Dark clouds rolled over the FOD square all morning but from these was to come a ray of promotional hope as 20 points kept us in 2nd place and edged us 3 further points away from scone hating Pool.
The pre-match warm up was eventful with E.T ensuring the lemon cake was okay for general consumption and Tom Garman almost knocking out Mark Deighton with a ball deflection on to his unsuspecting head. Thankfully nothing appeared to be damaged – although I’m not sure how we’d tell!
Rob Caddy was captain and wicket keeper for this match and after losing the toss also opened the batting with Ed Thirlwell as Harden elected to field. The pitch was green and our boys started purposefully with both openers getting off the mark with 4s. Ed managed 19 off 32 balls before being bowled in the 11th over and replaced by Paul Bennett. Boyo got off the mark with a 6; he and Caddy then settled in through the spin. Bennett reached 45 off 47 balls, making a healthy partnership of 74 with Cads before being caught in the 27th over off the bowling of Simon Wood (who had also bowled Ed and went on to become the TCS MVP).
This dismissal then brought in Sam Dobson at no.4 who also joined the Caddy Continuum, the two of them putting on 84 before our little house elf (Harry Potter reference there for those of you who didn’t get it!) was given out LBW after making 58 off 50 balls. Sam Winter then joined the masterful Caddy until Rob was caught after a valuable 70 off 119 balls in the 43rd over. At this point Mark Deighton entered the fray and with a 4 off his 1st ball too it seemed all of KECC’s batsmen had turned up for the party this week. There followed some quick and consistent scoring interrupted only by a comedy collision in the 46th over half way down the wicket!
Joffrey then punished Hopwood (the bowler behind Caddy’s dismissal) with 3 successive 6s – it could have been worse he could have had him beheaded…to potentially earn himself a new nickname of ‘The Beast’ (666!). Deights nearly made it to the end but was unfortunately caught on the 1st ball of the last over after a very credible 26 off 20. Which brought in Adam Hussain who ended on 1*, Winter finished on 43*.
We didn’t see the stylish shots of Alex Durrans, Steve Watkins, Pierce Clarkson or Tom Garman but despite that a total of 266 for 5 looked a good one to defend.
After tea Harden came out scoring slowly at first to our opening duo of Adam Hussain and Sam ‘The Beast’ Winter (not sure if I still prefer Joffrey?!). Both openers were caught (A.Hussain & P.Bennett) within 10 overs for a combined total of 14 – although the actual score was 62 as the 2nd wicket fell due to the determined batting of their no.3 – M.Topham. Topham was taken by a catch from Deighton off the 1st ball bowled by Tom ‘Smiler’ Garman but not before he’d scored 58 off 28 balls. Garman also took the next wicket bowling out their no.5 for 0. Steve Watkins then took the 5th wicket of their no.4 (Gardner) who had managed 27 0ff 35 before Boyo took his 2nd catch. Smiler took the next wicket soon after, bowling out their wicket keeper Martin Falkingham for 4 – but the 7th wicket was to prove much more stubborn!
Harden’s no.7 (Simon Wood) and no.8 (R. Falkingham/Captain) put on 120 before Winter took his 3rd wicket bowling out their captain for 36 off 54. However it took the Silver Fox to finally dislodge Wood for 83 off 73 with Boyo taking his 3rd (and loudest) catch of the game.
Things were getting tense as Harden had reached 262 – needing only 5 runs to win off the last 3 overs. Tom Garman went for 3 in the 48th BUT the final single put their junior at no.10 on strike for the 49th to face Watty who needed to get 2 wickets before they got 2 runs!! In a thrilling climax Watty took 2 wickets in 3 balls…PHEW!!!!
The Silver Fox ended on 4 – 65 off 13.3, Smiler on 3 – 33 off 10, Adam on 0 – 53 off 11 and the beast on 3 -100 off 14. We also received 3 fielding points for Boyo, Deights and E.T.
It was very nice to come out on top of a nail biting finish for once this season. Well done boys!