Chris Savory
Pilots pile on the heartbreak for BeechwoodPDFPrintE-mail
Thursday, 25 May 2017 21:30
Written by Chris Savory
Fraser hears the dreaded death-rattle

Full scorecard

Sunday 21 May 2017

Orchard Field, Otford

Beechwood 165 for 6 (40 overs)

Old Pilotonians 166 for 8 (35 overs)

Old Pilotonians won by two wickets

A few lines on our recent defeat at the hands of Old Pilotonians at Otford then. It was an unfamiliar looking although by no means under-strength Pilots XI that we welcomed along to Orchard Field on a glorious afternoon. Pilots won the toss and elected to bowl first on a typical Otford deck, albeit one slightly more centrally located than they've been of late, but that didn't stop another eccentrically flagged off boundary being presented before us.

Another week, another opening pair, this time Dean and Fraser were entrusted to get us off to a steady start and this was just about achieved before Fraser ambitiously drove over one followed almost immediately afterwards by Dean sportingly walking after a faint nick. Dean fortunately didn't have The DoC's camera trained on him for his fateful ball, Fraser wasn't quite so fortunate!!

Beechwood pegged back to 24-2. Adrian and Bradley steered us past 50 before Adrian was bowled by a looping full toss which landed on the bails. Standing umpire Mark initially signalled no-ball before an appeal from the fielding side meant a consultation with the dreaded KHM and he over-ruled Mark and declared the delivery and dismissal legitimate, Ade apparently the victim of his lofty frame. It looked a very close one to those sat far away and a rotten one to have to adjudicate on but Adrian, as you'd expect, took it in his stride...too few Adrians out there.

Russ joined Bradley, who was looking in good touch again, and the tempo was upped accordingly until Bradley didn't quite get one out the screws but was still smartly caught low down behind the bowler's arm by Morris. Mr Morris would become a thorn in Beechwood's side later on with the bat but in all honesty, this could have been the point where the game was turned on its head as Bradley in this form could have easily propelled the home side towards a far more competitive score had he stayed there for a few more overs. This isn't to say that Russ and new bat Tony didn't try their utmost to get us towards that type of score and theirs was by far the most productive partnership of Beechwood's innings, putting on 70 before both perished in their thirties in the final balls of the innings.

Beechwood finished up on around a par score of 165-6, not a bad effort considering the slow nature of the pitch early on but one Pilots would certainly view as within their reach. I don't usually analyse the opposition bowling figures too closely on this page but it's certainly noticeable how tight at least one bowler is able to keep things opening up each week and Pilots kept that sequence going with both their openers, albeit one of them in two spells, conceding just 29 runs in thirteen shared overs and each week tells a similar tale; opposition openers are not bagging loads of wickets or running through us but Beechwood simply haven't been able to get off to a flyer on these early slow decks. I for one, am not advocating chasing being a better option, such an option was out of our hands today anyway, and far be it from the likes of me to stress a preference but it does make fascinating reading - for me anyway, if not yourselves...

Tea. Thanks to Dean and Adrian for their efforts and a huge thank you to Lyn for overseeing things so smoothly after last week's capers.

Fraser and Mark opened up in Pilots reply and Mark got the early breakthrough, cleaning up opener Lipington and was unfortunate, as indeed was Fraser, not have claimed a couple more in this opening passage of play. Opening bat Austin was keen to counter-attack and new bat Choudhar (there's a Simpsons joke in there somewhere) certainly had a good eye but wasn't exactly playing balls on merit and an almost tee-off by numbers approach prompted Fraser's asking of Russ for a deep mid on/mid off umbrella of five fielders! Russ declined and it was an orthodox fielding position which claimed the dangerous Austin when The DoC enticed him to drive at Mark at cover. The DoC was bowling well from the far end, eventually finishing up with a five-for, pinning the erratic but highly effective Choudhar in front and ably assisted by a couple of catches from Ian's safe hands.

Beechwood's problem was that although Pilots had stuttered from 80-1 to 112-6, they'd got their runs at a decent lick with yours truly after a week off finding himself dispatched into the sheep-field once again (this week at least nobody braved facing the gun-toting farmer who owns it to retrieve it) and it meant there was plenty of time for somebody to play sensibly and still get over the line.

Step forward Mr. Austin, looking like he wouldn't be hanging around for long initially, getting his head down and gnawing away at the total. Although Pilots would teeter at 136-8, he along with the positive Kumar down at number ten were able to guide Pilots over the line leaving Beechwood still agonisingly searching for that elusive first win for Russ.

Ian probably sees his new role of coming on as the match nears its end to stave off defeat as a thankless task, closer to purgatory than a feather in his cap, but he like the rest of us will bounce back and that first win surely can't be too far away...can it?!

Credit to our old mates The Pilots for their composure after things looked a little sticky mid-innings and we hope to keep this fixture in future (this was a TBA) and many thanks to Woody for subbing for me in the field in the closing overs after I pulled up lame from jogging to THAT boundary to retrieve another my shirt as well....quite heroic! Bring on Sidcup...

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 May 2017 21:37

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