Sunday 28 June –v- Sutton at Holmwood Close
Not since shamefully depriving Manjit of his maiden hundred (and subsequently driving him from the club) has Johnny G found himself to be such a villain on the field of play. A straightforward catch on the deep-square leg boundary was spilled, allowing Sutton's former overseas pro a second chance, that he took with gusto. If ever the phrase 'catches win matches' was pertinent it was today.
Sutton won the toss and elected to bat in a 40 over game that was delayed to await the arrival of The Greggains contingent, who were kerb-crawling the entire South-Circular in an over-heating Saab. Eventually the match commenced and it was soon apparent that Aussie Nick Foster could bat, although his aerial shots always promised the opportunity of a chance being offered. Danglers and Jabs opened the bowling, with Jabs again in good form, taking two wickets. Moysey was unceremoniously slapped over mid-wicket for six, but did find the top edge from a mis-timed pull shot that almost carried to long leg.
Mr Taylor replaced Darren and his complete lack of pace initially had Foster perplexed. A cunningly delivered 'even' slower ball was lofted to the confident bucket hands of 'the claw', who inexplicably made a complete arse of it. Now I don't want to start blaming one person's mistake for the outcome of a game....but it was completely John's fault we lost.
Given a second chance Foster seemed to have no further problems working Mike out and proceeded to launch him numerous times into the trees, as he battered his way to 114 - I guess every cloud has a silver lining.
Despite the onslaught Crusaders fielded well and managed to limit the amount of strike that Foster was getting. The other Sutton batsmen showed little in aptitude, with Spud and Chand bowling good economical spells in the latter stages of the innings. Chand finally removed Foster, with Sutton 145-4; only 31 runs coming from other sources rather sums up his dominance. The tail wagged and we disappointingly conceded over 30 runs in the final 4 overs, to give Sutton a slightly flattering total of 208.
On a good track against an aging side, we were still confident of a successful chase. Wajih opted for a more cautious approach, relegating a couple of his big hitters down the order, replaced by the ever reliable and stoic Moyse. Never one to throw his wicket away Danglers dropped anchor in efficient style and after Gordy's early dismissal formed a fine partnership with Wajih. Sutton's wise old bowlers knew where to put the ball and although we had not lost wickets, runs were not coming at the required rate. Needing 150 from the last twenty overs, Danglers opened his shoulders and briefly with Jabs hitting an explosive 27, victory looked on. Unfortunately when Jabs was out, well caught at short mid-wicket the run chase fell away, coming up 16 short of target, with Moysey 5 short of a ton.
400 runs in an afternoon for the loss of 13 wickets - it could have been so different; Mike Taylor 8 overs for 58 - the last 4 going for 44. I hope you can sleep at night Greggains?