First game of the 2nd XI season entreated a trip to Frensham. Conditions were far from ‘ideal cricketing weather’, a sharp breeze was in force, combined with fairly comprehensive cloud cover which meant that the fielding would not be ideal. New skipper for the season Neil Sampson failed in his first duty to win the toss, and Frensham duly elected to bat first.
Rob ‘Rag n Bone Man” Gregory opened the bowling from the ‘road end’, with his second ball he dismissed the very talented Charman, with an absolute ‘Jaffa’ of a delivery. Pitching on a good length outside off stump it seamed back in to take off stump out the ground, a cracking start to the innings. Rob continued to bowl with great accuracy and pace, dismissing Breddy as well in his first spell. From the other end the young Jack Moseley was chosen to bowl. His left arm over immediately caused problems for both batsmen, with several play and misses and edges through the slip cordon. He bowled very tightly in his first spell of 6 overs only going for 15 runs.
Andy Lang came on in place of RG from the road end. Bowling from the end with the shorter boundary was a hard task, but Langy showed good lines and lengths for his spell of 4-1-22-0. This was topped off when Harrison Ward produced a moment of inspiration at Square Leg. The batsman clipped the ball off his legs towards Harrison and set off for a run. With one stump to aim at Harrison attacked the ball like an Eagle swooping down to catch a field mouse, threw the ball in which then clipped the top of the one stump visible. This being especially important because the batsmen out was the very stubborn Eastwood who had accumulated 23.
Frensham were now on 44-4 Rich “The Veteran” Baker came on to replace Moseley from the other end. Bowling again from left arm over, he continued to add to the pressure Jack had been building from that end. Slight changes in pace and lines caused a magnitude of problems for the batsmen. He then removed the dangerous Farncombe with a beauty of an in-swinging yorker. Finishing with figures of 5-0-22-1. Rav had replaced Langy from the road end, his first ball picking up a wicket resultant of a decent catch by Harrison on the deep midwicket boundary with his feet inches from the rope. Rav finished with figures of 3-0-17-2.
RG came back on from the road end replacing Rav with the score now 95-7. Rob picked up the remaining 3 wickets in 5 balls for 0 runs. This included the possibility of a hat-trick, however the Skip only approved one extra fielder in the slip cordon. Unlike the tradition of the hat-trick ball being a wide. RG was unlucky not to get his hat-trick, a good ball played well by the batsman. Two balls later he got his man finishing with fantastic figures of 5.5-2-12-5. Frensham all out for 95.
The young pairing of James Cavannagh and Ali Wheble opened the batting. Cav was very keen to get the job over and done with as he was very concerned about being late for his ’celebrity dinner date’ with West Ham chairman David Gold. Cav and Ali did exactly what was needed from them, they took their time, didn’t take any unnecessary risks and played each ball as it came. A very mature and confident display from both of them. Ali played the role of accumulator and rotated the strike. Cav was more the aggressor when a bad ball came his way, he made sure to dispatch it, this was extremely evident with three sixes coming in his innings. Cav brought up his 50 with a glorious cover drive. The pair chasing down the total of 96 in 24 overs. Ali unbeaten on 13, Cav 58.
Overall, a fantastic start to the season a great all round performance from every member of the team. This performance shows great promise for the rest of the season, let’s make every week as clinical as this week.