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Sevenoaks v Bidborough

5 May 2013

Finally after the coldest winter in 20 years, the snow & rain finally faded away & the sun burst thru!!!

The U16 cricket season finally got underway with a tough away fixture to Sevenoaks Vine (played at Otford)

On a sunny morning Bidborough won the toss & took the decision to bat first on a hard green top wicket. Chris Mingard & Archie Wells confidently strode out to the wicket looking forward to being able put all the winter pre-season work into practice out into the middle. From the first over it was obvious that the combination of the new ball & hard green top wicket was going to prove difficult negotiate for the first few overs. However Chris & Archie settled well & looked comfortable & punished anything short sending the ball to the boundary. However in the 4th over Archie didn’t quite get to the pitch of the ball & presented a difficult catch to extra cover with the fielder taking the catch on the 3rd juggle. An innings that showed potential that ultimately went unfulfilled. Dan Page batting at no.3 came to the wicket & struggled to get the pace of the wicket. It wasn’t long before he edged a straight forward catch to the wicket. Thus again proving how important it is to move your feet to get into the correct position. From being in a relatively good position of 21 without loss at the beginning of the 4th over to 23 – 2 after the 4th over.

Harry Whitehouse joined Chris out into the middle needing to consolidate the innings & re-build, unfortunately Harry played all around a full straight ball & was bowled. However this meant Mikey Gatehouse was at the crease, we all held our breath as no one quite knows what Mikey is going to produce: We hoped for hard boundary hitting; Unfortunately Mikey disregarded his managers suggestion to hit the ball straight over the bowlers head & tried to hit across the line to backward square leg only to have his off stump knocked back. Keven Brown followed next ball misjudging a straight one to be bowled. Whilst wickets were tumbling at the other end Chris was able to keep the score board ticking over batting with intelligence & skill in equal measure. However with the score on 57 – 5, Chris allowed the ball to hit his pad & was given out LBW for a well complied 37.

Lawrence Mayne joined Matt Snell at the crease & with a combination of solid hitting & good running moved the score along to 82 with only 2 overs remaining before Matt was caught for a solid 13 trying to hit a much needed boundary. Edmund with a big beaming smile joined his brother at the wicket & together biffed a further 21 runs in the last 2 overs. The brothers ended the innings undefeated. Lawrence scoring 15 & Edmund 8 to boost the score to 103 for 7 after the allotted 22 overs. About 20 runs short of setting a good target but 20 runs more than I thought possible after collapsing to 57 for 6.

At the change of innings Sevenoaks Vine needed 104 to take victory however there was a feeling that the momentum had shifted towards Bidborough after the Mayne boys scored 21 in 2 overs.

This proved to be correct as Lawrence opened the bowling with Archie at the other end. Both used their strength & height intelligently bowling with not only aggression but accuracy. This lead to the sevenoaks opening batsman to present several catching opportunities (the first of these in the opening over) which we couldn’t quite take advantage of. Finally Archie produced an in-swinging delivery trapping the batsman LBW. Lawrence followed that up in the next over & Archie taking a beauty of a one handed slip catch at low level. Both Lawrence & Archie finished their maximum of 4 overs each. Both had been unlucky to only finish with one wicket each. Lawrence 4 overs 1-8 & Archie 4 overs 1-7. If these two opening bowlers can re-produce this type of quality bowling thru out the season then team will reap the benefits. Excellent effort lads!!!

Keven & Dan were introduce into the attack & Keven benefitted from bowling wicket to wicket in his first over producing a quality delivery to knock back the batsman’s middle stump. While Dan kept things tight at the other end. When drinks arrived after 11 overs Sevenoaks were in trouble at 29-3, Bidborough were dominating & the fielding team were confident of holding the advantage. At the break the Sevenoaks batsmen were given instructions to increase the tempo of their batting which they duly did. But not before Dan had the batsman reaching with a slower delivery & Joe Drewery making difficult catch look ridiculously easy! After 14 overs Sevenoaks were still struggling on 43 – 4 with just 8 overs remaining, a run rate of 7.5 per over.

The next batsman in was a left hander, this meant with some intelligent batting & running between the wickets with the remaining right handed opening batsman (dropped in the first over) rotated the strike almost at will. The quick singles disrupted the previously immaculate line & length from our bowlers whilst putting the fielders under pressure. Suddenly full tosses were being despatched with ease to the boundary & the frustration was beginning to show with all the fielders with the exception of Josh & Elliot who kept encouraging all their team mates.

With Sevenoaks now holding the ascendancy requiring 16 off 18 deliveries: Chris produced a perfect leg spin delivery leaving the opening batsman stranded down the wicket, Matt Snell coolly removed the bails for a stumping. However the Sevenoaks Left hander was still in & proceed to milk 10 runs off the penultimate over. It was Sevenoaks game to loose now! Chris bowled the final over & produced 3 dot balls. The field kept creeping in to prevent a single sensing that perhaps they could snatch victory after all. However the 4th delivery struck just over Chris’s head & Sevenoaks were the victors.

This was a cracking game of cricket & one that all the players, parents, spectators & both managers enjoyed immensely. It was obvious to everyone watching that the difference between the two teams were minimal. The Sevenoaks Batsman ran between the wickets intelligently & held a couple of crucial catches. However the score book doesn’t lie! Bidborough’s no 3, 4, 5 & 6 batsman produced a total 3 runs whilst Sevenoaks equivalent batsman produced a match winning total of 47 runs.

However congratulations must go to the bowlers who came within a whisker of defending the low total & almost sealing victory.

As disappointing as loosing is, there were some very encouraging signs & on another day the result could have been different.

Ultimately I’m looking forward to an exciting season.

Please Note: For full details of the score card please follow the link on the club web site:
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