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BaNES Vs Venturers, Tuesday May 15th

BaNES 140-6 Venturers 141-3

We were quite efficient. James P let through more byes than he would have liked, even allowing for the fast outfield, but held on to the one with an edge on it. Ian C went for three fours in an over, conceded another through a misfield and used the Handbook of Australian Insults on himself, but removed the potentially destructive opener before he could do any damage. Jack dropped a difficult catch but won the match with the bat. Gregory, as organiser for the day, supplied the opposition with two batsmen but, as a bowler, took them away again immediately.

Jack captained with some style. It isn’t often that we post two slips, and certainly not in the nineteenth over of a T20 match. Admittedly they were Gregory and Bruce, and thus more for ostentation than use. Scoring is often high at Peasedown because of a short boundary, but that wasn’t really the reason this time. We kept picking up wickets, though. Tom and Ian chipped out one each, Imran two. Ian G, lent to them, predicted that he would get out to the second ball Gregory bowled to him, and did. For the third time this year Gregory bowled somebody and didn’t notice because he was appealing for LBW. Duncan, also lent to them, did the same thing, really LBW, but after James’s catch we made no further progress in terms of wickets. On the other hand they made little further progress in terms of runs. Bruce has become a rather effective death bowler recently, though his figures today were slightly spoilt by an edge for four off the last ball. Abdul wasn’t playing and anyway isn’t too happy with the state of his circular saw after last week’s match, so we went down to Homebase for some good old-fashioned sandpaper. It turns out that the Australians who own the place for some reason don’t want it any more, and they let us have the whole shop for a pound. So, after applying some slug pellets and a little creosote to the orange ball and giving it a few minutes in a rice cooker, Josh got it to swing away from the short boundary quite consistently. In fact it was this that led Jack to post a slip and, after an edge had passed just wide of him, a second one.

Chasing 140 looked like a challenge. Twelve off the first nine balls was the way to start, but then came a succession of increasingly frustrated swishes at balls that thudded into pads or drifted down leg, and eventually one by Rob at a ball that did neither. Aadil, who as a left-hander might have been able to exploit the short boundary from the other end, played almost no shot to his first ball and Chris H gave him out. Aadil looked disappointed, but with himself, not the decision. Meltdown seemed imminent, but Jack was playing very well and BaNES seemed a bit short on bowlers. James missed his first ball, edged his second for a single, and struck his third sweetly to the long boundary. For the rest of his innings he supported Jack sensibly, but we were quite a long way behind the asking rate when, in the tenth over, he tried to turn a straight ball through square leg.

Nine an over didn’t worry Jack. It helped that Josh was able to do more than just turn the strike over, so that there was no need to slog. Usually that wouldn’t stop us slogging. But by now Jack was batting really well, and eventually BaNES tried a quicker bowler since their spinners weren’t getting anywhere. This was a mistake: Jack liked the extra pace and hit two fours, and when some sharp fielding got him off strike, Josh calmly added a third. If we had played out the overs Jack would probably have got a hundred. As it was, he was left on 84 when we won with fourteen balls to spare.

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