Chris Savory
Fun in the sunPDFPrintE-mail
Thursday, 12 May 2016 18:27
Written by Chris Savory


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Beechwood welcomed new opposition in the form of Loose And Leeds (or as I kept referring to them, "Loose Leaf Tea", in my absent-mindedness - too much time with KHM methinks) for their most recent fixture. In the build-up, once again we had to delve into the shadow squad to bring our numbers up to the full complement; something our opposition were unable to do, arriving with just nine players. It would be nice to occasionally have a squad to pick from rather than continually augment, but there you go...our thanks go out to Mark Leadon and Dave Lockey for stepping in on this occasion.

Beechwood won the toss and elected to bat and went ahead with an experimental batting order in light of our visitors' short-handedness, and so it was that Ian Mac and Russ opened up. Almost put on a fifty stand as well, albeit with a life or two thrown in, but with the score on 49, a smart catch from Joubert behind square brought about Ian's demise. Almost brought about mine as well, as the fielder, in an effort to get the ball back to the standing umpire, hurled it as the proverbial crow flies and flat - seemingly unconcerned that yours truly at square-leg umpire might be in its path! "By a whisker" is the term one might have used. (And yes, we'll gloss over my felling of an ump last season).

Russell then became a victim of the pavilion end sight-screen being shipwrecked out at long-on, failing to pick up a full toss which dipped and crashed into his stumps' base, out for a well-made 30. This brought together Brad, promoted to three, and Fraser, demoted to four (Daniil Kvyat-like, as he put it) but at least it allowed Fraser some time in the middle, and this pair would go on to make a century stand with some fine stroke play and the odd lusty blow. Both batsmen departed with our score on 156, Fraser having made 40 and Brad retiring after bringing up his half-century. Dave had some fun in the middle, having little difficulty putting bat to ball and teasing their fielders at the same time, surviving a few shelled 'barbies' along the way, (Ian must have looked on ruefully) before unfortunately playing on. A quick cameo from Rob, who'd shepherded Dave's innings well, before his leg-before issues returned to haunt him, and Keith, after last week’s heroics, didn't quite go from hero to zero but he only went one better!

Just time for Mark, who'd hung around with the previous pair, and Steve to accelerate in the latter overs with no visible disparity in their fitness, and propel Beechwood towards their closing total of 217-8 from 41.2 overs. A decent total for certain, with the only disappointment perhaps that wickets seemed to fall in clusters but otherwise it was handy time in the middle for most...except for the skipper!!...needs rectifying before the tour... A pat on the back for those who volunteered to field for the oppo on what was quite easily the warmest day of the year so far. Literally frostbite to sunstroke in a fortnight...

I reckon Rob might have infused his sandwich fillings with ginseng or something because after the tea interval, having been asked to open the bowling, I suddenly had the strength to bowl full tosses again - regularly! Rob himself was bowling tidily enough from the other end fortunately, and the opening batsmen weren't exactly getting away, and when I eventually managed to bowl a straight one, the batsman duly missed to put us on the board. Rob weighed in with a couple of wickets as well and L&L were restricted to 24-3. The next pair managed to put on a 50 run partnership with yours truly still unable to land a leg-break, (supposedly my day-job) forcing me to give the skipper the cut-throat signal before he gave it to me! Dave had a quick whirl from the far end and Fraser was introduced in place of me. Fraser also initially had trouble locating his radar, but eventually settled into a decent rhythm and Steve replaced Dave and bowled well again, although once again not all of his wickets were taken with his best balls!! Fraser and Steve broke L&L's spine before Ian Mac was introduced to bring the innings to a close, (courtesy of a KHM stumping!) our opponents falling just one run short of three figures (two players short lest we forget).

In spite of their relatively low score and the winning margin, L&L put up some plucky resistance and it'll be interesting to face them again when having a full complement, and played in great spirits throughout the afternoon. Thanks again to Dave and Mark for helping out and playing their part and predictably putting us to shame with their enthusiasm and athleticism, Dave in particular having a blinder at mid-wicket, almost Kante-like in the amount of ground he covered! An enjoyable afternoon out in the sunshine for a change then... long may it continue...

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 May 2016 18:36

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