Sat 12 May 2012
Saxton A 100 all out (6) beat Kirk Hammerton A 89 all out (1)
You had to be there.
Dear reader, an old cricketer once said “When you’re batting on a sticky dog get forward and hope for the best.” Actually, that’s not true as I just made it up, but the advice as ever is some value.
One look at the wicket on Saturday, when Saxton hosted Kirk Hammerton, proved this advice to be a universal truth. It was vital therefore that Saxton win the toss and put the opposition in. It was not to be, however, as skipper Cunningham a little shame faced broke the bad news….”Get your pads on boys.” Kirk Hammerton licked their collective lips in anticipation of going through the Saxton batting like a half cooked Chicken Madras on a Saturday night.
And so it proved to be as Jackson and Buck toiled away. Buck in particular was dreadfully unlucky as he got the ball of the day, from Brown, a vicious off cutter that sneaked ankle high under his defence. Hannah Buck went back and was given LBW, Jackson departed on 11 and at 15 for 3 the writing looked to be on the wall. But “Nothing is written” and at last a faint glimmer of hope as skipper Cunningham and Tom Dennison launched a middle order counter attack putting on 27 for the 4th wicket. Matt Shillito ended this defiance, however, with what appeared to be a match winning performance of 5 for 19.
Saxton soon found themselves at 67 for 9 with Tyson and Elliot at the crease. Tom Elliot gave the Saxton skipper some food for thought and must surely get his chance higher up the order based on this performance - scoring an invaluable 12 runs.
Both batters, in a stand of 33, took the initiative and in particular Tyson with a series of shots that defied every page of the coaching manual blasted his way to 18 not out. When later interviewed Tyson declared that during the course of his innings he had discovered a “new” shot. Was it the “Dilshan” or perhaps the reverse sweep – your correspondent can exclusively reveal that it is the “oick” to mid on. And on that bombshell the Saxton innings came to a close. A wise old cricketer predicted before the match, “…that a 100 on this wicket was a very good score.” ……was he to be proved right?
Kitchen and Strover opened the batting for Kirk Hammerton on a wicket that began to dry up too quickly for the liking of the Saxton bowlers, Hannah Buck and Danny Walsh. Saxton’s opening pair bowled good line and length conceding only 22 runs in their combined 14 overs. Strover gave only one chance early in his innings off the bowling of Hannah Buck – a difficult one that could have proved costly. Catches win matches – but Saxton had forgotten this as the ball disappeared through their fingers with alarming regularity. Your correspondent counted them in and counted them not out as one by one the ball inexplicably fell to the ground. The guilty ones will remain anonymous for the moment – you know who you are! However this writer might be less charitable in future installments!
The only redeeming feature was the fielding of Tyson. This player took several “for the team” - one particular ball hitting him straight between the eyes with no apparent ill effects. Your correspondent is unsure if it was his inability to get out of the way of the ball that prompted this level of fielding prowess … I will of course keep you posted.
And so at 60 for 0 chasing 100 with Strover in the 40s batting elegantly and Kitchen providing food for thought and defiance in defence; Kirk Hammerton looked well set for an easy win. The odds were undoubtedly in favour of the batting side.
And so skipper Cunningham, with a haunted and desperate look in his eyes then turned to Buck. A last roll of the dice surely. Suddenly things began to happen - Kitchen who had played and missed a number of times hit a full toss to mid wicket and was caught, Strover came down the wicket and was bowled. A brilliant catch from Cunningham, an LBW, good catches from Gilbertson and Elliot and suddenly the game was alive again with Kirk Hammerton at 84 for 7. At one point Buck, getting carried away, claimed that he had bowled a “Doosra” – complete nonsense of course as you actually need to pitch the ball to bowl this delivery. Getting advice on the black art of spin bowling from Buck is like hiring Dawn French as a dietician or Matt Lucas as a hairstylist.
The tension became unbearable as Tom Elliot was brought back. A stumping quickly followed by a caught and bowled wrapped up the Kirk Hammerton innings with just one ball remaining.
And so you had to be there on the day that a depleted Saxton managed to squeak home past Kirk Hammerton. Many will say “I was there” on the day the sticky dog failed to bite hard enough.