London Fields (134-6) beat London Tigers (133 all out) by 4 wickets
by Dave Hickey
The summer officially arrived this week. Like a July day on Low Hall Farm it was cold, wet and not a drunk in sight. On a damp wicket (the night before it had lashed down) London Tigers, newly elected to the NELCL, elected to bat first. It is safe to say captain for the day Ben Sanders was a happy man walking back to the pavilion tree.
With the wind, rain and slope at his back/aid Ben Davis who was making his first league appearance of the season got us underway. Ben bowled with pace, control but with not a lot of luck. On another day Ben could have had a 5 wicket haul. From the tower block end, ever dependable Steve Donelan was bowling his usual line and length.
After 12 overs, the Tigers had made 60 for the loss of 3 wickets. Ben eventually finished with two wickets, one caught by Dave Hickey the other a sumptuous leg stump yorker. Steve D finished with 1 for 17 of 6 overs, once again Mr Economical.
After the loss of the top 3 batsmen, the Tigers middle order pushed on, punishing bad and good balls. First change bowler Will Issac bowled with aggression and was rewarded with the wicket of Tigers number 4, clean bowled. As the Tigers pushed on for a score of around 200, the Fields searched for a wicket. Up stepped Simon Lee. With his good balls unplayable, Simon tried to call the Tigers bluff with a couple of teasers (teasers = short and wide ((long hops)). Simon's tactic paid off, as the free scoring Tigers number 5 played on.
Dave 'Taz' Miller and Ben Sanders finished off the Tigers innings. Taz bowled some ripping leg spin. Given the conditions and damp ball he did brilliantly to finish with 2 for 10. Colonel Sanders coming down from the Turley end bowled with great variation and ended the afternoon with 1 for 4 off 3.
The Tigers closed their innings on 133 all out. Again the Fields had managed to bowl the opposition out with overs left. The Fields' fielding was once again a telling factor. Steve D, Dave Hickey and the ever dependable Paul Teasdale behind the stumps all taking catches.
134 in 36 overs is the kind of scenario most teams would take at tea. Well, that was all to change 3 overs in. The Tigers opening pair bowled with pace and accuracy, the policy of 'you miss we hit' worked a treat. Opening pair Teasdale and Sanders were soon followed by number 3 Hickey. All clean bowled playing defensive shots.
Troy Utz and Alec McCrindle steadied the ship for a time, both trying to see out the opening onslaught, waiting for the bowling change. Well, the onslaught did not stop, even the first and second change bowlers could bowl straight with pace.
When Troy was out to an in-swinging off-cutting dipper that hit off stump, the Fields were reeling at 24-4. In strode last week's hero Dave 'Taz' Miller - could he do it again...? Only runs would tell...
Taz and Alec set about restoring the Fields' scoring rate, and some sweetly timed drives and pulls put the Fields back on track. At drinks the Fields were on 70 ish, requiring 60 ish to win. As usual with drinks came the obligatory 'after drinks wicket'. Alec playing in his usual free style was well caught at gully for a valuable 27. Next in Will Issac was next out. Again, bowled playing a defensive shot, and he collected the third Fields duck of the day.
Arthur Smart, 8th man in, strode to the wicket with purpose. Starting with a forward defence that not even James Anderson would have penetrated. Arthur accompanied Taz brilliantly. Taz was now scoring with purpose, punishing the bad and leaving the good. With the game drfting to a Fields win the Tigers made one last change to try to get back into the game.
The Tigers opening pair came back on. However, with Taz and Arthur well set, they could not find a way through. With 10 overs to spare the Fields crossed the line, Taz finishing on an excellent 45 not out and Arthur 18 no.
With the game over the Fields retired to the pub to discuss the merits of reverse sweeps or lack of them, less said the better.London Fields Batting
134 for 6 in 25.0
|Dave Miller||—||Not Out||Unknown||45|
|Arthur Smart||—||Not Out||Unknown||18|
|Stephen Donelan||—||Did Not Bat||Unknown||0|
|Simon Lee||—||Did Not Bat||Unknown||0|
|Ben Davis||—||Did Not Bat||Unknown||0|
133 for 10 in 30.0London Fields Bowling