Ide Hill CC vs Stone CC

You may have already seen the double page spread in the Sunday Times documenting Stone CC’s unprecedented second victory in a row. It was quite a read but I felt they focused too much on the excellent leadership and glossed over many of the finer details. To set the record straight, here’s the official match report.

For those of you who cannot remember the ground, it’s fair to say it’s not the flattest of playing surfaces and this did make for some fun and games especially when running into bowl.

Opening with the usual pairing of Chungy and myself, I was pleased to put last week behind me and get on the board for the year. A respectable 1 for 20 off 6 let you all know the pressure of being vice hasn’t got to me. Chungy on the other hand appeared at first to struggle with the heavy burden that is being last year’s bowler of the year, his first few balls had us all questioning whether he was a one season wonder. Once he had navigated the minefield of the run up area however normal business was resumed and he finished with 2 for 24 off 7.

The first bowling change of the day introduced us to the newest member of the team Darren. I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that his first over didn’t exactly fill anyone with confidence. The contrast between his first few deliveries and the tales of former success had us all thinking he was a bigger bullshitter than Dartsy when he says to the police he was driving at the speed limit. Having overcome the debut nerves however, he soon found his rhythm and ended up with 1 for 15 off 6. Jack bowled very well, tying down an end without any reward and was unlucky to finish 7 overs 0 for 26.

Ruggy started his spell well, picking up the important wicket of the oppo’s main dasher before falling away later on. The final two bowlers were Ryan and Dino, both picking up two wickets apiece. For me the highlight of Scrappy’s 2 for 14 off 6 was the bouncer that nearly killed the poor OAP. Not sure if he even saw it but it didn’t matter, he got that all important touch with the glove and it gave Dartsy the chance to take his second slip corden catch in as many weeks.  Dino wrapped up the innings, producing a rip snorter to clip the top of off stump and finish with impressive figures of 2 for 5 off 4 overs.

Just a word of on our fielding, everyone out there played a huge part in restricting them to the measly total of 130. There wasn’t any easy singles out there, some cracking stops/catches so well done all.

Dino and Glenn were given the responsibility of leading us out to bat. I was full of hope and optimism that they would lay the foundations, knock off 50+ runs and leave the middle order a nice easy job to bring it home. Sadly it wasn’t to be, Glenn was first to go picking out the fielder at midwicket for 8 and despite being out in the middle for what Stumpy said was a long time, Dino was out for 2 runs.

In at 3 and 4 were Stumpy and Paul Semtex. Big congratulations to Paul for scoring his first runs for the club. Very unlucky not to get more but was caught for 5.
With the game very much on a knife edge, Paul’s dismissal brought Darren to the crease. It’s fair to say his batting jelled a lot quicker than his bowling as he smashed his second ball for four. This set the pace for next few overs as Stumpy too started finding the rope with consummate ease. Unfortunately, Stumpy’s innings of 22 was brought to a shuddering halt when he was run out following a direct hit. Some would say it’s unlucky, others would question whether that second run was really on… (remember Darren, his legs are only little).

Dartsy came in at 6 and was immediately on the end of an LBW shout. Luckily he’d managed to walk across his stumps just enough to prevent the dreaded golden duck. A few more LBW shouts later however his luck had run out, caught at mid off for 13.

Darren, now joined by Ruggy, continued his demolition of the bowling attack and after some ‘quick’ counting on Jack’s part was able to raise his bat for a debut 50 whilst the oppo searched for the ball in a neighbouring field.

Ruggy’s innings of 10 would have easily been doubled on any other day on any other pitch and was unlucky to get caught out trying to hit his own maximum. Darren hit the winning runs ending up with 67no and Chungy played for his average with 0no.

Most of us made it for a quick drink down at The Cock Inn, where Darren was announced player of the day. There was some appeal to this decision as he shot off before getting a jug in but we can’t deny it was a stellar effort on debut.

Dartsy was front runner for shitbag of the day after upsetting the locals with some embarrassing and inconsiderate parking but in the end it went to Paul ‘Semtex’ Keenan for abstaining to vote. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the team more united as they were at that particular moment. A harsh lesson maybe but we will not tolerate sitting on the fence at this club.

Festivities continued back at the Malt Shovel for a few more celebratory drinks and a tray of food provided by Neil (we’re onto a winner there). I would apologise to the skipper for the drunken phone call around midnight but let’s face it, we all knew it was coming.

Obviously delighted to have won the game, I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. We are now 2-0 for the season, roll on next week!!