The 2nd XI went into the game with BCU 1st XI at Cryfield with hopes of back-to-back wins after victory against Derby. But all was not well, as Naj was cruelly struck down by what in his words was a horrific debilitating throat infection that really could have killed him (we wish him a speedy recovery). Despite a seam attack that included Bennett (things were not quite so bad that Bexson may have to bowl) the mood was a positive one as Chandi put BCU into bat on what looked a decent pitch.
Povey and Nathan ‘F******’ Mead opened the bowling with the latter immediately trapping the opener and captain LBW. When Povey bounced out the number 3 it looked as if ten wickets was a real possibility. Yet some composed batting, some slightly variable bowling and the shortest boundary the world has ever seen meant that despite a wicket for Piers, BCU reached drinks with a score of 123-3, meaning both teams were still very much in the game.
After drinks the BCU gained the upper hand with their well placed opener peppering the boundary seemingly at will on his way to an impressive 126. UWMCC struggled to take the few chances that were offered (Any Bradshaw?), as such the runs started to flow despite a very tidy spell from Sam King. A late flurry of wickets showed what might have been as the long tail was exposed and Mead’s figures of 3-74 do not tell the story of what was a decent spell of bowling. Regardless BCU finished on 295 for 7, perhaps 30 more than what they should have been restricted to. Other bowling figures were as follows: Povey (2-57), King (0-43), Bennett (0-42), Piers (2-46) Chandi (0-12).
Following tea the chase began with Cooper and Kunwar opening up. UWMCC got off to a decent start with Cooper rotating the strike nicely and Kunwar taking the game to the bowlers with a couple of big hook shots. When Kunwar fell for 37 the openers had built a solid platform. Bexson and Cooper resumed where they had left off in Barbados, milking a bowling attack made up mainly of spinners with both batsmen playing some nice shots. Cooper timing one drive particularly well and following it with the remark ‘there goes my one good drive for the season.’ A good partnership meant that at drinks the chase was very much still on with the score 143 for 1.
However the rain that was forecast looked to be closing in meaning that UWMCC needed to be ahead of the required run-rate should the rain end the match. BCU realizing this brought back their openers and dropped men to the boundary. When Bexson departed for 46 and Chandi was brought out to bat the required rate had been pushed to nearer 7 an over. The boundaries began to dry up due to tight bowling and BCU started to take wickets at regular intervals. When Cooper’s excellent knock of 79 came to end with an unfortunate run out UWMCC were left needing some inspired hitting with 50 required from the last 6 overs. Povey briefly threatened to go pongo, smashing his first ball for 6 to the delight of the crowd. When his brief innings came to end, hopes of a memorable chase had all but disappeared, and a last over that went for only 1 run put the final nail in the coffin. UWMCC putting up a good fight and finishing on 277 for 9 but losing by 18 runs. A more disciplined first half of the match would have made all the difference.
MOTM: Has to be Ed Cooper for steering us oh so close to glory.
Muppet of the Match: Bradshaw for dropping the centurion when he had only 50 (he later claimed not to have hit it… B*******)