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Venturers Vs Bradford 39, Thursday July 17th

Venturers 87, Bradford 90-3

We had a strong side in theory. Matt R and Nikhil opened. Matt took a single off the last ball of the first over, and then ran himself out. If he had been sent back at once he might just have survived, but in the two seconds it took Nikhil to get over his astonishment that anybody could be trying to run for that, Matt had passed the point of no return. Chris took a single and Nikhil whacked his first ball to mid-on. Chris and Matt B progressed very slowly for four or five overs, Matt hitting a single boundary. In the eighth over he hit a second four and then self-destructed. Shrey did likewise, and Chris and Richard were left to rebuild from 32-5 after nine overs. They actually did pretty well, but Richard got out to a left-armer who had gone for ten runs in his only previous over, with three overs to go. David managed only leg-byes in the rest of the over. He and Chris managed another eight next over, and the left-armer began the last at 87-5. Dave took a single off the first ball. Chris was bowled by the second. Parth came in and, with only four balls left, hit out immediately, and skyed to cover. The batsmen crossed, so Simon came to the non-striker’s end and Dave faced the hat-trick ball. It struck him on the pad, yielding an easy leg-bye, but Simon called for a second one and Dave was run out at the striker’s end by a considerable distance. Jerzy, our visiting Polish wicket-keeper, wafted at the fifth ball and got only a thin edge on it as it bowled him. Gregory did exactly the same thing to another straight ball and missed outright. We had lost five wickets in five balls, without a hat-trick, for one leg-bye.

We also had not nearly enough runs. Chris cleaned up James Alsop early on but his partner, though barely able to lay a bat on Chris’s bowling, made more progress against Shrey. The new batsman also attempted to attack Shrey but gave Simon a catch. By then, though, they were already a third of the way home, in the fourth over. In Chris’s last over the opener top-edged: Nikhil, Gregory and Jerzy converged on the ball. Gregory called for it, positioned himself competently in the right place, and dropped it. That was that, really. Already at that stage we were more or less sunk, because although the batsman thus reprieved made 70 out of their eventual 90-3, there was still plenty of batting unused and the score was already nearly 50. We would have had trouble defending 89 from 50-3 in the seventh over. We got one more wicket thanks to Richard’s safe hands more than Gregory’s bowling, but we lost with more than five overs to go.

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