Farningham 2nd XI (A)
6th August 2022
After a difficult couple of weeks, the 2nd XI looked to bounce back with a victory against Farningham. Alas, we did not. But many more positives than negatives to take from the day.
Unsurprisingly it was a scorcher at the Rec and the match status as ‘bonus game’ (and only 8/9 points on offer) did little to enthuse the home side as we were inserted into the field in the midday heat. Fortunately, bowling options aplenty lay ahead of the skipper, and despite Omar declaring injury we had plenty of youthful overs to get through.
Owen (3-47) and Will (0-43) opened brilliantly and with gusto, the latter suffering from bouts of bad luck and dizziness (unrelated). Some vice-captaining inspiration from M Flem led to the dangerous no.4 being dismissed by Joe the Oak, caught behind via forehead. Mark then made sure he had both Fowlers in all the right places (to take EXCEPTIONAL catches) as he continued his fine form with 4-38 from his 9 overs. Latter overs from Owen Fowler showed his class, with Amir (2-3) and Sean (0-17) tidying up the end of the FCC innings nicely. 184 on a flat deck and lightening outfield: gettable.
Unfortunately, where we excelled in bowling and 1st XI strength, batting depth was lacking. The innings started fluently as Joe the Oak popped the first ball over mid on for a boundary, and M Flem found timing AND gaps in the field. Unfortunately, losing Mark and the Skipper in quick succession to exactly the same dismissal proved the beginning of the end. From 58-0 to 109ao is not a great day out, but a run-a-ball 40 from Joe was a highlight and 5 bowling points means a lot.
We still sit above the relegation spots, but with work to do in the last 4 matches of the season. Availability it looking tight again over the next couple of weekends, so please do make yourselves available if you can. Every little helps now!
Outwood 2nd XI (A)
13th August 2022
SCC CONCEDED DUE TO LACK OF AVAILABILITY
Bidborough 3rd XI (A)
20th August 2022
Last Saturday saw the 2s partake in the local derby against Bidborough, in the non-local (but lovely) backdrop of the Fairlawne Estate. A side featuring three Nashs and three Deanes, bolstered by some BazBall-enabled 1st XI availability, meant we had a strong 11.
Naturally we lost the toss, and were injected into the field in the midday heat with the Deane Trio selected to carry the bulk of our bowling effort. Siraj and Amir opened proceedings, the former (and elder) bowling nine consecutive overs of probing, mostly excellent away swing with no luck or reward (0-18). Amir bowled with patience but with no immediate reward, and Ejas with good wheels and (eventual) control in his consecutive nine overs.
The first 20 overs were notable for there being only a single over of non-Deane bowling, and for Bidborough somehow being 55-0. Slow AND lucky…
The next 20 overs were very different, and yielded 147-7. Ejas (1-36) first took the good wicket of their stubborn opener before M Flem (1-63) got the other one, now just one away from the 30 wicket mark. Adam Nash (2-35) bowled brilliant death overs at the exuberant middle order, executing a precise plan to a heavy leg-side field, rewarded by a sensational diving catch from his brother and the necessary woops of celebration from his father. Amir (2-41) came back to strangle the lower order with two wickets and a run out, but in the end a laughable lack of luck in an excellent bowling effort meant Bidborugh reached 202-7. Chaseable.
The chase did begin excellently. Ejas (21), newly promoted to being muscle to the top order, biffed five boundaries to wrestle momentum back and we had our 50 up in just 6 overs. Once he and Iqbal (18) both departed, the tall dangerous-looking opening bowler had been hit out of the attack. Skipper (28) and Nash then settled down against good overs from Dylan Hillhouse, prioritising survival, before the Skipper was adjudged LBW to their spinner. The same bowler then oversaw the demise of M Flem, James Nash and Fowler, despite some lusty blows from the latter, and the momentum was back with Bidborough.
Nash then opened up. The same spinner was deposited for three big 6s over the trees towards the playground, and the medium pacer for two big fours over extra cover. When he eventually succumbed to a slower ball, his 60 excellent runs had put us in the driving seat. Unfortunately the wicket of Siraj next ball, and the run out of Amir an over later, pushed us out of it again. Enter Mike Nash and Mark Thorpe. With 24 to win, seven overs to do so, and just one wicket remaining, Bidborough (despite earlier internal arguing) sensed victory. Mike and Mark, however, spent the next 6.3 overs denying Dylan Hillhouse the winning wicket, putting away four boundaries, and calmly negotiating the most nail-biting-est of victories. Mike Nash’s roar was heard from the G&D, it’s rumoured.
20 points leaves 21 clear of the relegation with two games left. Simply put, if we score more bonus points that Shipbourne do next week, we are safe as houses. If anyone is on the fence about availability, please let last Saturday be your inspiration!
Bearsted 2nd XI (H)
27th August 2022
So, the sharp end of the season is here. The 2s had the relatively simple task of defending a 21-point lead over Shipbourne to remain safely in Division 6 for next season. A bonus game against 6A-high-flyers Bearsted stood between us and a final weekend showdown with Shipbourne.
The first task was getting 11, as usual. This was possible this week thanks to Mark Mitchell and Rob Cook, filling our 11th place and replacing an injured Iqbal. Thanks again to them and their contributions!
Winning (!) the toss and batting (to take advantage of the bonus points only) seemed a daft decision when the ball started sticking, jagging and everything in between. Despite some powerful punches, Ejas fell early on, bringing Chris Pannell to join M Flem at the crease. Chris AND Mark put aside their natural Calypsonic tendancies for the first 20 overs, fantastically negotiating Bearsted’s opening spell and first change bowlers in a dogged and determined effort. After a discussion over drinks, the decision to kick on was made. 15 came from the next, and 30 from the first 4 after the break before both fell in relatively quick time, their 36 and 38 feeling like double on this pitch. In-form Nash and Skipper (47) entered the fray with 15ish overs left, and managed to punish the bad stuff and run (too) hard in a partnership of 97 from a similar number of balls. Adam ended on an excellent 45*, narrowly missing out on third 50 on the bounce.
In the end, we fell 9 short of the third batting point, but 201 seemed very defendable.
Unfortunately, Bearsted learned from our mistakes, targeted the short boundary, and were generally just very good and reached the target easily. This was all despite excellent bowling from the club’s Youth: Ejas opened proceedings with pace and deservedly took the wicket of their best player; Omar bowled a controlled line, moving the ball away from the batsman at will and could have had a couple more wickets easily; and Adam continued to hone his medium pace, moving the ball and beating batsmen and keeper. Rob, Mark and Calypso completed the excellent bowling lineup, but the batsman were in control and called the shots. A special shoutout to Joseph Pannell, who not only contributed two excellent front foot punches to our batting effort, but also fielded superbly when the ball was so obviously following him around the pitch.
But despite losing, four bonus points were gained meaning that Speldhurst 2nd XI are confirmed SAFE in Division 6 for another year. An excellent effort by all, and on to next week to finish the season off in style. Go well.
Shipbourne 2nd XI (A)
3rd September 2022
The final weekend of the season was a jolly affair for the most part. The 2nd XI was safe from the word go, having achieved the correct number of points the previous weekend to ensure this week’s rivals, Shipbourne, were already relegated.
The afternoon started in an odd fashion as the Shipbourne skipper, looking like he’d rather be absolutely anywhere else, walked off before I had the chance to tell him we’d like to bat first. Nonetheless, we did bat first. Wesson and Flemington opened up, facing an opening bowler in a Plaxtol CC shirt, and a cover point fielding in jeans, boat shoes and a green polo. Mark fell early to a wide long-hop that he managed to edge through to the keeper (also in a Plaxtol shirt), in an initial spurt of six run-less (and fun-less) overs. Wesson and Calypso knuckled down on a tricky pitch, later cut shots from both looking sublime. Minor panic then ensued (no surprise there) as we lost Calypso (27), in-form Nash (big fat 0) and Wesson (35) within a couple of overs before drinks.
A rebuild effort was initiated between skipper and Paul Eames, with plenty of good threes, and lots of unnecessary running before the ball crossed the boundary for four. It was at this point that the aforementioned Shipbourne captain loosely (and loudly) described one fielder as a [insert rude word here]. The fielder, now dressed in whites, stormed off the pitch, only to be cajoled back before reaching the boundary. An entertaining over it was, as the particular fielder walked very purposefully backwards as the bowler ran in, and kicked his own cap to the boundary a couple of times in frustration before jogging off to retrieve.
Paul (13) finally fell just as he was beginning to hit the middle of the bat, the ball hit the middle of his pad instead. Yaz came and went to their returning quick opening bowler (still sporting his lovely Plaxtol shirt), and skipper fell for 42 attempting to increase the run rate with Ejas at the other end. Ejas did kick on for a quick fire 39 (including two very enormous sixes) before his father had seen enough and ran him out. Siraj couldn’t make the most of his time at the crease, but Mike Nash got us over 200 with three lovely fours at the end. 202 looked defendable on a tricky pitch.
Unfortunately, a lacklustre first 20 bowling overs saw some loose (but occasionally good) bowling and fielding from a side looking a little low on energy. Omar and Ejas both struggled with a mountainous run-up to the Pavilion end, whilst Siraj (0-38) bowled well with his usual lack of any sort of luck from the other. Going to drinks at 90-0, we all received a Fergie-esque, hairdrying dressing-down from Club Pro Eames and we went into the next 20 with several more lumens of lustre coursing through our veins.
Wickets did come eventually: M Flem picked up his 30th, 31st, 32nd and 33rd league wickets of the season but struggled to contain the run rate (with often no help from his fielders). Adam Nash however, was the pick: his seven overs of controlled line and length yielding no wickets, but crucially only 23 runs, and suddenly we were back in it. A game of cat and mouse appeared as their opening bowler (who presumably got lost on the way to Plaxtol that morning) started biffing boundaries. We turned to Calypso spin to add some spice, and were rewarded with the wicket of his brother at the other end. Unfortunately, we kept dropping the good one who finished on 55*, winning the game with 7 balls to spare.
A good game of cricket in the end, which we probably threw away in the first 20 overs of the second innings. Nonetheless, the league season ended in safety if not triumph, with standout performances from many players throughout, and a particular congratulations to Mark Flemington for reaching 30 wickets in a season for the first time in his SCC career. But generally a huge thank you and well done to all who played for the 2nd XI this year, all very enjoyable indeed.
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