Chester BH Blazers Over 40s vs Tattenhall Wreckers Over 40s
A very close finish to an excellent game of cricket... and cheese kindly sponsored by Fearnalls
A lovely summer evening awaited the teams at Filkins Lane for what turned out to be a real nail biter! Despite not even playing in the match, skipper Atko managed to lose the toss and the Blazers were invited to bat.
Karl Stedman opened up with stand-in on-field captain Dan Riley and a cautious start up against some tight bowling was injected with some fluency when Dan hit 2 massive straight sixes in the 4th over. Another big over in the 5th but at the cost of Dan's wicket (21) bowled by Steve Johnson. Raj found it difficult to find the boundary and was eventually bowled for 7, which brought Mark Fearnall to the crease. Having got his eye in with a single, he then smashed 2 flat sixes over long on... one of which hit Fleet Towers!. He then ticked the score along nicely with Karlos until a 4 and a 3rd towering 6 forced him to retire on 33* to warm applause from the galleries and the odd murmuring of 'what did he have for breakfast?'. Highly entertaining stuff. 66-2 at half way. Damo in at 5 (bowled by the very accurate James Stratton for 5), then Karl retired and Dil walked past one on 14 having hit 10 runs beautifully down the ground. Chris Baker made a useful 17, including a delightful reverse sweep, then it was left to Neville Liddle and Alex Barr to eek out as many runs as we could from the last couple. Nev was stumped off the last ball of the innings for a run-a-ball 4, with Milky also 4*. 139 the final total... a decent score, but would it be enough?
Robin Fisher and Dilruk Yahathugoda opened the bowling. Fishy went for just 12 runs from his 4 overs and despite gifting the oppo with 4 over throws off Dil, barely put a foot wrong. At the other end, Dil was unlucky not to get a wicket but went for only 20 off his 4. 39-0 off 8 and the Blazers felt they were in the box seat. Then calamity, with Bakes injured after bowling just 5 balls. At the other end Ian Martin's first over went for 9... 63-0 after 10 with John Hope looking well set and Barry Mitchell fluent having replaced the injured Andy Phelan. Game very much on. Milky replaced the injured Bakes and changed the game. Bowling his customary mix-ups and mystery balls he was both hard to hit, but, crucially, picked up 2 key wickets (Mitchell and Hill) and with Hope retiring in the middle of all of that, the game was swinging back the way of the Blazers. 79-2 after 14 became 85-2 after 16 as Milky and Ian finished off their spells brilliantly (Milks 2-16, Ian 0-20 off their 4 overs). Skipper Riley on for the 18th over and smited for a couple of 4s... 105-2. With Dan having bowled the 6th ball of Bakes' over, there was a spare over at the Fleet/town end so Raj was tasked with bowling the 19th. Just 7 off it including a run out (Fisher making amends)... 112-3. Could Tattenhall do it? With Stratton in fluent mood, anything was possible. Dan to bowl the last over, 28 required. 4, 6, 4, which retired Stratton on 33. Crucial. Goodwin in, 3 balls to go. In the slot, good connection... but out! Caught on the boundary well in the increasingly-gloomy conditions by Ian Martin. 2 balls to go, 12 needed - could it be on? No. Dan kept his cool: 2 runs... all over, but a 4 off the last left Tattenhall just 8 short of the winning total - a great game of cricket played in really good spirits against old friends. Some tight bowling at the start and wickets at key times were important as the Blazers sneaked home.
Afterwards, we had a very nice curry with all the trimmings and a lovely cheese board thanks to man of the batting half, Mark Fearnall. Next week is Caldy at home. More cheeeese please.