Chris Savory
Pilots force a crash landing for BeechwoodPDFPrintE-mail
Wednesday, 23 May 2018 19:00
Written by Chris Savory
Sunday 20 May 2018

Orchard Field, Otford

Beechwood 163 for 5 (40 overs)

Old Pilotonians 164 for 4 (24.3 overs)

Pilots win by six wickets| Full scorecard

Greetings. Just a few lines this week on Sunday's hosting of our old mates Old Pilotonians CC, mainly because I was only present for two thirds of the match and partly because the visitors required not too many of their allotted overs in chasing down their target! Still, the sun shone brightly for a glorious afternoon's cricket which was the main thing.

As is often the case, it was decided upon to stage a 40-40 event for this fixture and Pilots won the toss and inserted their hosts. After the recent famine of members' availability, this week a whopping 13 of us were ripe to be picked from causing a different kind of selection headache, although some of us weren't too slow in putting up their hands to step aside. When the culling was over it meant welcome returns for Dean and Ashley, after his spring break, and a finally a welcome long-awaited debut for Pierre Smit.

I wasn't present for the opening partnership of 74 between Dean and Adrian but it gave Beechwood a platform to build upon but once Dean departed, a stellar cast of Russ, Fraser and Pierre could only muster eleven runs between them and with Adrian following soon after for 75, it meant Beechwood had stumbled along to 118-5.

Fortunately, the Councillor and the deputy headmaster got together and took up the cudgels of responsibility and Larry and Mark guided the hosts up to 163-5 from their 40 overs with Farid being the pick of Pilots' bowlers with 3-32 off 8. As I alluded to, I didn't see a lot of this action so apologies for relying purely on stats but I did notice we had a run-out in there... Beechwood DO love a run-out! A potentially competitive score then, although it's interesting to note that it was practically identical to the previous season's total (165-6) in the corresponding fixture; on that occasion Pilots required 35 overs to chase down their hosts total, could Beechwood tighten the screws twelve months on?

The answer would soon be apparent as Pilots went off like a train in their reply, Lippington and Austin putting the bowlers to the sword with only Fraser keeping things pretty tight first up. Things could have been different however had three catches been taken in the outfield during this partnership, none of which were straightforward it has to be said although paradoxically,

Beechwood would later cling on to two far less straightforward ones but that's the game I suppose. Pierre did manage to snare three wickets on debut eventually, one of which was a catch beautifully judged by The DoC in unfamiliar territory at wide long-on, but the opening bats had already done most of the damage by then.

Following a quick cameo from Bevis, the Pilots were all but home and hosed when a Mark Leadon special (goalie style) gave Fraser a deserved wicket to dismiss Sheppard with the scores level. There then followed a brief interlude as those in the hutch were ready for their showers but eventually new bat Cooke would tuck his second ball around the corner to steer the visitors home with a mere 25 or so overs remaining and just four wickets down. If not quite a trouncing, it was still a resounding victory for the Pilots, but still an enjoyable match against our old friends.

Great to see so much support for Beechwood - from all generations - and also a huge nod of thanks to Anthony from Pilots and our very own Sean Cowell for officiating the entire match. A timely point to gently remind Beechwoodians, as I occasionally do, to remember the line between showing disappointment and dissent when it comes to accepting umpiring decisions, be they from ours, theirs or neutral... A gentle reminder - for now...

Just a final line on behalf of all at the club to wish Brad a speedy recovery following his surgery... Hope to see you in whites again soon.

Last Updated on Monday, 04 June 2018 19:59

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