Shocking fielding crushes bowling wonders in disheartening tie
By Kamran Ramzan
A batting recovery got us to 170 with useful runs by a few batsmen, and then the bowlers produced a masterclass but once again, fielding was the game changer to disappointingly end the game in a tie.
As the promotion race was heating up in division 3, the first travelled to Clifton Hampden to play Marcham. A win today would be massive, Andy Wynd leaving Brill effectively narrowing down the contenders. Edd Willmot won the toss and went with the successful formula of batting first, our strength this season. Sahil Kalyan and Richard Walker opened, the pitch was playing tricks and we had a top order collapse. Both openers went early and our top scorer of the season Andy Oliver was sent back for a 16 ball duck. Things would have been even worse if the umpire hadn't incorrectly allowed Craig Woods to stay after he edged one behind. Sam Rodway and Craig spent time at the crease and increased the score, boundaries coming regularly from the pair including 2 large sixes from Wooder. In the space of a few overs, they were both dismissed, making starts but failing to go big. Edd and Simon Palmer were together now with 5 down for 89. On 107, Palmer was caught excellently with one hand by a fellow Palmer for 10. Kamran Ramzan partnered Edd and they had a 31 run partnership, Kamran hit a six off a decent ball but was caught off a full toss for 21. Jacob Oliver was lucky with 2 reprives, one stumping that the umpire didn't see and 1 caught behind. With 3 fours he helped move the score along, then was out LBW. Will Thwaites lasted 2 balls, Ethan Davie claiming his sixth wicket. Aman Kalyan was last man out and Edd finished 33 not out.
We knew our score was defendable on this misbehaving wicket, bowling in the right areas was all we needed. Marcham went with pinch hitters up front, an interesting approach. Jacob knew that he had the skill to out do them, first getting the wicket of Palmer after a great 1 handed catch by Oliver senior, then also getting batsmen number 3 and 4. Kamran bowled the other opener and Marcham were 10-4, game on! Kamran got the leading edge of Armstrong when still on 0, but 2 fielders stood looking at each other and it fell inbetween. Kamran then thought he had the prized wicket of Davie early on, however he was dropped twice in the slips in quick succession. Jacob continued his outstanding spell with a fourth wicket, Armstrong gone, it was now 32-5 and we clearly had the upper hand. Our fielders were keen on making this a closer game, a very simple catch of Barratt dropped on his first ball at gully, Kamran the unlucky bowler once again. Despite bowling one of his best spells ever, things just weren't going to go his way. Thwaites got rid of Barrett, a catch finally going to hand, and the scoreboard read 48-6. Marcham were still a daunting 123 runs away with only Davie left as an actual batsman. Patel couldn't keep many shots down and we couldn't keep these in our grasp, with Davie also offering a couple more at the other end. Somehow they put on 88 runs, still needing 35. Ethan Davie had almost seen them home, 14 runs were required in a couple of overs when he decided to take a very risky 2 to Kamran in the deep, falling short of his crease and leaving for 72, not able to get an 8th reprieval. 8 runs were needed to win off the last over and Jacob was to bowl it. He did very well and a boundary was only conceded due to poor field placing, leaving 1 to win off the last ball. The ball was hit straight back to him and he held his nerve, to cleanly collect the ball, then knock off the bails at his end to the the game. Excellent stuff from Jacob to pull it off and a shame that his wonderful spell was in a losing cause. We should have bowled them out for below 80 but somehow we managed to mess it up so badly, that a tie felt like a loss. Oh well, we needed to forget this now and move our thoughts to the semi on Sunday.