Putney Pre-Season Campaign Begins in Beautiful Spa Town

Putney Cricket Club Saturday 1st XI versus Bath

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Putney started their pre-season campaign with a game against Bath Cricket Club in the beautiful surroundings of the spa town.

Putney lost the toss and were asked to field first. With a good pitch, fast outfield and one man having still not arrived it looked like it might be a long afternoon against a highly rated Bath batting line up. Grace and Henshall opened up and bowled tidily, limiting the scoring and allowing the latter to pick up a well deserved wicket. Meanwhile the other opener played and missed consistently even throwing a few edged boundaries into the mix to thoroughly frustrate both bowlers and captain alike who were still down to 10 men at this point, allowing Bath to move to 60-1 after 15 overs.

MacMillan and Middleton came into the attack and started to cause the batsmen problems. Despite Big Mac’s first 2 balls going for 4 he came back to pick up the 2 important wickets of Bath’s 3 and 4 (meant to be their best batsmen). Middleton bowled with no luck and their opener who had already had most of his allocation of luck for the season managed to find more gaps with thick edges that raced to the small boundary.

This brought McCann into the attack. He dismissed the opener and bowled an outstanding spell of 2-29 off 9 to keep Putney in the game. As a wickets also fell at the other end it seemed Putney may be able to really limited Bath to a sub 200 score but 2 of the oppositions very talented youngsters took the game to us and increased the scoring rate substantially. Despite wickets continuing to fall, the runs weren’t quelled and a couple of lusty blows off Middleton in the last over took Bath to 250.

All in all despite some rusty fielding and bowling, the quality of the pitch and the lightning fast outfield meant it was only a slightly above par score. Interestingly when the scorebook was reviewed the day after the game it suggested the innings had lasted 47 overs rather than 45 due to a error by the bath scorer, thisprobabl means our display in the field hadn’t been as mediocre as first thought.

After an excellent tea Patterson and Middleton strode out the crease looking to get Putney off to a good start. They didn’t disappoint and raced to 58-0 from 9 overs, Patterson taking advantage of the fast outfield to get maximum value for his well timed strokes and Middleton dispatching the openering bowlers all around the ground with typical belligerence.

Unfortunately Middleton fell to the first change bowler and this resulted in the run rate starting to fall as Edwards and Patterson tried to build a partnership. When they both fell quickly to leave Putney at 83-3 after 18 overs it seemed Bath had the momentum to take the game away, however they had not seen Damandeep “Bam Bam” Singh play before!

Bath’s best bowler who had been the main reason for the slowing run rate was licking his lips when he beat Bam Bam's tentative defensive shot first up and almost had him LBW, however what followed was to the decisive period of the match. Next ball Bam Bam smashed a full length ball out of the ground, in fact it landed in an electrical compound some 35 metres behind the ground. He followed this with a blistering display of hitting which left Bath in tatters, bringing up his 50 off less than 25 balls and including 5 sixes, 4 fours, 1 two and a few singles. Atkins was the next out and despite only making 6 had shared a partnership of 65 in 6 overs!

At this stage Bath’s young leg spinner started to find his range and picked up the wicket of Ebersohn to add to Atkins who he had previously dismissed. Hughes joined Bam Bam, and watched as Bam Bam carried on his assault until falling to the leggie for 77. It is worth noting he had been at the cease for less than 12 overs hitting 6 sixes and 7 fours.

At this stage Putney were significantly ahead of the run rate needing 60 off the last 15 overs. However when the leggie picked up Grace cheaply the game was well poised with 58 runs needed and 3 wickets remaining. Hughes was joined by Henshall and they batted sensibly seeing off the leggie and picking up important runs off the less threatening bowling. They took Putney to verge of victory when Hughes fell to leave a nervy 15 to win with 2 wickets remaining from 4.3 overs. However McCann strode to the crease and after Henshall had struck an important boundary, Macca launched a big six over mid wicket to seal a 2 wicket win with an over to spare.

It was a great match on a lovely cricket ground between 2 evenly matched teams, this is definitely a fixture we should keep for years to come!!

Thanks to Brian MacMillan and Stu Brennan (former Putney now Bath player) for organising a great day!

Gareth Hughes

July 6, 2009