Friendly Match - "Proper Cricket"
New Ash Green 185 all out
New Ifield 181-9
What a start to the season! Facing a problem not usually faced till late summer – a reused, worn dusty wicket – New Ash Green still chose to bat first on winning the toss, having a side packed with batting. Dan Walton and Matthew Quantrill started steadily but were soon able to pick up the pace a bit, taking advantage of the fast outfield to pepper the boundaries. With plenty of further batsmen anxious for an early season chance to shake off the rust they were able to start to take a few risks after reaching the drinks break without losing a wicket. Having reached his 50 with two sweeps from Alan Taylor Quantrill then laid into Thomson, taking 16 from an over and bringing up the century partnership. The club managed only one century partnership in the whole of 2006, so it has to be hoped this is a good omen for the future! However Immediately afterwards Quantrill was caught flinging the bat at Taylor for 69 and reality began to bite back. Andy Payne was bowled, Scott McKechnie unfortunately run out and then Walton also holed out having just brought up his own half century after benefiting from a couple of comical dropped catches. With John Howland, Matt Scanlan and Ian Martin also failing to significantly rouble the scorers, totalling 3 between them, New Ash Green had gone from a position of strength at 104-0 to looking unlikely to bat through to tea on 132-7. Fortunately the depth of the batting line up was illustrated by the presence of Simon Duke at 8 and Matt Dehaney at 9, and these two batted sensibly to put on 38 for the eighth wicket before Duke was bowled for 22 trying to make room for a big hit to a slower ball. Dehaney also ended up with 22, not out in his case, as Matt Bushe went early but John Harley hung around to see another 14 invaluable runs added for the last wicket before perishing just three minutes before tea.
Harley was back in action immediately after tea to open the bowling, with Simon Duke pressed into action at the other end. Both bowled tidy spells and picked up a wicket each, Harley's coming as welcome relief as the batsman, Walker, had looked comfortably out to Matt Dehaney's direct hit on the stumps the ball before. Chris Cook and the man known as 'Daffyd' played fairly attackingly to keep New Ifield up with the required rate before Cook holed out to give Matt Bushe a first medium pace wicket. Matt Dehaney followed up with the well deserved wicket of Andy MacGregor, to put New Ash Green back on top. However Daffyd had showed his intentions from the start. He had only one shot, a huge mow across the line, but he played it very well. New Ash Green had the leg side field packed almost immediately, but he managed to find his way between the fielders and started racking up the runs, supported by Lindenberg. The run rate fell and at 140-4 New Ifield were looking well in command when Matt Scanlan, on to replace Bushe, turned things round again by bowling Daffyd. Lindenberg carried on the scoring and even when Dehaney had Wheeler caught and bowled and Scanlan bowled Thomson the odds still looked in New Ifield's favour. Both bowler's kept it tight, however, and with the fielder's blocking their preferred shots New Ifield found it harder to score. Lindenberg eventually skied one up for Bushe to take a second catch. Vic Outtar lofted a couple of straight drives to leave New Ifield needing 8 from the last two overs, but to the first of these Fraser Walkenhorse lofted an off drive only to be superbly caught by a leaping Andy Payne. Matt Dehaney finished an excellent spell by completing a maiden, and New Ifield couldn't get Scanlan away for more than three singles in the first 5 balls of the final over. With a six (strictly 5) needed to win off the last ball Scanlan tossed the ball up, but New Ifield skipper Alan Taylor decided not to take the Death or Glory option and dead batted the ball away to ensure a draw. Not, though, a boring draw, but a superb game of cricket to start the season with.
Friendly Match (35 overs?)
Belvedere 214-6 (35 overs)
New Ash Green 117 all out (33.4 overs)
New Ash Green lost by 97 runs
No reports have come back from the game, so I am going only by the scorecard in making this report, but New Ash Green seem to have been beaten by two enormous individual performances. Having inserted Belvedere John Harley and Amjad Ali bowled tidily enough at the start, Ali taking 3-35, but after that the rest were all expensive, with most of the runs being scored by Stuart Gamester who made 111.
In response New Ash Green got off to a disastrous start, sinking to 9-5 then 15-6. Simon Duke with 48 was the only one of the top order to put up any resistance, though Matt Bushe managed to stay with him for some time in a 7th wicket stand of 55, of which he appears to have contributed precisely 0! The damage seems to have mostly been done by Ben Lodder, who took 7-13 in 9 overs, a surprisingly long spell in a friendly game when so many wickets had fallen early on. Once he came off Joe Elisak with 16* and Simon Freeman with 8 were able to be 2nd and 3rd highest scorers and take the total past 100. The number of batsmen out bowled (nine out of 10) speaks volumes for either the poor state of the wicket or the poor state of the batting.
The following match report has now been received courtesy of Simon Freeman:
Not quite the start to the Sunday season we would desire, but a lesson. Not the best pitch we've ever seen, but by the looks of Stuart Gamester's innings it was very good. John Harley and Amjad Ali put a stranglehold on the opening batsmen, and keeping the run rate very low. After a good over from Amjad taking two wickets, and Gamester got the luck he needed to get through the innings. Then there was a change of bowling at each end bringing the two Simons one, Simon Duke and Simon Freeman. Duke was able to keep the batsmen from scoring runs, but Freeman on the other hand conceded several no balls in his first over. Once he had adjusted his run up he finally started to get some good balls in, but to no avail. Duke finally got another breakthrough when the opening batsmen chipped a ball to Joe Elisak. Freeman then came off and Lewis Cooper came on and his first few overs going for a few runs, but taking a good wicket. Matthew Scanlan came onto the scene and after a breakthrough the inevitable happened, and the bowlers started to concede runs again. Amjad came back on and dispatched Gamester, but far too late as he had already made his 111 runs. Then the last few overs concede several runs, and no wicket was taken, and finally the innings finished with Belvedere on 214-6.
A hard task for the openers, they needed to set the tone of the match and stay in for a while, as the required run rate was just over 6 runs an over, a very difficult task. The openers were managing to keep the opening bowlers out, until a good slower delivery dispatched Scanlan for 3, not a bad score for the match. Then some very good bowling and some unsure batting caused a very big upset in the match leaving New Ash Green at 9-5 and then 15-6. Matthew Bushe went out there with the right mind of staying out there and he stayed out there with Simon Duke for a long time. Then finally Bushe finished with a well-accomplished duck off around 50 balls. Joe went in and showed the top order how to bat. Finally Duke went for 48, very unlucky not to get his fifty, a very good batting performance. Freeman went out there and felt he had to treat it as batting practise, and helped Joe to take the score past 100, the two batsmen scored with 2nd and 3rd highest scorers, and managed to last out the attack that the top order failed to. Freeman finally went for a quick 8, and John Harley came in, and scored a very quick 3 runs, until he was bowled out like a lot of the team, leaving Joe unbeaten on 16. Lets hope that the next few Sunday matches will be a lot better than this. The fact that 9 out of the 10 wickets were bowled showing a lot about the pitch and the batting performance.