Brent Win Close Fought Game in the Final Over!
South Brent 170 for 6 (39.1 overs)
After the long trip over the hill to Ashburton, the team were keen to take advantage of the one cloud in the sky, to aid the swing bowlers and elected to bowl. Pete 'The Bowling Machine' Glen and Sean 'Squealer' Beavan took the new ball and immediately caused problems for the Ashburton openers. Coles (1) was unlucky when he swung hard at a wide one from Beavan and picked out Dave Fidoe at cover point who took the catch. Glen is trying a new tactic in the 2017 season, only taking wickets with his worst balls, bowled a lovely full toss that struck halfway up the stumps to bowl Cock (3). Glen (8-1-18) decided stick to his regular line and length after that, bowling a tight 8 over spell.
Beavan (8-2-34) who was managing to get the ball past the outside edge more and more as his spell went on, got his second victim Ashburton skipper Yeo (12). Lewis managed to just about take a low catch after juggling the ball and rolling around on the floor. Young Pascoe came out to bat and looked confident and fearless against the two Brent opening bowlers. Pascoe and Yabsley steadied the ship for Ashburton and both were looking comfortable at the crease.
Skipper Cranch made a double bowling change bringing on 'the Daves', Fidoe's off spin from one end and Lewis from the other. Fidoe (4-13-1) couldn't get much turn out of the pitch but bowled a good tight spell. Pascoe was unlucky to get one that didn't bounce from Lewis (4.3-2-15), that hit the bottom of his pads and he was caught in front of the wicket.
Coon (22) came to the crease and he and Yabsley (34) continued to build the total. In the over after drinks Yabsley had decided to push the run rate and came back for a risky second run. Malpass had been like a coiled spring at slip all game and shot after the ball like a bullet, his throw was accurate and keeper Dardis calmly removed the bails to leave Yabsley stranded.
Another double bowling change saw Rob 'Axeman' Willoughby and Adam 'Too good to do his own fielding!' Cook brought into the attack. Skipper Cranch, who had decided to bowl first because the one cloud in the sky would aid his swing bowlers, cunningly waited until that cloud had disappeared before bringing on the Brent swingers. Willoughby (7-3-53) bowled accurately and found his rhythm straight away by dismissing Coon and after a few solid connections West (6), was bowled as well. With two relatively new batsman at the crease and Ashburton 7 wickets down, South Brent were looking forward to an early tea.
The Ashburton tail had other ideas and Crouch was scoring quickly and hitting the ball hard. Marshall (16) was supporting him well at the other end and the pair started scoring freely. Willoughby bore the brunt of Crouch's hitting and Cook was managing to keep things fairly tight at the other end. Cook (8-1-34) and Willoughby were being well supported by the fielders, with Saunter and Jarvis being kept busy on the boundaries.
Willoughby got his third wicket when Marshall let one through. Cook got his reward when he got Lambert (5) caught at square leg by Fidoe. Cranch brought Lewis back on for the last over and he bowled K. West for a duck. Crouch finished with 41* and Ashburton had posted 168 for Brent to chase.
After a lovely tea and a short break from the searing April heat, Brent were out again to bat. South Brent were still giddy from an uncharacteristically solid batting performance the week before and were keen to try this tactic out again. Jarvis (19) played himself in by blocking the first two balls and then launched the third for six. Malpass was looking comfortable and played the short balls with his characteristic flourish. The score had moved on quickly to 36 before Jarvis was adjudged LBW to Marshall. Marshall struck again in his next over, bowling Malpass (12) with a full ball. Marshall (7-4-33) was sticking to a simple full and straight tactic and was getting results. West (8-0-23)at the other end was bowling with a hint of away movement and was getting the ball past the edge regularly. Captain Cranch was next to go with a lofted square drive to Lambert at backward point.
Brent were 56-3 and the tactic of a solid batting performance was in need of review. Fidoe came to the crease to join Lewis, who was looking solid in defence. The steady fall of wickets continued when Lewis mistimed a drive to mid on, the fielder managing to just get his fingertips under the ball. Lewis (11) unfortunately left it too long before he tapped his bat to ask for the television umpire and had to go.
Saunter (1) came out swinging and skied a top edge to the keeper off Coon (8-1-30). Dardis (0) followed quickly after when he was bowled by Lambert (3-1-5). The all too familiar site of a South Brent batsman, who sees too many partners come and go, was descending on Fidoe as he stood alone in the middle. Glen went in a few balls before the drinks break and the two began to remember the master plan of a solid batting performance. Glen and Fidoe batted resolutely through the next nineteen overs with barely a chance offered. Ashburton were bowling tight and chasing hard in the field, Pascoe (7-0-30) bowled well for no reward. The two Brent batsmen were getting nearer and nearer the total and constant updates of the score from the boundary from Rich 'Carol Vorderman' Saunter were probably the reason why Brent managed to win the game in the last over.
Glen (42*) and Fidoe (50*) put on a 97 run partnership for the sixth wicket and batted cleverly and calmly throughout. Not once did Glen even answer the trumpet calls in his head to come charging up the wicket to the slow bowlers. Fidoe brought up his 50 and the winning runs with a typically elegant off drive. The final score 170 - 5. Thanks to Ashburton for a great game of cricket and to Chris Kelsey and Vernon Coon for umpiring.