OGCC 3XI vs Herriard 2s

OGCC 3XI vs Herriard 2s
31 May 2023

OGCC 3s vs Herriard 2s

11 eager players descended on Long Sutton, ready to get that first 3rd XI win, with only seven players arriving after the meet time. Merlot was covering as captain in the absence of Nick, and settled quickly back into it by losing the toss, I guess old habits die hard. Bruce and Charlie were sent out to open, neither having played any cricket in 2023. The wisdom of such a decision was soon evident as we slipped to 14-2, Bruce (0) lobbing one up to mid-off, and Charlie (4) guiding one to the corden.

Netty and St John were now together and building a partnership through some excellent running between the wickets and liberal use of the slip drive, both perfecting the skill of putting the ball either side of third man. Netty looked to up the scoring with a lovely lofted drive over cover for four. After being fired up by a different interpretation of the laws to the umpire, Netty managed one better by charging down the pitch and launching one over long-off towards the broken Frogbox.

St John (38) finally lost patience and was bowled just before drinks, 80-3, after a well-made innings. Unfortunately we struggled to get going afterwards as both Stenners (3) and Joe (1) were bowled, and Drew (4) kicked a straight one, as we slipped to 102-6. Netty (53) was still going and brought up his well-made half-century, but fell soon after, 129-7.

We were in need of a big partnership to get us to a defendable score, and in Andrew Coulton and Nick Johnson we had a determined pair to get us there. Nick (25 off 13) got the long levers going, hitting three fours and a six through long-off and deep cover. But he got greedy and was bowled trying it again, with Coults (10) bowled without adding more to the score, 160-9. Hursty (3) and Merlot (5*) showed enthusiasm but that wasn’t quite matched by talent, and we were bowled out for 168 with two overs to go.

After an excellent tea provided by Cara, we knew we’d have to bowl well to defend the score. Merlot and Nick opened up and beat the outside edge on numerous occasions, before the skipper found the breakthrough. With the left-hander lofting one towards mid-off, Hursty looked well set to let it over his head for four. With everyone putting their life savings on the ball, Hursty stuck out the paw to take an absolute stunner, 10-1. A shame the frogbox wasn’t working, as he may well have gone more viral than last year.

The skipper turned to Hursty and Coults for another wicket, and the social media sensation struck in his first over. Marais Eras-Hurst nearly took another as the batter launched one up towards Drew at mid-on. Unfortunately Drew was busy sleepwalking, with the awareness of a tranquilised Koala, and the ball landed in front of him. The batter was so concerned that Drew might get hit that he joined us in shouting at him!

Coults started well, beating the opposition for lack of pace and testing their patience. Netty was keen to remind the batters he was there, swinging harder than the batter with one attempted stumping, sending off stump wheeling towards mid wicket.

Hursty (2-28) picked up a second wicket (54-3) but struggled to keep the runs down, and was replaced by Joe VDF. Coults (1-22) got a well deserved wicket with an edge through to Netty. Joe struggled to find his radar while Grease Lightning finished his superb spell, so the skipper turned to Charlie Terry to try and find a breakthrough as a partnership began to build.

CT bowled tightly but couldn’t find the breakthrough, and Merlot (2-25) returned to the attack and cleaned up the well-set number five. Nick (1-34) returned soon after and also picked up a wicket in his first over, as the game approached an exciting conclusion.

Nick and CT continued to keep things tight as Herriard crawled towards the target. CT (1-27) picked up a timely LBW, but Herriard kept going, and the target was down to three to win with two overs to go. Time for vice captain Drew to make himself a hero, bringing himself on and taking a wicket first ball! Unfortunately the hero quickly became zero, as Drew offered up the perfect leg stump full toss that was dispatched to the boundary.

An unfortunate loss, I reckon we’d have won had we got to 175. A very enjoyable game of cricket alongside a fantastic group of people, cricket as it should be. Big thanks to Cara for providing teas, and to Paul Downham for his work preparing an excellent pitch.

Player of the match: Netty Warnakulasuriya - scoring 53 and conceding no byes. Step aside Daniel!

Muppet of the week: Drew Birch