On 4th May UWMCC’s 1st XI were treated to the luxury of their own changing room as they took on UEA at Leamington CC. With Goodyear once again losing the toss, UWMCC were asked to take the field first on a warm afternoon, accompanied by a good looking deck and a 35 yard boundary; it would take a disciplined bowling performance to keep them to a gettable score.
Things nearly got off to a perfect start, with Winder producing a beauty of an out-swinger third ball which unfortunately was put down at slip. Not to be disheartened, Winder continued to bowl beautifully alongside Snakey in what is turning into a very menacing new ball attack. The latter was unfortunate not to pick up a wicket with 2 stone dead LBWs being turned down, made even worse by the umpire’s movement of his arm, only to reach for his ball counter leaving us in despair. Winder had obviously sussed out the umpires when deciding which end to bowl as he picked up 2 wickets – both LBW, which left UEA 39-2 off 14 overs. Then it was time for the introduction of the first two of our left arm spinners, Gonszor returning from the wilderness. At the other end, James Harris, newly nicknamed Grandad (courteous of Viv) joined the action. They did a superb job of building scoreboard pressure and were duly rewarded with a couple of wickets apiece. Harris finished with 3-17 off his 10 overs, and despite being on the end of some lusty blows in his last 2 overs, Gonszor still returned figures of 2-47 off his 10 overs. Cue the introduction of our 3rd left arm spinner Rhino, who duly mopped up the tail taking 3-20 off 5 overs, meaning UEA were all out for 175 in 46 overs.
It was unanimously agreed the key to a successful run chase was to ensure that we got off to a solid start and avoid losing early wickets. Unfortunately, we didn’t account for the umpire who had previously turned down 2 very adjacent LBWs being insistent on getting his finger up at any opportunity as he removed Viv and Aamish for 0 and 7 respectively, both with balls which appeared to be missing a second set of stumps. Thankfully in Fresher Kabir we have a man who is unaware of UWMCC’s history of batting collapses. He set about playing his natural attacking game, launching the UEA opening bowler back over his head into the road for a straight six in the 5th ball of the second over. Cue Grandad to provide us with his first moment of comedy as he yelled at the kind old lady who had come out of her house to retrieve the ball for us (if somewhat at a slow pace) that she was putting UEA behind the over rate and she ought to hurry up. Harris soon again became the source of much amusement as he took the field to replace the UEA opening bowler who injured his shoulder, despite telling Goodyear ‘UEA should go f*** themselves’. What followed was an abysmal display of fielding even by Harris’ standards as he walked from fine leg to square leg, underarming the ball in from the boundary and even stepping the wrong way as a possible catch off Gonszor went his way. For fear of things getting out of control Goodyear decided we would rotate the substitute fielder every 5 overs and sent Viv on his place despite his split webbing. Unsurprisingly the bowler from UEA seemed to make a speedy recovery and took the field before any more damage was caused. Anyhow, when Kabir was dismissed for a run a ball 40, Rooty joined Gonszor with the score on 82 and the pair put on a masterclass in chasing down a total. Rotating the strike and punishing the bad balls they pushed the score on to 167 before Gonszor was dismissed for a classy 72. It took little time for the game to be concluded with Goodyear hitting the winning runs in the 30th over with Rooty finishing unbeaten on 28.
A very pleasing all round performance with lots of individual contributions. The boys travel to Oxford on Wednesday looking to build on this result and secure another victory. Many thanks to Clobber, Ellie and Cooper for their support throughout the game and also Jonny Hall for his scoring during the second innings.