Firsts almost make miraculous comeback in thriller
By Kamran Ramzan
An outstanding final 15 overs of bowling nearly pulled off an amazing win out of nothing after a below par batting performance
Aiming to recover on the points table after last weeks loss, we arrived at Broughton on a hot day. After losing the toss, we had to bat first and Richard Walker made a return at the top of the order alongside Sahil. The first over started very well with Sahil hitting 2 4s and then one by Richard but unfortunately he was bowled off the last ball. Andy, in at 3, was looking comfortable as the partnership started to settle, but then he was bowled too. After hitting form last week, Edd Willmot was in next and looked as if he was still batting in the previous game. The pair brought up their 50 partnership and also took the total past 100. Sahil brought up his half century with over 20 overs left so we seemed set up for a great total, then Sahil was given caught behind although the ball had brushed his thigh and no bat was involved. 2 runs later Edd was caught and Simon Palmer followed suit not long after. Ben Bollig and jamie stothard had a brief partnership in which Ben hit a lovely straight 6, however he had to go after a great bit of athleticism from their not so athletic looking wicket-keeper. Kamran Ramzan and Jamie tried to bat to the death overs hitting some good shots a long the way. Just as they planned to play another over before trying to clear the boundary every ball, Broughton brought on the ancient Harper. Jamie was unconvincingly given out LBW and then Kamran was caught at the edge of the boundary. Michael Tippett hit a couple of lusty blows and Chris Graham chipped in with some runs but Aman Kalyan was the last man standing in his first innings for the 1sts. Our final total was 192, it felt 30 short but we could defend this with decent bowling and tight fielding.
We enjoyed a good tea and then got prepared to start our defence. Kamran and Tipper opened the bowling and early wickets were the task. Kamran drew first blood with Jamie taking another impressive catch this season. Tipper then had the other opener sent back, this time Edd took a fantastic catch in the slip cordon. We had a perfect opportunity to really turn up the heat as Kamran had their number 3 nicking off to gully when he was only on 2 but the ball was dropped even though it was fairly straightforward. From our previous experiences of dropping people early, it was very likely that this batsman would end up playing a big innings which could be game changing. After his 7 over spell, Kamran was replaced with Edd. They were on 84 and we were under pressure then Edd hit the stumps as Parsons missed a wild slog. The next man only scored 4 and was caught nicely by Aman. The next partnership was frustrating as after a few runs the body language of our team dropped and it looked like we were ready to lose. There were many misfields in this period which would later prove to be costly and pivotal to the result. Tilcock was dropped again and they only needed 42 with 6 wickets left. Searching for something to happen, Chris Graham was bowling well and Kamran was brought back. A misplaced flick of Graham was straight to Aman for his second catch and Chris's first wicket. What we needed now was a bit of inspiration or magic in the field to stamp our authority. On his 3rd ball of his second spell, Kamran got an edge which was barely off the ground seemingly out of reach but he then dived in his follow through to somehow take the catch one handed despite grazing the back of his hand and awkwardly hitting his knee on the ground. Everyone was ecstatic as this was the sort of thing that was needed to rejuvenate our team. Harper was in now and he didn't trouble us and Kamran knocked him over with a quick ball through his defences. We knew now that Tilcock was their only hope and his wicket was the main mission. Kamran found his edge for a second time and he was dropped for a 4th time, nearing his hundred now. Around 30 runs were still required so anything could happen. Kamran bowled out and Tippett was back. We were bowling so well and the fielding had also become sharper. The runs needed were only 6 at the start of Michael Tippett's over and Tilcock tried to seal the game with one strike, only to miss and have to back to the pavilion on 99! We were 2 wickets away and in the next over Andy Oliver got an amazing run out leaving us wanting just 1. Between overs 38 and 44, only 7 runs were given in these 6 overs and 2 wickets additionally went down! 3 runs were required off the last over but all 3 quicks were bowled out so Edd Willmot had the ball in hand. A single came off each of the first 2 balls so the scores were level. An edge passed the keeper sealed a 1 wicket win, we were so close to pulling something outstanding off but still a valiant effort. This close loss really emphasised the importance of fielding and how we have focussed throughout the whole innings. If just a couple of our multiple misfields were stopped or one of the dropped catches were taken, the result would have been in our favour. Hopefully we can learn from the laziness and not have things like that lose us points in our remaining games.