Romsey Town vs. Fulbourn II

13:30, Saturday, July 15, 2017
Trinity College (Old Field)

Fulbourn II (165/4 in 40 6-ball overs)
lost to
Romsey Town (165/3 in 29.3 6-ball overs)
by 7 wickets.

Report by Daniel Mortlock:

It's generally a bad sign for the fielding side when the opposition make it to the end of the 38th over having lost just 2 wickets. And, indeed, it would have signalled disaster for us today, but for the fact that they (Fulbourn II) had just just 153 runs on the board. The final 2 overs were suitably eventful, with Fulbourn adding 12 more runs while we doubled our wicket tally (mainly thanks to stand-in 'keeper Cam Petrie, who held an edge off Daniel Mortlock, 1/33, and completed a last-ball stumping off Ferdi Rex, 1/37); but the story of the innings was the two hours of conservative batting that had already gone. As such, the key numbers were actually those of the Fulbourn top four: 19 off 19 balls; 52 off 89 balls; 46* off 75 balls; and 22 off 39 balls. They'd all played themselves in . . . but none had really got out of first gear. Even stranger, their top scorer's dismissal came about when his partner called him through for the most absurd of quick singles, and the only challenge it presented Ferdi with was which set of stumps to go for. (He went for the striker's and scored a sort-of direct hit - no other fielder touched the ball, but it did conveniently deflect off the dismissed batsman.)

The rest of our bowling figures were as unspectacular as the batsmen's numbers, although the best efforts were by Stephan van Eeden (0/15 off 6 overs) and Andy Owen (0/18 off 8 overs), who were both ultra-eonomical, and Saurav Dutta (1/20), who was the most threatening, a fact illustrated best by the fact that his wicket had come from a perfectly-pitched leg spinner that defeated an absolutely solid forward defensive. We also backed up the bowlers pretty well in the field, Jeff Beaumont making a number of great "pad catches" in the slips, and Rexes Ferdi and Olly both superb in the deep. That said, Olly did manage what surely was the comedy effort of the day when he ran in to try and take a catch off his brother's bowling, only to realise that he wasn't going to get there . . . at which point he appeared to freeze, politely allowing the ball to scoot over the line. But, fortunately for him this was forgotten two overs later when Cam, who'd moved smartly to prevent a potential leg-bye, then decided to keep the batsman honest with a fake motion to throw . . . that was particularly convincing because he actually let go of the ball, which ended up in the vacant point region, allowing an easy first run and almost a second.

Still, such shenanigans (and the fact we were basically incapable of taking wickets) notwithstanding, we tucked into Cam's generous tea safe in the knowledge that we had a batting line-up that should have been able to eat up the target in much the same manner that we'd finished off the deliciously moist banana cake. (Or was it banana bread? Either way, requests for the recipe were met with a droll "Well, I buy the bananas; and I buy the other ingredients; and then I make it.")

Our chase certainly started smoothly, as Cam Petrie (40 off 38 balls, before being dismisssed by a very skillful 13-year-old), Dom Summers (12 off 17 balls) and Ferdi Rex (a rather careful 23* off 48 balls at this stage) took us to 93/1 in the 18th over. We then endured two overs of complete mayhem, although thankfully most of it was off the field. Cam's dismissal was followed almost immediately by Saurav Dutta (4 off 5 balls) coming down the track, seemingly in an attempt to be the first batsman ever to be stumped having crossed with his partner. Meanwhile, umpires Richard Rex and Andy Owen were set to (finally) be replaced, just when a few of us were also rummaging around in the pavilion sorting out drinks. It felt like absolutely perfect conditions for a Romsey Collapse (TM), but instead Ferdi and Olly simply focussed on defending the good balls and punishing the bad ones. This they did admirably, helped by the fact that one of the Fulbourn bowlers was seemingly in denial of the fact that he kept breaking the return crease with his back foot - rather than adjust his run up he simply got angrier, the only material result of which was an increasing number of loose deliveries. These were gleefully eaten up by Olly (27* off 35 balls) and Ferdi (58* off 74 balls, still undismissed for the season), and they ambled the winning run with more than 10 overs remaining.

A great action shot of Ferdi pulling the ball to the boundary by the pavilion . . . although the best bit of the photo is actually the position of the square leg fielder, who for some reason is looking in completely the wrong direction.

Ferdi cuts another boundary.

That left plenty of time for a post-match drink, something which tasted much better for not having screwed up a would-be win for a change. Moreover, despite a number of calamities this season we're not actually in a terrible position in the league: our total of 135 points is beaten only by league leaders Little Shelford, with 180, although Royston (also on 135) has 8 games left to play to our 6, so those two teams are very much in the prime spot for promotion.