by Chris Murphy
With the sun on our faces and the prospect of an Australian defeat warming our cockles, 11 sturdy LFCC men pitched at the Fields. We were met by an annoyingly, but unsurprisingly athletic looking Hackney CC.
After a quick inspection of a fairly firm and dry pitch, Captain Laurie decided we would bowl first. Muffi and Chris Murphy opened the bowling against a solid opening pair, who both pretty much dealt in boundaries. One such six even ended up in the pool. After much debate about whether we would end up on a list for skulking around a children's swimming pool dressed in white, we decided to use a new ball. Annoyingly for us, there were some helpful kids on hand who fished the ball out of the drink and we resumed using a sodden cherry. Though bowling well, Muffi and Chris ended their spells wicket-less on 0-44 and 0-25 respectively.
Laurie and Oli Turner stepped up to the plate next, with the latter bagging both openers and tipping the game back towards the sought after equilibrium. Oli's consistent line and good turn resulted in Hackney's favourite off-spinner picking up a 5 wicket haul, complete with one wicket maiden and one double wicket final over. FYI Turner is on a hat-trick, which according to Hugh, doesn't carry over between games, so I don't know why I brought it up...anyway. Lozza's searing pace and bounce did for number three, but alas the excitement of a text book snick to Troy at second slip was too much for Laurie's hamstring.
Dan Langley came on next and bowled a good full length, which resulted in a deserved first wicket for the club!! Another man searching for his first club wicket was John T. John picked up the big wicket of their set number 4 - out on 48. Despite a few wayward balls, John finished with respectable figures of 2-26.
Troy and Carl wanged some lovely deliveries down, with Troy deceiving their number 8 with a slower ball that had the hallmarks of winter nets well used. Carl helped dry the runs up, finishing on 0-9 from 4 overs.
After reaching 89 off 12 overs, the fields fought back well and bowled Hackney all out for 217.
You know that nagging length and fourth stump line that's very difficult to get any bat on? That's pretty much what all of Hackney's bowlers dished up. Despite this frustratingly consistent bowling, Kap creamed a couple of lovely boundaries to get us going before eventually being pinned in front for 8. Steve Fernbank was next in, looking characteristically relaxed. James G was the next man to go, caught behind on 29. Fernos fell next (I think) trying to pick up the run rate, which was edging ever higher.
Dan and Troy both soaked up some good bowling and navigated a tricky period before drinks. The dreaded break in concentration was Dan's undoing, with him being bowled by beauty that clipped the top of off stump. After a few grumbles at the captain for showing some faith, Chris M came in at number six. Both Chris and Troy blocked the good balls and put away the bad ones. Troy was eventually bowled trying to launch their off-spinner into orbit. Troy joint topped scored, finishing on 29 also. Chris soon followed after being bowled by a ball that bounced in the bowlers half and dropped under a premature pull shot.
Muffi, John and Carl brought up the rear, all caught in valiant efforts to get as close to 217 as possible.
Oli Turner came in at number 10 and made his intentions known fairly early on by hoiking their pacers for a couple of boundaries before being caught on 18. Michael Owen hobbled onto the pitch, clutching his hammy, but didn't get the chance bust out the upper cut we all know and love.
We eventually fell 80 runs short, but had a lot of fun doing it.
Special thanks to Troy and Oli for stepping in last minute. Dan picked up a nasty looking injury and his commitment to the bowlers union is appreciated.London Fields Batting
|Laurie Sayer||—||Not Out||Unknown||0|