2s END GREENFIELD HOODOO IN ANOTHER TOP WEEKEND
On a weekend which saw most Saturday games lost to rain, the 2s managed to fit in 2 games of contrasting style. A hard fought 2 point draw with Springhead on Saturday was followed by a crushing 90 run defeat of perennial bogey side Greenfield in one of the best team performances of the season.
Saturday's heavy early afternoon rain meant a delayed start at the Meadows, with both sides keen to play despite the wet underfoot conditions. Having won the toss Watty inserted the visitors, hoping to knock them over before the rains returned. As it happened, the delays and loss to the weather potentially saved the side and earned 2 valuable points. It was a reunion for the ages, with Doc playing his first 2nd XI game since 1989 and Rowdy back in the ranks for the first time in years! With resources stretched thin, it was all hands on deck. Despite two quick wickets for Paul, the Springhead batters went after Watty and Mahmood and at 50-2 looked handily placed. Some very tight bowling was offset by some calculated batting from Leesy and the tail, and after 34 overs of toil which ultimately finished at 10 past 6, the Springhead innings closed on 108-8. Doc had somehow creaked through 17 overs, taking 5-33, while Mahmood picked up 3 late wickets.
A total of 109 should have ben easy to chase, but with conditions perfectly suiting the Springhead attack, the Totts boys exhibited a collective mare of a batting performance early on. After 13 overs we were 30-7, and staring down the barrel of a horror defeat. Leesy and Nathan had put the ball on the right place and with a mix of some good deliveries and indescribably poor shots, the top order had capitulated. Thankfully Rowdy and Mick Jones then proved that experience and calm heads were enough to save the day, batting through nearly 16 overs together to take us to 57-7 before time ran out and we ended up with 2 points each. The game was played in cracking spirit, and much kudos to the Springhead lads who put us under loads of pressure - that Leesy still has it!
Despite starting half an hour late to allow the run ups to dry, the day at Greenfield turnd into a bit of a scorcher, both on and off the pitch. In what must be the prettiest ground in all the league, the Totts boys were bizarrely put into bat on a nice wicket. After a very careful start, which saw us inch to 35-2 off 12 overs, Mahmood and Ry Marsh then cut loose. Mr Adidas was in prime form, belting 16 off one over to get us moving, and then Ry had a personal duel with one of the Greenfield bowlers who chose to bowl shorter and shorter and get angrier and angrier as Ry bashed him for several sixes. The best was saved to take young Marshy to 50, a towering straight 6 over the pavilion that had everyone looking on in disbelief.
Both batsmen departed after excellent half centuires, and it was left to the experience of Doc (24 no) and the belligerence of Watty (20 no) to steer us to 177-4 in our 40 overs, a total that looked pretty competitive, despite the emergence of a rather hot sun!
After enjoying the usual magnificent Greenfield tea, it was time to do it in the field. Ryan Stoney and Farhan were given the job of opening up, and with the Greenfield top order clearly in a hurry to play some wild shots, wickets fell quickly. Both openers were bowling plenty of balls in the right area and with a couple of deliveries misbehaving you could see the doubt grow in the batters' minds. They tried to play too many big shots, and when the skipper fell to Farhan, the home side were 34-4 and starting to crumble. The number 5 played extremely well from that point, the one player to show both technique and application, but with Doc on to tighten the screw and Mahmood to tease the batters into playing shots, wickets carried on coming. Mahmood took a few lusty blows in his first 3 overs but as soon as he nabbed the 5th wicket, the innings capitualted, with the last 6 wickets coming in aroudn 8 overs to leave the home side 80 all out, and securing 5 points for the 2s. Mahmood added 6-24 to his earlier 52 to fully deserve the man of the match.
Special mention must go to the fielding, which was as good a collective display as you'd want to see. Everyone on their toes, some memorable stops from Crabbers and Ry Marsh in particular, assured catching from Stoney and Dan Ashburner, and cracking team spirit from all 11. Well done lads, a great day out.