3s v Notts 4s

After a narrow 15 run defeat to Nottingham 3s the week before, the 3s hosted Nottingham 4s in a must win game at Cryfield. With only 2 games on, the availability was much better with the 3s fielding a strong side – gun specialist captain Amogh leading the side once again. Surprisingly most people were on time so were able to get the covers off, put out boundary flags out and mark the 30-yard circle by 11am. As the boys got set to start the warmup, the groundman rocked up in his tractor offering to cut the outfield meaning we had to collect the boundary flags and 30-yard markers back in…ffs. The warmup featured more football than cricket before Amogh went off to do the toss. He returned victorious having put Nottingham into bat as rain was predicted throughout the day. Bird soon emerged at 1150 having just finished an exam – “Amogh have you got keeping stuff?”. Amogh, who was meant to be a stand in keeper for today as Bird had an injured finger, had assumed Bird would have his keeping stuff in his bag. Alas, he didn’t. With 10 mins to go before KO, Bird angrily stormed off to his car to retrieve his keeping gear. He returned in a much better mood however as he decided that Amogh was not worthy of his “good keeping stuff”, and hence he would keep with a broken finger. The boys had a quick huddle before heading out onto the field…only to be stopped by the umpires. “Where are the stumps lads?” Turns out Amogh had forgotten to put the stumps out…brilliant. Anyway, to the cricket.
The boys were full of energy from the start with Sohil and Kushal opening and keeping it tight. With the weather looking very fucking depressing and rain starting the fall, early wickets were needed to lift the spirits. The breakthrough finally came in the 9th over after a decent start by the Notts openers with Sohil getting one through the gate. Sohil took a couple more, featuring a brilliant diving catch by the broken Bird, to finish a tidy 9 over spell with 3 for 31. Kushal also bowled well at the other end but was unlucky not to pick up any wickets. With the score at 40-3, the rain got heavier, and the ball quickly deteriorated into a soap. The bowlers struggled to grip the ball and runs started to come easy for the batsmen. A bit of luck after drinks finally broke the 60-run partnership as their number 4 spooned a half tracker to Nakul at mid-wicket off Ojas. Frustratingly, another partnership developed as fielding and bowling got much harder in the torrid weather. However, the late introduction of Curtis finally got the breakthrough with the score at 140-5 off 40 overs. A good finish saw us restrict Notts to 184 all out as death bowler Curtis picked up 3 wickets.
To avoid a rain delay, we went straight back out to try and get a result in. Uzair and Amogh opened with Uzair spanking some ordinary bowling to all parts. Amogh’s prolific BUCS run continued as he inside edged a full toss onto his pads and then onto the stumps for 2. Uzair soon followed, missing a straight one, leaving the score at 32-2. Nakul and Bird looked comfortable before the rain got heavier and play stopped with the score 56-2 off 11 overs. A long rain delay meant that tea was taken. The boys were desperate to get a result as it was a must win game, so we had to try and squeeze in 9 overs at least. Luckily after a long wait, play finally resumed with the game reduced to 30 overs and a revised target off 111. Nakul (31*) and Ben (15*) made light work of the chase, playing some lovely strokes and running well between the wickets as we took our first W of the season.
Overall a good performance by the boys and a much-needed win in bleak conditions. A relegation decider against Aston 1s on Monday will decide the fate of the 3s.

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