24th July 2010
Crossgates (0) v Saxton (6)
Saxton won by 62 runs
Saxton 206 all out (Steve Hutton 54, Steven Harrison 44, Jamie Fenech 6/42)
Crossgates 144 all out (Matthew Hatherley 62)
After a massively important victory last week, Saxton faced an equally crucially game against bottom of the table Cross Gates, a game made even more important by the decision in midweek to keep the existing League Structure for the 2011 season. The only change to the team line up saw the surprisingly smiley Jamie Winter returning after a successful personality transplant in place of the holidaying Jimmy Deane.
In a sight not seen since late 1991, the skipper finally perfected his tossing technique and was subsequently able to call correctly, choosing to bat first on a sticky and humid day. Like in the previous week the unchanged opening pair of the skipper and Steve Harrison managed to not only survive the first ten overs, but also score at a steady rate to give the away side the early edge. Unfortunately, as is usually the case wickets started to fall with the skipper the first to go for 20 odd, mistiming a flick to the fielder at short Mid Wicket, and Potter following soon after. Despite a positive start, Jamie W was only able to get into double figures before attempting one heave too many and only succeeding in finding the Cover fielder. 60 for 3 and work to do.
In walked Wraggy, fresh from a recent stint playing a drinking straw in a Tango advert. After a solid few overs unfortunately key man Harrison departed for a well made 44, to be replaced by previously out of form Steve Hutton. However, in typical Steve fashion, form and previous scores don't seem to really count for much. So much so that not much more than four overs later, or at least it felt that way, the Skipper, Smokey, and the other Steve H were amazed to find that he'd already reached 38...without actually running more than once, in a display of brute strength and power. Not much time later he had reached a well deserved and very important half century to take Saxton to 130 for 3, and in prime position to make a matchwinning total.
This is Saxton however, and nothing seems to go quite how it should. First to go Wraggy, although I really can't remember how, possibly blown onto his own stumps by a brisk north-westerly breeze, with Steve H then departing a matter of balls later for 58 after mistiming another mammoth swing. When DC fell without troubling the scorers, it was left to Dog Boy to help Smokey pad up and hurry to the crease. Not that he was able to last very long, although did manage to nearly decapitate the Cross Gates Captain in the process of getting out. There's been a lot of firsts this season, Dunc's first stage win at Crufts, several of the younger lads first sexual experience (a couple possibly with each other), Steve's first coin toss victory since the days of Right Said Fred, Wookie's first 4th wedding anniversary, but I never thought i'd say the following for the first time.....thanks goodness for Rory Coe. With a mixture of beligerence and some fantastic cricket strokes young Coe managed to rescue the Saxton innings, with help from Oringe (pictured below) providing valuable support, despite taken longer than Steve H did to reach 50, to get off the mark. Mr Buck would have been truly proud.
Thanks in the main to Rory who ended up with a priceless 38, Saxton were able to reach the double century mark, finishing with 206 from 43 overs. In the end a pretty decent effort on a track which offered some assistance to the bowlers. After a reasonable tea and discussion about Lennox's latest sexually transmitted disease, Saxton went out quietly confident of taking the 9 wickets (Cross Gates only having 10 men) needed to secure another very important 6 points.
Despite an early breakthrough, with DC having the home team captain caught behind twice by a rather animated Smokey, in an almost unplayable 4 over spell, Cross Gates were able to race to 89 for 1 from 12 or so overs, with Dog boy unable to find his rhythm for the first time for a number of weeks. Despite a really good spell from Rory, it looked like the game was going away from Saxton until the home team opener after a previously umblemished half century had a momentary abberation, which duly cost him his wicket, courtesy of an LBW decision to the Skipper, despite prostestations that the ball hit his glove. As is usually the case, one brings two so to speak, so it was no surpise when Rory got a deserved wicket a couple of overs later after a well taken catch by Wraggy at Mid Off.
From this point on, and despite missed chances by both Smokey and Jamie W and an obdurate innings from the Cross Gates number 5 and brief late flurry from the number 6, Saxton never really lost control of the game, mainly thanks to another tight spell from DC which brought the wicket of the aforementioned number 5 (despite a strong hint of a 'bunk' ball) and a destructive and disciplined spell at the other end from JP, who perhaps deserved more than the 2 wickets he got. The 8th wicket came courtesy of a run out thanks to a sensible piece of outfielding from Jamie....another first. The only real thing now standing between Saxton and victory was the weather, with the skies starting to open and the clouds becoming increasingly darker. It was therefore quite surprising that when the last batsman ran down the wicket to the Skipper's first ball to give Smokey a regulation stumping. Still. we weren't complaining.
Not a great performance all round, but sometimes the result is the only thing that matters. 6 vital points.
So onto the Manston for a couple of celebratory pints, which saw Smokey 'make up' with the Umpire, and Richard, Saxton's adopted Umpire who had popped by to watch the last few overs, singing Rory's praises, and in fact taking it one step further and stating what a good looking young lad he was (they say you need to be blind to be an Umpire). Its never dull at Saxton.
See you next week for more fun, games and a bit of cricket thrown in.