Close games, while enthralling and occasionally agonising, are what we play for. There is nothing like watching from the side-lines as the overs tick down and the score ticks upward.
This was one of those games. And while mistakes were still made in the field, we managed to drastically cut back the runs we gave away when compared to our performance against Nairn.
Once again we fielded a strong bowling side with Ross and Anjum kicking things off. The Northern Counties opening pair knocked the ball around confidently and while we created a few half chances, as one or two deliveries were edged over or past the slips, we were just lacking a little bit of luck.
That luck came with a change of bowler as Nilesh was brought into the attack. Alex Green hit one straight up and I was able to gather it in, previous infamous drops all running through my mind as the ball descended. Following that breakthrough we were able to chip away at their batting line up steadily.
Ronan Blakey, bowled very well and generated a few chances that unfortunately we couldn’t take, and he was unlucky to not finish the day with more wickets. Mark Douglass, after a nervous start also bowled really well and took an the important wicket of Dev. It was a really good showing for our youngsters, they played really well.
At the end of their innings we were chasing 186, an eminently achievable target if we got off to a good start…
We did not get off to a good start. Nielsen was caught behind on the first ball and I was caught at gully four balls later. At the end of the first over we were 0-2. However, once again, Ross put on a batting display and raced to 66 with Anjum backing him up with 60.
Despite early losses the game was still there for winning and with CJ and Josh adding 19 and 16 respectively, we were edging closer. The story of the game, however, was the performance of Shannon Thorpe. With a final tally of 4-40, he was able to break some important partnerships and slowed our chase. Still we crept onwards and we entered and despite more wickets falling for low scores, we entered the thirty first over needing only nine to win.
In the end, it wasn’t to be. Our last wicket fell just five runs short of the victory. That’s cricket, so very close in the end, but a good game played at a brilliant ground which is only get better and better!