A lost toss, lightening outfield, hard pitch and short boundary one side suggested a stack of runs. So it was with some surprise to have Old W's at 105 for five, so nearly for six had Mark W hung on to a hard drive at extra. That would have given Mike Henshall three wickets in over.
Putney had got to that position with some graft. Old W were always there with a decent run rate and their number three through looked calmly assured. The shock of two league umpires wore off, especially after Mr de Mel gave four LBW decisions, all very good ones from my view at first slip but I am sure we'd not been unhappy had he only given half of them. Further, he proved volatile, twice changing his mind after having put up his crooked finger of indecision. Sourav Malick's school friend, Jamil, made a great impression opening the bowling, 9-41-3. I cant remember the keeper standing so far back.
But the juice in the pitch evaporated away and Jamil's spell ended. So Old W's number three kept marching on, reaching three figures off only 30 odd overs. How many more could he get? Their number seven added 30 in a hundred partnership and very quickly they had over 250 with 8 overs left and we were on the ropes. On to 152 he went with yet another four, the feller had not given a chance! But next ball, some comedy running met Jamil's smart fielding at extra and he was gone. Their tail folded quickly to Jamil. Rach and Barry had each gone for 33 of two overs, Mike Henshall was not at his most parsimonious (look it up) but still took 4 wickets for 69. Surely, PCC could not be sniffing blood?
Erratic bowling had us at 27 off three overs before Brett W holed out but we were away. Jamil played some great shots for his 41, Shaw chipped in for 31, Mark W played beautifully for a fine fifty, with a deft flick for six over the very longest boundary. We were never behind the run rate but 288 is a hell of a total, would the scoreboard pressure mount? Trevor limped off with a calf strain but once we were over 200, Old W saw defeat for the first time. In the form of Dave Stolp. Dave had kept wicket adeptly but had some byes to make up. In at number 9, he hit a stop score of 64*, putting on fifty with Barry 12*. Dave hit some huge blows, including dislodging roof tiles from the house over looking the Common, stretching the chairman's diplomatic and insurance skills to the full. The runs kept coming, Barry playing with characteristic flamboyance.
And suddenly we were home by three wickets; you wont see many more runs in a day nor too many games where the feller makes a ton and a half and still loses.
Glory days returned to the Lower Common on Sunday.
July 3, 2009