On a hot Saturday afternoon Ricky 4th’s XI set out to finish the season well and win against top of the table Potten End. Unfortunately, captain Prasanth lost the toss and we were put into the field, this left us with a dilemma as the 4th’s had not chased a reasonable score all season.
Hanuman and Prasanth opened the bowling. Hanuman picking up his first with a great ball that was caught behind the stumps by Trigger (was he going to be on a roll after the efforts of the leaping ‘Atkins’ salmon the previous week). Only a few overs later Hanuman had their no3 nick one behind and with ‘safe hands’ trigger he was gone. Prasanth at the other end bowling well and unlucky not to get a wicket in his first spell. The first change saw Ketan replaced Prasanth and within his first few overs he bowled their no4 and young Bilal replace Hanuman, unfortunately the oppo’s Keeper had decided it was time to play T20 cricket against the spinners!
Potten End’s No2 and No5 batsmen were both set in which brought about the second change. Callum coming on and after his first over found his rhythm and Prasanth resuming from the other end. Soon Prasanth had the danger man bowled and the hopes were lifted once again amongst the Ricky Fielders. Callum continued his spell and was able to pick up his first wicket. the catch was taken by ‘Butter Fingers’ Neil much to the surprise of his team-mates! As throughout the season he has been dogged by the failure to close his hands in time... Speaking of Neil he came on and bowled a majestic line and length, turning back the clock to yesteryear! He even got a wicket although the batsman just misread the ball! Hanuman returned to finish his overs picking up another wicket caught by Neil (he was having a fine day!). Callum then saw their no8 loft one to Prasanth who saw the ball safely into his hands, and then Callum then trapped no2 lbw after he reached his 50.
Bilal returned to replace Callum and bowled much straighter with the batsman nicking the ball to Trigger who throughout the game was looking good but couldn't hold onto this one. Eventually the innings came to an end after a mix up from the batsman and a direct hit from Callum for the run out.
Ricky had pulled the game back because at 22 overs Potten End were 130-3 and at 40 overs they were all out for 191, a fine effort with the ball.
Now the part of the game that Ricky 4ths usually struggle with, chasing a score. An OK start, managing to score well off the first 2 overs but then in the 3rd over disaster as the umpire gave Ubaid LBW when he was half way down the track and going miles down leg, was this the start of how it was going to be today? Then the ball after Faraz was caught in the slips, you have to say that this was a reactionary catch but very good all the same. Unlucky for Faraz as he always scores valuable runs for the team. Rushil and Trigger were now together, unfortunately this partnership only lasted a couple of balls as Trigger got a straight one that cleaned his stumps. Tom then joined Rushil at the crease with the task of surviving the opening bowlers. They managed to get through the openers and add another 30 runs to the total. We got to 37-3 until Tom played a lofted shot that didn’t quite hit the middle and was caught but he had played some lovely shots and got through the opening bowlers. Bilal joined Rushil at the crease scoring some very good runs with the extras helping along the way. We were 74-4 when Bilal played an uppish shot to point and his 14 runs were huge contribution at this point.
Two batsmen who were looking to end the season as second top scorer were now at the crease, Neil and Rushil with Neil scoring a 4 off his first shot; not something we see from Ricky 4th’s ‘The Wall’ too often. DRINKS Break, this would prove to be Rushil’s undoing who was then immediately on the resumption of play trapped LBW, but he played an important innings to steady the ship. Hanuman went in to try and score some runs. But as he started scoring Neil found al top edge for an easy return catch for the bowler. Enter Prasanth the 4th’s top scorer, could he be the one to take us over the line? He and Hanuman made sure that Potten End were quiet in field as they got on with the job Prasanth scoring 34 until his bottom hand lifted one straight to the fielder. Next batsman was Ketan and only a couple of balls later Hanuman too was out. Final batsman Callum was in requiring 40 runs for the win, this was not to be as Callum misjudged a full straight one from the Potten End senior spinner and was bowled. All out for 153, 38 runs short of what would have been a deserved victory.
Ricky had lost the final game of the season but knew that there were contributing factors in a game of What if’s. Next season Ricky 4’s will go again, better, stronger and wiser. Well Played to everyone massive team effort all season.