|Wet Soggy Bank Holiday Did Not Deter The Team|
Saturday 1st XI vs Thames Ditton CC
The next round of the league cup kicked off on a Bank Holiday Monday amid the festivities of a country celebrating its heritage and extending it to include everything British. With cricket having it's roots in this country, it was only fitting that the match would provide a great example of why this game is so great. On a rainy weekend with a soft, damp wicket Putney lost the toss and were sent in to bat with a smile from the opposing captain.
A last minute change to the batting lineup was as much a reaction to the conditions as it was to the recent batting collapses. The unfamiliar pair of Devon Ebersohn and Gary Peters were tasked with taking on the new ball. What was to follow was pure grit and determination. The diligent Thames Ditton opening bowlers kept things very tight, rarely giving any opportunity to score. With the resolute start often getting comments from the opposition, Putney wrestled away the upper hand gained from the winning of the toss.
A drying pitch and strong Thames Ditton batting lineup would prove to be a tough test for the Putney bowlers but one that they would pass well. Early wickets had the opposition 41/2 and it could have been 3 or 4 down had chances been taken. A feather edge off Chin Ratnayake (6-1-15-1) got rid of the much vaunted number 4 batsman/keeper and the self proclaimed legend of "He scored a hundred in the last game" went with him accompanied by round of applause for his efforts. Steady partnerships kept Thames Ditton alive but they were slowly slipping away thanks to some great tight bowling from Ian Almond (7-1-34-1) and the aforementioned Chin Ratnayake. An explosive spell from youngster Anmol Chandan (9-0-50-3) took wickets to keep Putney ahead including 3 off no balls! The prize scalp was that of the opener who scored 71 and was the last hope for the oppostion. A well directed fast bouncer from Anmol saw him caught on the boundary. The return of Will Middleton (7.1-1-27-4) saw the last few wickets fall to a combination straight, fast bowling and mischievous slower balls always followed with a smile. The final wicket fell on 204 off 41.1 overs sending Putney through to the next round.
An extremely well paced innings from Putney setup a good total and was followed by bowling consisting of a perfect blend of aggression and restraint to keep Thames Ditton below the required rate and force them to give chances. Four catches put down and 3 wickets of no balls almost cost Putney the game and will need to be minimized in future matches to ensure victory.
There were many notable performances in a great win. GP & Coach's stoic opening stand, the flurry of runs from Bam Bam and Will, the superb bowling from all who got their hands on ball, the conversations about cricket between Owen Hereford and the other team... But in the end Will walked away with it for his power hitting at the end (44), deft bowling (4 wickets) and a season record of 4 catches.
Overall a great performance on the back of two defeats. May the cup run continue