The last game of the season saw our 2nd XI at home against Badshot Lea and the home side were looking to finish off the season with a win and to finish highest out of the three 2nd XI teams in the division.
I started the day off in rare style by winning the toss and choosing to bowl first, to the delight of the rest of the team who had rightly so lost all confidence of me winning a coin toss. With some very good bowling from the regular opening pair of Gregory and McBain (1-15), it wasn’t too long before the away side had lost their first wicket falling in the 6th over. Grayshott’s kept the pressure on Badshot, even though the fielding at times was sloppy at best with one or two of the younger players maybe still feeling the effects from a few drinks the night before.
The first wicket saw the formidable Spooner make his way to the crease and from ball one looked to bludgeon the ball to all areas of the ground, with everything coming out of the middle. Before long, Lang (3-29) was introduced and he soon showed why he was the leading wicket taker for the season, taking a couple of quick wickets and looked to have taken the all-important wicket by bowling Spooner, only for it to be deemed a no ball.
The ever reliable Morris in for his first game, showed his years of experience keeping the pressure on at the other end and working well with Lang as the wickets kept falling. Thinking that our chance had passed to remove Spooner, Lang in his final overs had other plans and tossed up a straight one and playing for the spin, Spooner top edged to mid-wicket with Barclay running in and taking a well-judged catch. Barclay (3-29) was introduced at the road end and just like he has on numerous occasions this season, made an impact straight away, bowling Sweet for a duck, on his way to taking three valuable wickets. The last batsperson for Badshot was Shelagh Grey who agreed to help out Badshot and was playing her first game ever.
McBride tried to channel his younger brother Billy and decided to try his hand at spin and I think Shelagh felt sorry for Jac as she chose to hit her own wickets rather than continuing to face Jac’s bowling. A great effort by the team to bowl Badshot out in the 35th over.
After a very enjoyable tea from Alison Ward, the home side looked to knock off these runs without too much trouble. Not to be out done by the tea, Rob Ward (56) set off in blistering style punishing anything slightly loose and the opening bowlers had no answers with the ball disappearing to the boundary at will. Ward was well supported by Lang (17) who worked the ball around and rotated the strike, to not let the bowlers settle and be part of another opening partnership that reached 50 without loss. The loss of Lang, saw the inform Baker come to the crease with about 50 runs more for victory. Ward went soon after and McBain (22*) and Baker (23) all but saw the home side over the line, with Baker falling in the 24th and final over of the match. The match finished in comical circumstances with a quick single to square leg and a wayward throw to the keeper (missing by about 3 meters) going to the far boundary and giving Grayshott the 3 runs needed for victory with a win by 7 wickets.
I would like to thank all 49 players that played for the 2nd XI this season and made my job on a Saturday much easier. There were plenty of positives to come out of the season from new players, to very promising youth players and of course it all won’t happen without the seasoned regulars that are there each week.
Thanks to all the other captains, Graham, Paul, Phil, Sri, Jim, Joan and Gerald for all your help and support throughout the season.