Batting disaster overshadows bowling heroics
By Kamran Ramzan
A first senior 5 wicket haul for Kamran Ramzan was in vain in another disappointing defeat.
On an overcast day the day's captain Andy Oliver tossed up and we were bowling first in what seemed bowler friendly conditions. Kamran Ramzan and Chris Graham opened the bowling and began troubling both batsman early on. After many swings and misses Ahmed was LBW to Chris Graham who was enjoying the swing on offer. The early breakthrough was great and now we were hoping to get a few more dismissals. The next man in looked like he was playing the wrong format and was trying to be very aggressive, hitting 2 sixes to Graham and clearing his front leg early on a few occasions. Ramzan breached his defences and ended his innings on 15 to get his first wicket. Assisted by the good amount of in swing he was getting, Ramzan got his second wicket. When he had bowled 6 overs, he was replaced by Jacob Oliver and he didn't take long to get settled into his bowling rhythm. Graham had another, caught by Palmer. Jacob joined the wicket taking party and Andy took a comfortable catch, the opener was still batting along while the wickets were falling at the other end. We thought we had him too when he edged behind but the umpire said he did not hear anything and the batsman refused to walk, which caused some heated verbal exchanges. Justice was served the very next ball as he hit it straight to Craig Woods to give Chris a 3rd wicket. Radley were 6 down and Kamran was back for a second spell. Still finding some swing, he carried on from where he left off, restricting the batsmen. In his 8th over he hit Malik on the boot infront of the stumps and joined Graham on 3 wickets. Hitting Cook on the body the next ball, another wicket was on his mind and took it in the same over with a ball that beat him and crashed into the stumps. On 4 wickets now he felt like a first ever senior 5 wicket haul was within his grasp. Sam Rodway was on for Graham after his 12 overs and also bowled well. The 9th wicket fell with Sam getting his first and we were almost at the endpoint. On the 1st ball of the 35th over, Kamran got the final wicket with a second LBW to complete his 5! Radley ended up on 131 all out with over 10 overs left. An excellent bowling display today despite a shortage of options, with an improved fielding performance but still not what we should be like.
Tea was still some time away meaning we had the option of playing some overs first. This option was taken so Richard Walker and Sahil Kalyan opened. The Radley bowlers knew that they had a small total to defend so they were looking extra Sharp. Runs with difficult to get at the beginning and there were many dangerous looking balls bowled. With the ball keeping low, Sahil was out LBW and Craig Woods was in. His disappointing run of form continued after scoring 4 and then giving a catch. Andy accompanied Richard and they safely played the bowling until tea. After tea, the bowling was no less challenging making it difficult for us to score. Richard was the next to make way for 12 and we now felt in trouble with only 32 on the board. Sam Rodway was in for a few overs and played a stylish pull shot for 4, but the next ball wasn't in the right place and he was bowled trying to repeat the boundary. jamie stothard also had a short stay, bowled by Malik for 0. Jake Townsend was next and was out on 4 to a frustrating LBW decision that was clearly too high. At 56-6 now, we still had a chance to pass the target with just a bit of application. Andy had been very patient up until the 22nd over in which he was dismissed, trying to lift the ball over mid off. Simon Palmer and Kamran Ramzan were together, needing 68. Some patient batting saw off one of the quicks and a leggie was on for him. In his only over, he bowled Simon and Chris Graham. The 17 run partnership between Kamran and Simon was the highest of our innings, which reflects how poor we were today. The innings was wrapped up in the next over and we lost by 50 runs. A demoralizing defeat after all the hard work in the first innings but that has how our season has gone so far: if the batting performs then the bowling or fielding doesn't, and the other way around.