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Bill Owen XI vs Venturers Wednesday August 5th

Bill Owen XI 157-7 Venturers 158-9

We were all quite surprised when Bill passed on the message that the groundsman was happy for us to play, so we headed to Chew Stoke with some trepidation. It turned out the ground was wet, but we've seen worse and the glorious sunshine that we had for the whole match more than made up for the green wicket and marshiness at the bottom of the slope.

Bill batted first and he and Sara were their usual patient selves. Kevin and Paul opened the bowling and were very effective at preventing scoring and very unlucky at taking wickets. Kevin bowled a ten over spell for just 13 runs, but either couldn't find an edge or the flying slip chances weren't quite grasped (this should perhaps be known as the D.Lee effect - the better you bowl, the fewer wickets you take). Paul, in his six overs, took one for 15, the wicket being Sara's, a powerful pull straight at Nigel who calmly took it. At the 20 over mark, Bill and his colleagues were at 39-2.

Simon took over from Paul and was initially equally as miserly, clean bowling Bill into the bargain. As always with this opposition, though, the middle order are the more powerful hitters. Numbers 3 and 4 got 44 and 50 respectively, most of this between overs 20 and 30. Simon began to get hit and Matt was surprisingly ineffective, going for almost 9 an over. Nigel and Alex W took over and managed to rein in the rampant scoring. Nigel clean bowled the number three resulting in a long drawn out cry from mid-wicket, it turns out that Alastair was happy we had gotten the breakthrough. Alex then had the half-centurion, caught by Kevin taking a good catch halfway to the boundary, and clean bowled his replacement not long afterwards. Alistair caught a good low one off of Nigel with them trying to push the scoring along. All that was left was for Roger to complete a run out that was never a run and they had made 157-7. We had put down several hard chances, a surprise given how strong a team we had, but they gave very few simple chances.

At the interval we found the tea we had lovingly prepared laid out courtesy of those opposition not actively batting. We had all brought enough for ourselves, plus Chris M, so there was plenty to go round and it was all lovely. Sulis once again put to shame.

Our reply was initially as slow as their innings, possibly due to the tea. Fluffy gloved a flyer to the keeper early on and Matt and Tom R continued cautiously. Roger replaced Matt, after he had also been caught, and initially scored only slightly faster. Phippen was bowling his usual irritating line and length (with the odd loose one) - very easy to block, but a pain to hit. The other opening bowler, who had taken the wickets, was replaced by a young lad in a public school hat - never a good sign, and he took 2 for 32 in his overs. Tom was his first victim, for 21 and that took Chris M to the crease. He aided Roger by running very hard (obviously there was plenty of sugar in the food we had brought) and though he only got 5 singles, the run rate shot up. Nigel replaced him and started to clatter the ball around. He and Roger, who made 64 having continued his acceleration after Chris departed, got out in the 34th over leaving us at 141-5. We then remembered that we were English, and collapsed. Nigel had made 29 at almost a run a ball, before the public schoolboy returned for his last over, from the other end, and took a very good caught and bowled. Alastair, Kevin and Alex, at 7, 8 and 9 all came and went very quickly - we lost five wickets for 12 runs (the 37th was a double wicket maiden!). Our confidence that we batted to number 9 was looking foolhardy. Fortunately, though Paul and Simon are always low down the order, they are both capable of calm and sensible batting. We still had almost three overs to make 5 runs. Simon smacked a straight drive for four, leaving Paul just to tickle the ball round the corner for the winning single, a single that was possibly viewable as quite tight given it was to the public schoolboy and he wasn't all that far away.

It was a good match, and we had the better of them for most of it. But for a 10 over patch where they scored very quickly, and a ten over patch where we collapsed very quickly, the other 60 overs were all ours.

Fixtures & Results 2009

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