Friendly Match vs Shakespeare, May 19, 2013, London Fields

by Kapila Perera

When we started the match, it felt like it could be a bowler's day. Stories of the previous day's batting collapse were being told, with a few of the chief destroyers playing against us again. While every check on the Test Match (being played down the road), seemed to bring about another wicket.

We batted first and lost a wicket in the first over. Nothing wrong with the pitch here, just a complete misjudgment on my part. My dismissal, however, brought Travis to the crease who looked in fine touch. Immediately hitting fours to all parts of the ground. However the change of bowler did for Trav. He bowled a short slower ball, which lit up Travis' eyes, only for him to be deceived and bowled. Carl came and went and we looked in trouble at 64-4.

Enter Jason Lord. Who along with Chris Rice, already getting into his stride, made a vital 50 run partnership - filled with Jason's dogged resistance and square boundaries and Chris' brutally blasé hitting.

Both eventually fell and we were in real danger of not using our overs. However the tail made sure we did, with some useful runs from Phil Clarke, which enabled us to reach 162.

At half time, few of us thought we had enough runs. But as is ever the LFCC way, we thought we’d give it our all.

And our opening bowlers certainly did that. Simon Yates started from the Turley End and was immediately on the money, being rewarded with a wicket in his first over. That set the tone, and Phil Clark responded, bowling an impeccable line and length from the off. Their batsmen played a few gutsy shots, but it was all iffy stuff, with our bowlers frequently beating the bat and having catches go to ground.

But our bowlers kept on plugging away. Building up the pressure, until we got our breakthrough. That happened when Simon got his second wicket in the ninth over, with the score at 30. And from then on it got a bit silly.

Phil responded with a wicket in his next over, then Simon a wicket in his next, and so on. Each bowler upped the ante, with the other calling each time. It was a crazy half an hour of cricket. Batsmen with mighty reputations came and fell, duly imploding to form a classic batting collapse. It was hard to keep a track of all the wickets, and as we built momentum we thought we'd run through them before drinks. But by the end of the 16th over, with both bowlers bowling through, they were seven down for 42 runs.

We felt so close to victory and maybe felt the eighth wickets would just happen. Grant, Mark, Matt, Tim and Carl all had a go, but none could get the breakthrough. The eighth wicket stand was resilient. From one end a chubby lad plodded along, blocking the good ball and hitting the odd bad ball to leg. While Green Cap played with more panache and took the game away from us. He did give us one chance, but when it went down I think we felt like we'd always get another.

It wasn't to be. And Shakespeare crept up to our total without losing another wicket, putting on a fine 100 run eighth wicket partnership. They deserved the victory, although our opening bowlers did'’t deserve to lose. But that's cricket. We licked our wounds, drank some tinnies in the sun, and reflected on what could have been.

London Fields Batting
Name Scoring How Out Bowler Runs
Kapila Perera Bowled A Ali 0
Tim Stacey Caught & Bowled S Ali 13
Travis Willis Bowled S Ali 29
Chris Rice Bowled S Ali 42
Carl Death LBW Mo 0
Jason Lord Bowled Abdul 33
Matt Cowie Caught Abdul 3
Simon Yates Run Out Unknown 1
Phil Clark Not Out Unknown 14
Mark Holden Bowled Abdul 0
Grant Straghan Not Out Unknown 3
Extras None Extras 24
London Fields Bowling
Name O M R W Eco Avg S.R
Simon Yates 8.0 0 26 4 3.25 6.5 12.00
Phil Clark 8.0 0 19 3 2.38 6.33 16.00
Grant Straghan 6.0 0 30 0 5.00
Mark Holden 4.0 0 26 0 6.50
Matt Cowie 3.0 0 22 0 7.33
Tim Stacey 4.0 1 16 0 4.00
Carl Death 3.0 0 23 0 7.67