Bushmen versus Ashwell: A Captain Writes

Published June 21, 2018

A quick round-up of a well fought win at Ashwell on Sunday 17th June. I remember this as a niggly fixture and I wasn’t even present for last year’s controversy. This was an altogether less controversial affair, bar a couple of disputed umpiring decisions on both sides.

We won the toss and batted. Many thanks to Bill Coales for playing. He and the Skipper put on a stand of roughly 110 before the Skipper thought he’d give point some fielding practice off a slow full toss for 57. Bill ground on, and ground well. Things got tougher for the Bushmen though. As so often, there’s always a wily spinner held back when we bat, and a brutal batsman hiding in the lower order when we bowl.

Twas ever thus at Ashwell. Two off-spinners that knew, as we did, it keeps slow and low, so best not to play with a cross bat. Against the conventional wisdom, we swiped and bludgeoned our way to 167. Howard did as Howard does, playing lovely shots off the back foot and ably supported by a young wicket keeper lent to us (very kindly given his ability) by Ashwell. Cricket is a cruel game though and they left for 18 and 19 respectively.

Conventional wisdom does not always count for much, though. We were told 220 was a par score on this ground, but given recent memory and their subsequent performance, 167 was indeed a competitive total.

The Skipper and the Kiddy-Killer opened up the bowling, but despite the presence of a few Colts, Clyde took the wicket of an adult, and a good bat, via a smart catch from Zohaib at midwicket. It was the Skipper who took the wicket of their young lad opening up and then their No.3 who scored quickly and could clearly play, but took a bit of a liberty trying to hit a yorker into the car park.

The game then hit limbo. We didn’t bowl badly and they didn’t bat well, but the game limped on (is it obvious yet that it’s a quiet day in Westminster?) with runs slowly scored and the game creeped to its climax with a few wickets left. In comes veteran Michael Cockerell, who bowled a tight line and length in his six overs and took two important wickets from settled batsman.

That left Ashwell, with just 20 to get, and one man left with plenty of time to see it out. A couple of runs an over would have done it. So I suppose it sums up Sunday cricket that their Skipper then thought it would be a good idea to dance down the wicket to Clyde with their own keeper eagerly waiting a false shot.

And that was it. We won!

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