Romsey Town vs. Over II

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Over II (166 all out in 39.5 6-ball overs)
Romsey Town (153 all out in 38.5 6-ball overs)
by 13 runs.

Fielding first as usual, Romsey did pretty well, taking wickets regularly and keeping the runs down, despite the Over batsmen providing a lesson in how to dispatch loose balls. Openers Marcelino Gopal (2/23) and Paul Jordan (3/41) were the pick of the bowlers, although Russell Woolf (3/29) also did well, taking his second three-wicket haul of the season. The fielding was also pretty good, with Andy Owen leading from the front (or, really, behind) with two catches and a stumping, and Catherine Owen almost stealing the show when she just failed to hang onto what would have been a stunning catch (by anyone, let alone a pre-teen in her first league season). Unfortunately this drop came in the one real period of frustration we endured -- having reduced Over to 145/9, their last-wicket pair hung around long enough to (almost) bat out their overs, adding 21 valuable runs in the process.

Our pursuit of Over's eventual 166 started slow and steady, Tom Jordan (38) playing the anchor role while his partners batted more aggressively . . . at least in theory. Unfortunately the innings got bogged down to begin with, and with just just 34 on the board after 16 overs the required run-rate was somehow up above 5.5 an over. Just when things seemed to be slipping away Jon Steele (19), James Wood (also 19) and Dave Clark (a brutal 16) came on for a succession of explosive cameos that got us back into the game as we scored at more than a run a ball for middle third of the innings. After 27 overs we were cruising on 110/3 and the game was as good as won -- with plenty of wickets in hand all we needed to do was knock the ball around for singles and maybe hit the occasional boundary. Unfortunately it didn't quite work out like that, with our last 7 wickets going down for just 43 runs as Over finished us off with some decidedly uncompromising cricket, first running out Dave Clark when he was hit in the box and subsequently wandered out of his ground, and then bowling full-pace at Catherine Owen as she got her first taste of league batting. ``I didn't know they were going to bowl so fast!'' was her reaction upon getting back to the pavilion, but by the same token Over couldn't be expected to risk handing us the game, which was still very much up for grabs right up until the last dismissal.