Michael Tippet's six wicket haul headlines the perfect league starter
By Kamran Ramzan
On a difficult low scoring wicket 9 wickets between Tippet and Rodway took down Brill with a calm headed 32 from A Oliver.
Up in the hills on a cold windy day, we had Brill to tackle as our first league opponents of the season. Conditions didn't look very inviting for batting so Edd Willmot chose to bowl after winning the toss.
Will Thwaites had the difficult end to open the bowling at, having to run into the strong wind and found it difficult to land balls in the right area, but the opening batsman Parke slapped a slower length ball straight to square leg off only the 4th ball! It wasn't all good for Kidlington though as Will was clearly in some discomfort and had to be taken out of the attack at the end of the over. Kamran Ramzan was very tight at the other end, trying not to give anything loose to the batsmen. Chris Graham took over from Will and the runs were slowly ticking, and then Andy Wynd made a mistake only to be dropped and given another life. The same thing had happened last year and he went on to hit a century, we hoped that this drop would not prove as costly. A few overs later, Kamran hit Wynd on the shoe smack bang in front of the stumps and after taking his hand out of his pocket, the umpire decided to not give it out. At the end of his spell, Michael Tippett was on. Following a loose first few balls, he found his rhythm and it was one of his special spells from here on. Assisted with a few bad shots and good fielding, Tipper was on a role and wickets coming regularly. Sam Rodway joined in on the fun at Graham's end and had his first scalp with a half tracker that was expected to sail over the mid wicket boundary, but was missed and hit the batsman's front pad. Tippet dismissed lucky Wynd and from there on we were not on the field for much longer. In the 31st over the Brill innings was ended, Rodway had his 3rd wicket and in only 8 overs Tipper had 6! A special mention to Ben Bollig who was outstanding behind the stumps, letting very little through him on a wicket where some balls would zip through at shoulder height and others would pretty much roll.
The KCC openers knew they had to be very patient and focused, and went to tackle the challenge. Brill were very chirpy, especially in the direction of Richard Walker following a send off in the earlier innings. Pacy Broughton had both batsmen shifting and poking in the crease and runs were not frequent. Suddenly, rain started coming down fast and tea was taken. Things were heating up in the middle with some words said to Richard and some unnecessary physical contact. After a pleasant tea and the rain stopping, the innings was resumed. Not long after, the first wicket fell with Richard having to make way for Craig Woods. We knew it would be difficult but when both Sahil and Craig were gone, the team was nervous with 3 down already for only 17 runs. What we needed now was some consolidation and a partnership which is exactly what Andy Oliver and Sam set about doing. In no hurry with a low required run rate, they made sure they protected their stumps and played out the opening bowlers. At a team total of 70, Andy departed and the panic levels rose again when the next 2 wickets fell too. Ben was at the crease with Kamran, and a paddle sweep from the keeper followed by a flick to fine leg calmed everyone down again. The drama wasn't over yet though as Kamran was out LBW off a low skidding ball. We only needed 6 runs but with only 3 wickets left and a history of collapses over the years, things weren't looking too merry. The star from the first innings with the ball pumped a shot straight down the ground and victory was now well within our grasp. Ben finished things off with a nice 2 and we had done it! An amazing and nervy match was an enjoyable way to put up our first points on the league table. Hopefully we can continue our winning streak at home next week to Risinghurst on what should be a much better surface.