BEST LAID PLANS GANG AFT AGLEY
Shortages bite at seconds’ chances
Cottenham (20pts) 94-3 beat Camden (3pts) 93 by 7 wickets
Top of the league after two games! Well, one game and a cancellation, but it seems that those that gets sides out this season will be the winners on some occasions. With that in mind the seconds arrived at Cottenham with eight, one of whom was due to leave at two thirty, and two more due to arrive at about half four, if we could force the game to go that far …
When Virat Kohli said “If you can stay positive in a negative situation you win” he may, perhaps, have not had in mind the skipper who sets out to bat 40 overs and is walking off bemused after 3. Mitchell played down the line the ball had been on but, as ever, was not up to date with where the ball now was. Steve Hodsdon, however, was coping well with the devious whiles and, while his strike rate slipped from the dramatic 200 it was on this ground before he started, was playing his trademark backfoot hoick with aplomb. Sourav Bhattacharya never quite got the pace of the pitch and was run out shortly before, tragically as it turned out for Camden, Steve had to retire in order to taxi his family. Nick Green effortlessly (“was that a six?”) launched 16 runs in 15 balls, Paul Crossley held an end up, Ginto George and Ritesh Raghavan both scored at about a run a ball, but when Ritesh was let down by luck and played on via his body we were not in a position to send more batters to the crease and so were ‘all out’ for 93 for 6.
Tea was taken as slowly as we were able …
However, when Cottenham started their innings we were still limited to a three-two field and a creaky old man at wicketkeeper.
Ginto loped up to the wicket, bounded and delivered a ferocious bouncer which, thankfully via the bat handle, struck the opposition skipper on the cheek. Further short then full deliveries followed, Ritesh kept the other end tight. Ginto produced a beautiful late swinging ball that removed the other opener, eventually number three was induced to put a catch up to Hridoy Dutta and we began to hope. Hridoy came on to bowl, eschewing his usual guile for sharp, seam up accuracy, kept the batsmen honest. Eventually, though, a lack of fielders and lack of bowling began to tell; Nick came on to bowl two overs for 11 of stiff, back stretching deliveries. Then a key moment; Steve returned to take up the gloves, the skipper decided to use himself as a secret weapon, bowling full straight … and being thrashed off middle and off for 16 precious runs.
Reduced to despair, the skipper had no soon turned back to Ginto then the last two players arrived. With a field positively crowded with the brass section arrived from the Queen Edith’s fete – Douglas Mitchell and Mags Howarth putting in sacrificial performances for the harassed skipper/father/husband – Ginto resumed to an expectant crowd. He did not disappoint, bouncers that could nearly be called for height followed by a sublime full ball once again removing the off stump. However, all too soon the remaining runs were made and we were done, almost as quickly as the full strength first team at their nemesis, Coton. Many thanks to the opposition skipper for putting us in to make a game of it, and then gamely having his face reordered by our pocket rocket. Thanks also to my family (this is beginning to sound like the Oscars) and to Steve for the miles he put in and the runs he scored. I think Virat may be on to something, however staying positive in the face of savage dismantling of my bowling in the pub was only really achieved by looking at the state of Ginto’s trousers and contemplating that my critic (not Ginto I should point out) would complete his long ride home some time after I was home and happily contemplating my second pint!
Men of the Match: Ginto George and Steve Hodsdon