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Venturers vs UWE Sunday August 19th

UWE 131-9 Venturers 106

So, this was it: the day England would win the Ashes back. We set up a second scoreboard, and the scorers were given a radio and told to keep updating the score from the Oval as well as the score at Sulis. We didn't have long to wait for something to cheer - news that Freddie had run out Ponting came just as we were going out to field.

Nigel and Matt opened the bowling and both soon settled into a good rhythm. Matt's first over saw a "proper wicket" - the ball moving slightly away from the left-handed batter off the pitch, finding the edge and being snaffled at slip by Adam. The inexplicably regular sight this season of "caught Middup, bowled Roberts" also made another appearance before too long, as Chris took a steepler. Nigel then bowled the number 4 for a duck and we were into the middle order.

Unfortunately for us the middle order knuckled down and ground out some runs. Saurabh bowled well from one end but if he did anything wrong it was to get too much turn, and the batters picked up runs on the leg side. One disaster of a long hop did give him a caught and bowled, and after countless appeals he finally picked up an LBW too. From the other end Indy was bowling quickly but getting very little bounce which meant edges bounced before the wicketkeeper and slip. Then he too decided the long hop approach had some merit, the batter agreed, and Nigel took the catch at mid on. Adam replaced Saurabh and bowled tidily, and Chris came on for Indy who had twisted his ankle in the field, bowling an impressive spell at the death (including his customary magic ball to finish off) to limit our Bristolian counterparts to 131-9.

By now Australia were seven down, and we went into tea satisfied with both games of cricket. The Sulis tea was its usual self (no-one tell the cactus kid or there'll be none left for us), but regular updates from the Oval kept our spirits up. There was some confusion at first as Adam's brother's text disagreed with Kevin's radio, but the news was soon confirmed - Harmison wasn't completely useless, and we had won!

Matt and Nigel opened the batting as well as the bowling, much to the chagrin of the Bristol players. The first ball came down, a wide half volley, and Matt decided to take the advice of the fielding side and "give someone else a go", getting a thick edge to gully. Chris came out at number 3 and his eyes too lit up, this time at a wide long hop, which he creamed straight out of the middle of the bat to extra cover, who took a good catch. Two balls gone, 0-2.

Rather than consolidate, Nigel went for the same approach. "They had to go," he kept saying later. "Especially that spinner - he reallyhad to go." And go they did - Nigel picking up 42 from 24 balls before his luck ran out (he had already been dropped twice, to which his response was "those two should have gone too"). After that Kevin was fighting a lone battle, and despite stubborn support from Saurabh and Steve Dent it was just too much for him to do. He managed 43 before being stumped, and our batting quickly subsided. We finished with the injured Indy attempting to club a full toss for six, getting a top edge and being caught behind the wicket, a final example of what we had done all innings - eyes light up, takes wild swing, gets out. We only needed just over 3 an over to begin with, and 2 an over by the end, but only Adam was bowled by a really good ball.

Oh well - at least we won the Ashes!

Fixtures & Results 2009

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