Chris Savory
Beechwood snatch a draw from the jaws of victoryPDFPrintE-mail
Monday, 02 May 2011 09:46
Written by Chris Savory

Orchard Field

I'm back in the swing of this reporting caper now, hence it's completed two days late! In fairness a few technical issues thwarted my earlier attempts, not to mention a couple of social ones... A few words about Penshurst Park nee  Buckhurst CC's visit to Otford then. Firstly, flaming April had morphed into gusty May, and a chilly wind it was too, but this at least meant a bit of familiarity regarding proceedings, for example, Ron was back to scoring in his trusty sheepskin  which is always a poignant sight for May. Wind aside, it was at least a glorious looking day though and Otford's deck looked fine. Toss-time, and PPCC's skipper called correctly and had no hesitation in opting to bat first, perhaps sensing that Beechwood's X1 was packed with spinners (just like the good old days!!) and were keen to take advantage of the short railway-side boundary, the second such week that the trains appeared a bit too close for comfort for yours truly!

Racing ahead slightly, I'll reveal that we'd bowled our opposition out inside 32 overs. "Blimey, you've skittled 'em out for nothing." I hear you say... Er, well, not quite, as this was all action cricket, with batsmen aplenty looking to put our bowlers to the sword, and not die wondering about the loss of wickets along the way. Larry made the initial breakthroughs, assisted by Fraser's safe hands and Keith, who to be fair has started the season behind the timbers pretty impressively...whisper it! Roy Axtell and Dave Smith were asserting themselves in the middle of the innings and had pushed Penshurst up to 128 before the latter holed-out to Adrian at long-off - another well-judged catch, then Axtell snuck to Tony low down at slip, and it looked as though Beechwood had broken the spine of their batting.

Penshurst still smited the odd blow here and there though, losing wickets along the way, but they were eventually dismissed for 176, a challenging total considering their relatively short innings. The spin attack of Ian Mac, myself and Onkar ( I remember the days when I used surnames only in these pages; might have made an exception here!) did the necessary damage, yours truly perfecting his art of losing the ball in the sheep-field and picking up a wicket straight away with the (better) replacement ball. Mind you, the last ball that got chucked out certainly wasn't the ball we started with and had 'Fido' written large in crayon on it. With this being my first sight of Onkar bowling, one could only be impressed... those five over spells will soon become fifteen ones methinks/hopes... Also it was a good fielding display from Beechwood; yours truly and his woeful Dave Beasant impersonation notwithstanding.

Tea-time; more bread n' bananas...bit worried about my potassium intake of late, then back down to the nitty-gritty of of Beechwod run chase. Larry appears to have assumed the mantle of Club Professional these days, all this opening the bowling and batting lark, plunging candidates Ade and Tony in the process, and had taken umbrage with regards to my cribbage-board comments made the previous week, and indeed, a few hours later in The Crown, he sought my viewing of this week's scorebook, and yes, I had to be impressed as this time it more closely resembled those miserly judges' scores on "Strictly Come Dancing" with all those fours in there...or dare I say it, it simply resembled his bowling card...only joking Laz! To be fair, I'd expected little less considering the 10-yard on-side boundary and Larry's ability to skank the strike from his unfortunate partner Fraser, who safely negotiated his first ball this week.

A less than impressed Fraser's running was becoming more and more Ranatunga-like in his response to Larry's sixth ball drop and run calls, and nearly came a cropper on more than one occasion as a result. All joking aside though, the boys got us off to a great start, one we shouldn't really have squandered, but it needed a set batsman to go the distance and this we didn't quite achieve. Larry would agree that after playing so well and scoring so freely (44), his dismissal was a little on the tame side, and although Fraser could count himself a little unlucky to be caught at the wicket, we still had plenty of fire-power and nous in the hutch. Ade and Bradley got dismissed though, just as it looked as though they'd mastered Otford's slow and low deck, Adrian probably not use to walking out to the middle on his own, but Burge is another one for whom the term 'die wondering' has no meaning, so I was staggered to learn it took him 24 balls to get off the mark with the bat not getting much use in those 24. A hell of a lot of effort went into those 24 balls needless to say and bets were on as to what would come first: off the mark with a six or off the field with a dislocated shoulder, and Burge had to then suffer the indignity of having the bowler shake his hand when he eventually got off the mark! It's fair to say that a 32-ball 7 won't be a typical Ian Burgess innings this summer! Onkar was our anchor through all of this and a lot of momentum had been lost but when Tony went out to join him at 135-5, victory still looked more than possible although it was going to be tight.

Alas, Tony got untypically bogged down and sent a return catch to a grateful Axtell without troubling the scorers. An undercooked DoC was next in and while it was great to see his trademark flamingo shot it wasn't so great to see his cheeks turn the colour of one as he tried to keep up with both the run-rate and Onkar... it was a very queasy-looking DoC who trudged off the field at the end. With one over remaining Beechwood required nine runs to win and although the first ball was dropped over the boundary for four, the batsmen just couldn't quite scamper enough from the remaining balls and Beechwood sadly fell three runs short in another entertaining game, Onkar finishing on an impressive undefeated 35. A case of what might have been as they say, especially as we received a whopping 42 overs to achieve our goal. Oh well... A quick word of praise to Penshurst for their good playing spirit, to the caterers and the girls for their preparation, Matthew for umpiring again and Bill for his support. Also it was good to see Deano in the pub afterwards, though not so good to see him clean up at the raffle with probably the only ticket he'll buy this summer! Some people...


Sunday 1st May 2011, Orchard Field, Otford Match drawn

Penshurst Bucks




31.2 overs

all out 

42 overs


Savory 4/22

McCrea 3/34

Culhane 2/43

Culhane 41

Gramopadhye 35*

Morris 33

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Last Updated on Saturday, 07 May 2011 01:55

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