Risinghurst ruin first's winning streak
Martin wins the battle of the Kalyans as firsts suffer disappointing defeat at home with Edd and Jacob the only performers with the bat.
On Friday we had the only bit of rain at The Brake in a few months, leaving the wicket quite damp and sticky but the weather on the matchday was very hot yet again. Both captains wanted to win the toss and bowl to get the most out of the moist wicket before it dried and Edd Willmot won the toss, much to Martin's disappointment. With quite a few good battles between the 2 sides in the past, we were hoping that today we would win and take our 2018 home record to 2 wins in 6 games as our only other home victory was against Broughton. With 3 changes from our team last week, we went out into the field, hoping for some early breakthroughs.
Jim Blackford and Kamran Ramzan opened the bowling again, with Gupta and the pitch hitter Kumar opening the batting for Risinghurst. We assumed Kalyan didn't open as he knew Ramzan would dismiss him early with the new ball! With the pitch being damp, the ball was slow off the wicket and both Jim and Kamran exploited this with good disciplined bowling, not bowling many short or wide. Jim was rewarded first with the wicket of Gupta who went for a duck, when he was bowled after struggling to play a few testing deliveries in a row. In the 12th over, Kamran bowled 5 outswinging deliveries outside off stump and then capped it off with one that pitched on leg stump and hit off, to dismiss Raman for 13. Kidlington were dominating the game until the drinks break, Risinghurst were 41-2 after 15 overs but by now the pitch had gotten drier and a better batting wicket. Michael Tippett came on at Kamran's end after his 7 overs and Jim carried on at the other, George and kumar increased the runs as a few chances were missed in the field, week after week this is happening but there have been some occasions where we have been lucky and it hasn't cost us. Kumar had reached 45 when Jim finished his spell and Will Thwaites was bowling. George hit one straight to Will along the ground and he managed to get a finger on to it, running out Kumar who was backing up. A rather unlucky way to go in the end but he shouldn't have still been in to begin with. Will was bowling quick and back of a length, while Tippett was bowling fuller with the ball swinging. Pressure was building and George hit one in the air to Edd, giving Tip his first wicket. The next 2 wickets fell in quick succession, Will trapping Vellayappan in front for 9 and then taking a catch in the following over, a full toss ball from Tippet that should have been hit into the trees was hit straight to Will and Bandhu departed for 10. We were buzzing, feeling well on top with the score 136-6. Things weren't completely going to go our way though, as Risinghurst's long batting line up was clear with 2 people who have opened the batting against us before coming in at 8 and 9. Will took the seventh wicket when Samuel almost swung himself off his feet and got bowled. Kalyan and Nambiar started to score quickly but a ball outside off stump from Will removed Kalyan as he slashed at it and it went high towards the point boundary. I think most people didn't expect it to be taken but Kamran sprinted towards it from deep cover and took it comfortably, Martin went for 22. We couldn't manage to pick up any more wickets but that wasn't the thing that was the most frustrating at the back end of the innings. Throughout the whole innings, there had been multiple stoppages, Kumar taking his gloves off after every ball, drinks being brought on for the batsmen, thigh pads being taken off, fielders retrieving balls that had been hit past the second pitch boundary and 2 official drinks breaks. This was extremely annoying as there was nothing we could have done to make the batsmen hurry up and face the next ball, but the umpires ludicrously awarded Risinghurst 12 penalty runs because we were 2 overs behind time. Despite the torturous heat the umpires were unmoved and there was nothing we could do about it. The 2 at the crease both finished the innings with 19 not out each. The final total of 226 looked very chaseable but should have been lower, if only we had taken all our catches! The bowling display as a whole was very good, only 4 wides and a no ball being bowled along with good areas being bowled in.
Following a great away tea last week, we were treated to the best home tea of the season and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the delicious cakes and treats that Edd's mum provided. It was nice to also have some normal looking sandwiches, in contrast to the stuff we were given in the past home games from the now ex tea providers. Richard Walker and Sahil Kalyan opened, the latter hoping to hit a good score against his dads side. The innings started rapidly with some boundaries being hit by Richard but he had a suudden rush of blood and hit one straight to the bowler and had to go for 13. Craig Woods and Sahil were steadily going along, but Sahil then played a loose shot and was caught, scoring 121 runs since his last dismissal and 8 in this innings. Andy Oliver and Craig had a short partnership, Craig got out LBW for 29 and when Jonathan Boyce was bowled for 0 off a ball that kept low, victory looked a long distance away with the score 59-4. Edd Willmot joined Andy and they both started the rebuilding phase. At 82 runs, Andy tried to hit out and was caught, leaving KCC needing the bowlers to hang around with Edd and somehow rescue us from the mess. This wasn't to be as Ramzan, Tippett and Thwaites were all victims of the super slow John Thompson, the score 96-8. Jacob Oliver arrived at the crease and Edd started to accelerate the score at the other end, desperate to not let Thompson carry on. Jacob started off confidently, rotating the strike and defending solidly. After a few minutes at the crease, he started to enjoy himself, starting by hitting an great shot to square leg for four. Moments later, he took a few strides down and lofted a ball over the inner ring towards long on for another four. Jacob looked very good at the crease, showing the other players how to bat. Edd was stumped off Thompson's bowling and this brought and end to a 43 run 9th wicket partnership. Jacob resumed his run scoring and Jim supported him at the other end, not giving his wicket away. Risinghurst used spin, pace and John Thompson but the partnership was building and overs passing. The innings ended with Martin getting Jim out bowled, our final score 168 all out in 42.5 overs. We lost by 58 runs but earlier it looked like the margin would be higher. Well done to Jacob for scoring 35 not out in his first innings in the first team, if we fielded better and didn't throw our wickets away we would have won.
We are away next week at Kilkenny, hopefully we will win although we will be without our captain Edd Willmot.