Chris Savory
Onkar stands alone to weather Sidcup stormPDFPrintE-mail
Thursday, 01 June 2017 20:00
Written by Chris Savory
Another boundary for Onkar

Full scorecard

Sunday 28 May 2017

Orchard Field, Otford

Sidcup 189 for 7 (42 overs)

Beechwood 151 for 5 (40 overs)

Match drawn

Four games and four defeats wasn't the most confidence boosting record to boast with the imminent arrival of Sidcup to Otford but that's what Beechwood were facing, and it was a rather light on batting XI that made itself available to face them on a pleasant if changeable looking Bank Holiday afternoon. Beechwood were at least boosted by the return of Onkar Gramapadhye for his annual fixture; I filmed his innings in its entirety last season and believe me, it didn't use up too much of my memory card...would today's effort be of similar brevity?! We would have to wait to see however, as VVVC Freeman lost the toss and Sidcup elected to bat on a reasonably centrally located typical Otford deck.

Sidcup opened up with a Bennett father son combination; Bennett Jr. more junior than colt to be fair, but he got into line unflinchingly despite openers Fraser and Mark not holding back... Fraser went some way into proving my waffling of the previous week by producing an opening spell of 9-3-0-10... Otford is not an easy deck to score on first up, especially if you hit your straps and to be honest the zero should certainly have been more but for drops from KHM standing up and an untypical one from Ian at mid-off. Beechwood had also been blessed by David Lockey earning a late call up and his boundless energy was rewarded by effecting the run out of Bennett Jr. soon after Ian's drop. After Mark soon trapped Bennett Sr., Sidcup were able to put together regular 30-40 run partnerships right up until their innings' closure. The deck was ragging by the time the able-bodied spinners got on although The DoC wasn't always using it to assist his dismissals as he extended his front-running total by three more, one to a smart and sharp low-down effort from Ian. He and Onkar also clean bowled a batsman each on the turning deck. Yours truly had earlier toiled away on one leg (the hamstring packed up twenty overs sooner this week) but unfortunately the gammy leg dislodged the bails as Keith effected the stumping of Hart although to be fair, such was the lack of pace that I was able to generate, he probably heard the no-ball call well before giving me the charge. I then contrived to drop the very next ball as it was driven straight back at my shins before another kicking over of the wicket resulted in another no-ball... It'll be interesting to see which skipper issues me with the P45. Tony surprised everybody with his speed as he exited the field of play after copping one on the jaw in the slips, and it allowed VVC Cooksley to oversee the troops for a few overs. Mark was brought back for a second spell for the first time since he was around 13 years old and was rewarded by showing how to take a return catch by dismissing Newman high above his head evoking memories of Dick Guy in his pomp (my effort was a bit more Dave Beasant well past his...).

Sidcup closed their innings on 189-7 after a quickfire undefeated 45 from C. Jerrom, and Onkar showed just how long he'd been away by declaring that "chasing 190 on that deck was nothing" as we all trudged off for tea, although to be fair it usually isn't if Beechwood are defending it... 189 to be fair wasn't too bad a total to concede considering the team is rather ravaged by injuries or Father Time (some of us both, and there were times when fielders changed positions at an over's end that it resembled scenes from a zombie movie) and fortunate to have Messrs Leadon and Lockey perform their salmon and gun-dog impersonations respectively to assist them. I certainly mean no disrespect when I say that I didn't think I'd see the day that Onkar would walk back into our side and lift the fielding, but he stopped pretty much everything and not just those off his own! Both teams crossed the white line literally seconds after some threatening clouds deposited their contents onto the outfield. If there's one thing to take your mind off rainfall during the interval it's knowing Fraser was on tea duty and he didn't disappoint with his offering this week and it has to be said we may have missed a trick by not holding him back for the visit of our touring friends next week...lets just hope they like cocktail sausages... No offence, but!

Obviously such heavy rainfall was bound to have an effect on the second half of the match and it was decided that after a thirty minute delay the full hour and twenty overs would be played; the earlier start time coming in handy here. Full quota or not, it would mean the outfield would now be considerably slower but this was tempered by Sidcup having a damp ball early on. Another week, ANOTHER opening partnership, this time Onkar was promoted to partner the similarly promoted Keith. The obligatory twenty run opening stand was ended after Keith was caught, and you could say four from 23 wasn't a particularly adventurous effort but some accurate bowling on a juiced-up deck certainly didn't assist things out there. I'll cut to the chase, Beechwood failed to chase down their total finishing nearly forty shy of it, in spite of Onkar's prediction, but he alone was responsible for the home side getting anywhere near it, finishing undefeated on 108 as Beechwood finally ended their run of losses. This was an incredibly classy effort, and while others toiled away on the drying surface, he simply kept out the good stuff and put anything loose away for four - twenty times! Obviously he had a life or two, particularly one heroic effort at mid-off in the penultimate over but it was a truly deserved century in the end. He was ably assisted by erm...extras! (19) with only Ian (just) getting into double figures and all Beechwood's other batsmen amassed 24 (!!) between them; as I say, a lone hand in Beechwood's chase.

Despite ending their run of defeats, Beechwood have actually been closer to victory on more than one occasion this season but it will at least serve as a mood-lifter for next weekend. Many thanks and future best wishes to Sidcup for their sporty and sporting effort and for their providing an umpire. Here's hoping Onkar doesn't make himself too long a stranger after this and congratulations to him again on an innings that was a pleasure to watch...  

Time for The Ashes!!

Last Updated on Friday, 02 June 2017 08:16

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