Sat 7th August 2010
Saxton A (6) v Bramhope A (1)
Saxton A won by 9 runs
Saxton A 186/9
Bramhope A 177 all out
Some say that catches win matches
Others say that I have two sets of knees and am confused by stairs!
Whichever is the case, your correspondent witnessed from close quarters clear evidence that the former is not always the case.
More of this later dear reader as we delve into the mysterious world of Wetherby League 5th division cricket.
The "Young" Gaffer after some deliberation decided to insert Bramhope on a damp pitch that must have given hope to their bowlers. Ned Sprouston and Mike Kershaw bowled well as Saxton's openers toiled away in the early sunshine. Cries of "Bring back Crooksy all is forgiven" were heard from the Western Terrace but all to no avail. The openers continued to toil........putting on 50 for the first wicket.
Two run outs later the Bramhope team began to smell blood and when Dave Buck walked after he knicked to the keeper only to be called back by the umpire for a no ball the atmosphere grew just a little tense. Next up was "Denno" looking to build an innings and to become the architect of a defendable total. After a number of shots designed to obliterate the ball completely he finally did ; hitting the shot of the day through extra cover for four. Some overs later he also had a go at destroying the sight screen and ended up with a top score of 49. Bramhope's contribution of 45 extras was Saxton's second highest scorer but the tail also wagged with Ed, Hannah and Pete Snowdon all making contributions for a total of 186.
Tea was taken and the clouds opened, freshening the wicket enough for opening bowler Hannah Buck to have 4 catches dropped in the space of 6 overs. Your correspondent will not name the guilty parties but you know who you are and so does Hannah!! I do not have the words to describe the look on the Young Gaffer's face as these events unfolded before his eyes. I cannot begin to describe, dear reader, the look of agony, dejection, and sheer frustration that contorted his face .....so I wont bother!
At this point that well known saying from Raymond Illingworth the Yorkshire and England Captain springs to mind ..."A captain needs the patience of a Saint, the diplomacy of an ambassador, the compassion of a social worker and the skin of a rhino" Oh well one out of four ain't bad Ian.
The Bramhope openers got the reward for these fielding efforts moving on rapidly to 48 for 1.
Kershaw then piles on the pressure moving the score on - 90 for 1 in the blink of an eye.
Then a moment of controversy. Ned gets a nick - the ball lodges in his pad or does it? Is the ball dead? Has he touched the ball with his hand? Who was on the grassy knoll? Like the assassination of JFK will we ever know the truth of the matter? Two completely different versions of the same event.. Cries of "Howzat" explode in the still, expectant air of the late afternoon.
The umpire makes his decision and....... the batsman departs reluctantly to the pavilion. This was followed by a number of protestations from the outgoing batsman that I do not wish to report - sufficed to say that he did not join the Saxton team for an after match pint at the Greyhound.
But the game continues - as James Deane comes to the party (a Rebel with a Cause!) with a breakthrough wicket - bowling Kershaw for 36.
After 8 overs of his own and a wicket, the Young Gaffer turns to experience in the shape of John and Pete Snowdon. Old heads on old shoulders as batsmen are teased out by accurate bowling and a masterclass in the black art of slow bowling. Suddenly the fielding is as sharp as a scalpel glistening in the remains of the day . Hannah Buck at gulley, Jamie Baxter like a whippet on the boundary edge, James Deane all reflex and contortion. Bob Hills taking the catch of the day at long on resembling a proud salmon leaping for freedom oh and catching the ball as well.
And so to the final overs - Hannah Buck is brought back on and with runs at a premium and 8 wickets down she bowls 3 wides in her first over. "Patience skipper" an old hand mutters and so it was that in her next the batsman's middle stump goes flying. One wicket needed and skipper Gilks hits a 4 - just 8 to win. The Western terrace goes silent for the first time in living memory - collectively holding its breath. Buck sends down a yorker taking out the middle stump and the game is won.