On reflection it was a great game. A game played in the right spirit, a game that you don't mind giving up your Saturday for and a game that stays with you deep into the following week. We lost by one run. Needing 7 from the last over their captain bowled an excellent over that only conceded 5. So, you now have to scroll down to find Hampton Hill CC 2nd team on the league table. This will not be the case at the end of the season. We are close to being a very good team. Close but not yet there. As has always been the case since joining the club it is the batting that is letting us down. There has been a lot of talk about what batting skills we have at our disposal and the talent is undoubtably there. Unfortunately, this does not win you games. Concentration, grit, the ability to shut out the noise both external and internal is what does. This needs to be our approach for the remainder of the season.
Egham is a nice ground. Fast outfield, good pitch and characterful tree. We lost the toss and Egham chose to bat. We bowled well overall. Not reaching the heights of the previous week but kept to our disciplines and fielded really well Chris leading the way at point and cover. Catching was good again. Magic Mikes warm up has really improved our fielding so much so that I have 3 league catches and no drops. Statistically meaning I should drop the next 3. Ryan Exworth bowled really well hitting the deck hard and getting some movement. Their gritty opener prized out by a well-directed bouncer pounced at mid-on. Effectively their other opener won the game for them scoring 60 odd and latching onto anything loose. Fallows had him on toast and he must have played and missed at least 14 times without giving the edge needed. My go to bowler Harry Coates bowled his usually excellent spell and, on another day, would have got a hatful.
But our star with the ball was Joe Ayley. His control was exceptional, and he fully deserved his 5 for. One of the highlights of their innings was the emergence of a confident 15-year-old who came to the crease and announced that he was sponsored. Not such a good shout when you are heading back to the pavilion with 2 runs to your name but a little bit of me respected his confidence. So, they ended on 202 and we all felt it was gettable.
I am going to say it in capitals. 50 OVERS IS A REALLY LONG TIME. IT IS A LOT OF BALLS. YOU COULD WATCH A FILM AND A HALF IN THE TIME OR FLY TO PARIS.
We must bat with this thought. Smash, bang, wallop prod 50-4. That is where we were. Cometh the hour. Cometh the Man. Chris emerged at number 6 and proceeded to play one of the best chasing innings I have seen in league cricket. Temperament, concentration, and shots all around the wicket. I was woefully out of form but knew if I just occupied then we would have a chance. They had an excellent spinner and some handy seamers but nothing to fear and we put ourselves in a position to win the game. A special mention must go to Ryan Exworth who showed what great potential he had and played an excellent knock to nearly get us over the line. The club is in great health and this 2nd team will show this by winning all our remaining games. You heard it here first.
Player of the Match: Joe Ayley 5-42 off 10 overs