Bowlers become batting heroes in gritty tail-end defence against Bovingdon
Blackburn spins Ricky record on it's head
The euphoric memories of a grinding win the previous weekend prompted a confident Ricky to put the opposition in to bat once again - hoping to capitalise on big points to catapult into the top half of the table.
Another sketchy start from the opposition, with numerous scoops in the air - mostly half chances at best, you got the feeling that it was going to take another effort in the field!
Maj and Funge created chances but the Bovingdon opener (J Blackburn 117) continued to find boundaries regularly..the pressure was on one min and off the next. Freddie at first change brought in his usual energy and ideas to the field, but unfortunately the opening BATS were set and the slow wicket didn't offer enough to the fervour and zeal of the left arm. After a 128/0 start - the rest of the innings can be concisely summarised as:
Zaf and Maz took over...brothers in arms @ opposite ends, slowing the proceedings and picking up wickets. Zaf deserves a special call out for his spell @ 2/38 in 15, too stuff! Maz (2), Maj (1), Matt (1) all put their head down to scrape a few points for bowling .
Now, it was time for our batting to deliver on our decision to chase and bag the 30. After a cautious start to a pretty straight bowling line Maz fell for an uncharacteristic shot away from the body, caught in slips. Taz walked in with intent to build on the much needed platform upfront with Hailey who was timing the ball well and shaping up for a big one! After a steady and solid 50 run partnership Taz was undone - a soft dismissal, trying to glance down an outside of leg line (following a string of leg side leaves to what would be wides in the preferred format of the game).
Hailey continued some lovely free flowing ground shots however quick dismissals of Waqas (to a genuinely top class catch!), continued to build the pressure, which ultimately led to another soft dismissal with Hailey (36) driving a direct ball to a straightest mid-on.
The not-so-little master, now endearingly referred to as T by us all, was now in the middle taking on the opposition and their incessant chirp - combining sensible defending with effortless "long range" shot making. It was a pleasure to watch a measured innings of 44, which ended when Tahir played on to a good length ball in an effort to square drive. Maj, after a few mighty blows and then Coops, departed, to put Ricky precariously close to a negative result.
However........take a BOW to Billy and Zaf, who stood the torrent of all kinds of bowling plans, for nearly 48 deliveries, amidst a side desperate to talk their way to a win - to pull off a very desirable draw at the end! Not the best result, but a comforting draw that (hopefully) avoided blemishing our club's otherwise winning weekend!!