With the weather we have had this summer, it seemed possible that we wouldn’t play again this season…. but the sun did shine on Stoneleigh’s green and pleasant cricket land this weekend.
And with it came a Saturday game which we should have won comfortably but for Stoneleigh’s Achilles heel this season i.e. consistent batting performances in the league. Chasing only 116 after a really good perforce with the ball (B Bains, Mark Reading) and in the field, we failed to chase down the total that should have been eminently gettable.
Putting the disappoint of defeat behind us, we had another home game the day after to try to put things right with the bat especially.
Stoneleigh batted first and reached 168-7 (P Chapman 55 and P Lazenby 49) and set about defending the score.
Things were looking good as wickets fell pretty regularly except for their number 3 batsman who was becoming more and more comfortable with the surface and not looking like getting out. He compiled 117* to get the side within striking distance of chasing down our score.
Needing 9 off the last over and with Mark Reading to bowl we felt we had a good chance of stopping them getting the runs. A huge LBW decision threatened to derail our attempts as Mark (wearing his Dennis Lille headband) felt it necessary to ask the umpire why it was not out….. you had to be there to appreciate his tone of voice may not have been in the spirit of the game…..
With the scores tied and with 1 ball remaining, Mark bowled the final ball with the field up to save the single. In a great sporting gesture the centurion batsman blocked the ball and declined the single (after which he recognised that the LBW was probably out and this was a fair way to end the game).
So the game was tied with the spirit of the game left intact. Mark later apologised for his actions but in the heat of the moment things can be said that are not meant to offend those involved.
All in all, it was good to get back on the field and play some cricket. Just need to get the batting sorted and get points on the board in the league (maybe we should buy a new net for practice?)