With the sour taste of defeats from the previous two league matches still fresh in the minds of the players & manger. The team took the short journey to the Cowdrey CC. On a bright sunny morning the skipper called heads at the toss & was rewarded with Her Maj smiling back at him when the coin finally stopped rolling. Peter elected to have a bowl.
Archie & Lawrence opened the bowling but it wasn’t until the 5th over that the breakthrough came with Miggle taking a very sharp catch at backward square leg off the unusually wayward Archie Wells. It wasn’t until the 11th over before Dan Page delivered a straight one that trapped the batsman LBW. Unfortunately that brought a local Bidborough boy Alex Prentice (one that slipped thru the net) to the crease & he along with his batting partner punished the wayward bowing that Bidborough continued to deliver. With the exception of Ed Gray who continued to bowl line & length despite what was happening at the other end finishing with figures 4 overs 0/14. In the usual acceleration at the end of the innings Cowdrey managed to amass 55 runs in the last 5 overs with the loss of 1 wicket.
Cowdrey finished their allotted 22 overs on 3 for 148 – An imposing total indeed & given the lack of runs from our top 5 batsmen in previous games it looked a bridge too far for our boys.
Bidborough’s openers the skipper Peter Tillotson & Chris Mingard walked out purposefully knowing that it was important to keep wickets in tact so the big hitters could afford to take chances later in the innings against the 2nd & 3rd change bowlers. As the Cowdrey opening bowlers maintained an impeccable line & length the score crept up to 10 in the 5th over before Peter tried to force a decent ball straight to short mid-wicket for an easy catch. That brought smiling Wilko to the crease to join Chris & together they nudged the ball around for 1’s & 2’s whilst still looking to despatch the bad balls to the boundary. With the score on 57 Chris powerfully clipped a ball to square leg where an impossible catch was dropped but this caused confusion, which ended with ‘yes, no, sorry’ & Chris shaking hands with Wilko in the middle of the pitch & being run out for a solid 20 runs. Surely a 50 isn’t far away for Chris. Archie joined Wilko & the pair had to face a leg spinner of quality & it wasn’t long before Archie was bowled thru the gate & Harry followed him back to the pavilion having been bowled around his legs.
The score had staggered along to 4/77 after 16 overs with Wilko still batting beautifully & Lawrence Mayne joining him. But the equation looked beyond our reach needing another 72 runs off 6 overs. But Wilko was stroking the ball around showing real class & Lawrence now showing his usual intelligence selecting which ball to hit hard & blocking the good balls. Suddenly the runs were flowing 11 runs off the next over then 15 runs off the next. Maybe Bidborough could win after all. But the question mark was once again raised as Wilko had to retire after reaching a chanceless 50 showing understanding of the game & maturity beyond his years.
But we weren’t done yet! Dan Page joined Lawrence who by now was seeing the ball like a beach ball (thank goodness his glasses were delivered to the ground just in time). Lawrence continued to strike the ball hard & Dan starting off with a 4 & 6 Bidborough were now favourites coming to the last over. Requiring 9 off the last over the tension was mounting especially after 2 dot balls. 9 runs – 4 balls! – BANG the 3rd ball disappeared into the distance & into a hedge, Lawrence had saved his biggest hit to the last over, 6 much needed runs. Still cool heads required & Lawrence & Dan delivered: after a wide & a couple scrambled singles. Bidborough had managed their first win of the season with one ball to spare.
Lawrence capped off a great game with bat & ball finishing with a brilliant 35no to go with his solid opening bowling spell, Dan supported well with 18no but it was Wilko’s batting that set the game up for an unlikely victory at the change of innings.
Well done boys & let’s get in that winning habit!!!