat for 40 overs, carrying his bat for 22* (4 of which came from overthrows) with Caldy finishing 150 runs short of the target we had set, with only three wickets down. One suspects the padded up juniors that were denied a bat won’t be making an entry in their Special Cricketing Moments From My Youth scrapbook for this game. (Everyone has such a scrapbook, right? It’s not weird, right? Well, look, that 12* vs Birkenhead Park when I was 14 was special to me OK!)
We get ahead of ourselves though. Caldy’s skipper Dave Wylde graciously gave us first go on the excellent track after winning the toss, allowing Chester’s batters to take advantage of the true bounce and quick outfield. Ian Thistlewood looked set until he smashed one into point’s midriff for 36, Rob Williams looked as fluent as he has done all season for an excellent 47, Dave Henson batted his way into form with a patient 38*, and Ian Boothroyd did some late overs biffing for 18. The batting honours went to Jack McGovern however. Showing no mercy and cheered on by clan McGovern from the boundary Jack powered to 81 from just 36 balls, including five 4’s and seven 6’s. The only disappointment was that he didn’t secure the century he deserved.
Particular credit to Caldy’s junior opening bowler Tarun Rajun who bowled fast and fielded brilliantly - one to watch.
Chester finished on 256-6 from their 40 overs and would have declared early had the option existed. But it doesn’t.
When chasing a large target as a batting side you can’t win it in the first 10 overs but you can definitely lose it. And thanks to excellent opening spells from young Alex Cotton and wily Hari Krishnan the Caldy openers were quickly behind the required rate. When Martin Pye was first wicket to fall for an excellent 35 in the sixteenth over Caldy were at just 56 - 200 still to go. From that point on the scoring virtually ground to a halt. The next 10 overs bought just 12 runs, and the game was over. Caldy’s opener Mick Scullion was not giving his wicket away - shouldering arms to anything wide, patting back anything straight, not playing a single attacking shot. This was his day to earn a red inker, and one must give credit to any batsman who carries his bat. Even if it means your team inevitably lose and your juniors don’t get a chance to have a bat. A red inker is a red inker and that’s a batsman’s job, right? Right?
Jamie Littler was the pick of the Chester bowlers re-finding his pace and accuracy after his off-season robo-knee operation. 3-15 from his 10 overs with 5 maidens a picture of the game. Hari Krishnan set up the victory for Chester opening the bowling and also conceding just 15 from his ten overs, but criminally without any wickets. Alex Cotton bowled another good 10, but was also left wicketless, as were the other bowlers who tried all manner of deliveries to force a shot. Wasn’t happening. The only chink of light was a super knock from young Tarun Rajun who finished on 19* after coming in at 5 in the 33rd over. Despite his senior partner refusing to give him the strike by turning down singles, Tarun rounded out a great day by playing good cricket shots when he got the chance. Imagine if he’d have had longer to bat.
Caldy finished on 109-3 from their 40 overs.
Chester 25 points, Caldy 7 points.
Chester stay top of their league.
MotM: Jack McLovin for his brutal hitting
DotD: Sam Smith for that overthrow that gifted Caldy’s opener 18% of his runs