3s vs Sherfield on Loddon
The 3s arrived at Sherfield looking to make it four on the bounce. With Nick away north of the border, Merlot was back with the captaincy and back to losing tosses, the team praying for the classic “good toss to lose”.
Our disappointment at bowling first was short lived, as openers Nick J and Merlot found plenty of movement in the air with the new ball. Nick started erratically, and moaned that he “hates bowling to left handers”. To be fair Nick, the chest-high full toss would have been pretty disastrous to the right hander too! Johnno soon settled and bowled the opener, before nicking off the number three, a glorious three ball duck which saw drop at slip, edge short of slip, feather through to keeper. Cheers.
Merlot started with four consecutive maidens, while Nick continued to wreak havoc with his outswinger as he found another edge through to Netty, 12-3. Merlot conceded his first runs of the day soon after, but did pick up a wicket thanks to the safe hands of a very Sober Alf at cover.
Hursty entered the game and was practically begging the umpire for an LBW, maybe save the exuberant appeals for the straight ones Mark. Johnno was unlucky not to take a fourth as another catch was put down at slip, and finished his superb 8-2-26-3.
Sober Alf was now into the attack and showed that he too could swing a ball as players were brought back into the collinder cordon, with balls continuing to fall short, go over or go between our slips. Hursty was keeping leg slip in the game, but took a wicket with the straight one which the batter opted to kick.
Lightning McCults was into the attack as we looked to remove the big hitting bat. One shot down the ground saw Henry putting his body on the line to save four. Unfortunately Henry wore it below the belt, and was left in a world of trouble, and soon went off the pitch to examine his male area.
With the team down to ten and Henry down to one, and Lizo questioning his chances of having grandchildren, the pressure didn’t stop, as Coults continued to cause problems with his lack of pace. It was the moustachioed Alf who broke the dangerous partnership, thanks to a smart catch at cover from Safi 83-6.
Alfie continued to make things happen, as he picked up a run-out from deep cover, 96-7, but the Sherfield tail continued to wag. A couple of chances landed safely as we struggled to take our chances, and the oppo battled their way back into the game.
Alfie (2-37) picked up another thanks to a superb diving one-handed catch by Hammy at second slip. I think he may have taken your place in the corden for the rest of the season St John!
The skipper rotated through the bowlers as Hursty (8-0-26-1), Billy (4-1-8-0, bowling both leggies and seam-up), and Merlot (7-4-22-1) worked hard for no reward, Sherfield finishing 160-8.
After the latest instalment of bring your own teas saw Alf and Billy cleaning out the local shop of their pies, it was over to Hammy and Safi to start the chase with a bang. Itchy and Scratchy got us off to a positive start, putting away some loose bowling from the opener.
Safi (20) worked a shortish ball straight to leg slip, but Hammy continued the charge, rotating the strike well with Lizo, and depositing the ball to all parts, including one drive down the ground in the region of the displaced Schooling Crown Jewells.
Hammy (37) was well caught at mid-on as he looked to push towards the half century he deserved, to bring Netty to join Lizo. Netty warned his innings would be “short and sweet”, and well and truly delivered, kicking his first ball in front of middle and off. Our resident expert in kicking straight ones was watching from the non-striker's end, and was keen to tell Netty just how plumb it was after the game.
Henry joined his Dad at the crease, with the chat of those watching on the sidelines switching to who was the more likely to run out the other. Unfortunately the pre-Fathers Day barbeque never materialised, though there were some drops, much to the agony of next-in Billy.
The oppo were given a Schooling on seeing home a chase, as Lizo (49*) and Henry (22*) finished things off, to give us the win by seven wickets, and make it four in a row.
Player of the Match: Nick Johnson, wonderful spell of bowling
Muppet of the week: Henry Schooling, for sacrificing his family’s future for the sake of three runs (runs which cost his Dad a half century…)