Wake up call for 4’s with first loss of the season
By Ian Thistlewood
The 4’s suffered their first loss of the season when the batters couldn’t chase down a gettable score that was inflated by too many extras. Must try harder.
It’s sometimes beneficial to be reminded that winning is earned, not expected. After a faultless start to the season, with no close games, the 4’s failed to chase 150, and looked like they’d forgotten that winning can sometimes require grit, not just flair.
Winning the toss and electing to bat old friends County Officers looked to set a challenging target. A good bowling and fielding display by CBH heavily restricted the flow of runs, and at the halfway point CCO we’re going at under 3.5 an over. Excellent opening spells by Hari Krishnan and Alex Cotton should, in truth, have won the game for us by restricting CCO’s run rate. When Dave Henson, reborn as a seamer, came on at first change and immediately found his length the going was still tough for the CCO batsmen.
The batsmen hung in there though, and whilst wickets fell, runs slowly started to accumulate. Henson dismissed Mark Romans to an Injudicious Batting Shot for 31 as he was starting to look dangerous, and veteran Tony Collard played watchfully to top score with a crucial 34. Next top scorer? Extras, coming in at 25. 25 in a low scoring game is too many, and whilst not the difference between the sides it compares unfavourably to the 4 extras CCO conceded.
Nonetheless, CCO were all out for 148 in the last ball of their innings, with Alex Cotton and Chris Bell sharing the wickets honours with three apiece, although Hari Krishnan, Dave Henson and Sahil Bareja all bowled economically which in win-lose cricket is just as important.
We’d back ourselves to chase 148 most weeks. We had a strong batting line up. But CCO just played better. They bowled well, held their catches, and we played some ill advised shots. None of the batters really settled in. Sam Smith’s 29 would have won us the game if he’d have hung in for a fifty, MANI PERIYASAMY was set to take us home before he ran himself out for 21. Adam Roberts and Dave Henson both played sensibly but got good balls. Momentum blew the game to CCO and they held their nerve, running out deserved victors when CBH were all out for 104 in the 29th over.
If you’re going to lose at least it’s to a team you get on with, and CCO were simply better than us on the day. Well played.
CBH 9 points
CCO 25 points
Before concluding, a few words about Alan Middleton who passed away on Friday evening. Alan wandered into the club a few years ago, seemingly appearing in a puff of Black Country smoke, and with his Midlands burr offered to umpire. He has since umpired hundreds of game - his spiritual home in the 2’s, but also standing for the Blazers, juniors and also for us.
He came with us to officiate at Maritime once in a bid to stave off umpiring arguments, after a series of ill tempered games previously. He was utterly objective, and completely unflappable. Until it started raining and neither side wanted to come off. Alan just walked off grumbling that we were bananas for playing in the driving rain. He was right, of course: one of many correct decisions Alan took.
He was kind, and thoughtful, and loved cricket like only people who love cricket understand. He never took a penny to umpire, although he’d accept a pint, clink cheers with a twinkle in his eye at the pint well earned, and with that transaction exemplified everything that is right about amateur sport. He’ll be missed: cricket and CBH owe him. Cheers Alan.