Match report by Bradley Ellison
A Song of Fire and Ice
The second XI started the 2019 campaign away to Sidcup, a carbon copy of last season. And we were hoping for the same result.
Winning the toss, the late arriving skipper fresh from McDonalds elected to field first. Bradley Ellison and Nathan Fox sharing the new ball with strong winds and rain threatening throughout, they kept things tight. Nathan claimed the first wicket of the season, bowling one of the openers in his final over.
Brad continued the other end, we endured hailstones and bitterly cold conditions, even coming off the field a couple of times. Callum replaced Natty and bowled with rhythm, once Brad had finished his spell of 10-2-28-0, Ben Fowler came on and picked up a wicket in his third over, the ever reliable hands of Lewis Hewitt, swallowing the ball at mid off. This brought Nash to the crease, the guy who hit 142 against us at home last year and he was quickly into his stride, cutting and pulling at nearly every delivery, until he hit Callum through cover only to see James Bond flying through the air like a walrus (Sidcup is the birthplace of the Walrus, thanks to the rugby guys last year) and holding onto the ball. Callum finished a tidy spell 10-0-43-1 and Sidcup were 124-3 from 30 overs.
We were also treated to some outrageous IPL style boundary fielding from Lewis, first leaping through the air and palming the ball that was heading for 6 back into play and saving 5 runs, then in the same over he did the same with a certain 4 bouncing toward the boundary. The lift this gives the team and bowlers really makes a difference. After Bens spell of 1-49 from 7, Natty had a switch of ends and struck in his first over bowling the dangerous "1st XI player" Corbett, Ash then struck in his second over caught by Callum from possibly one of the worst deliveries he'll bowl this year, Natty then finished his fine spell by bowling the number 7 to finish with 3-39 from his 10. Another wicket came in Tray's third over we finally got the other opener for a patient 68, trapped plumb in front, the batsman even started walking!
The skipper came on to finish the top end, and with a similar delivery to Ash's first wicket the batsman could only manage to sky the ball to the waiting Lewis and Sidcup had collapsed from 159-4 to 198-8. The final two wickets came courtesy of our off spinner, Ash getting his third and fourth wickets both bowled.
Another heavy shower ensued and tea but we were finally in the warm! Once this had blown over we set out to knock of the 218 required. Lewis started in the only fashion he knows, a 6 over the cover point boundary but he was only able to add 3 more runs before being cleaned up. Natty looked in fine form, his weight training regime through the winter has paid off and he can now find the boundary with ease but he fell for 12, a leading edge courtesy of the slow track. Debutant Matt Hardy, look steady but when Khan dislodged his bails for 6 we were 69-4.
Enter Andy and James, steadying the ship with their years of experience. Seeing off Khan, they knew there wasn't much else to come after that. Andy's first scoring shot believe it or not was a 6 over the third man boundary! These 2 batted superbly well, waiting for the bad ball and frustrating the bowlers until Andy was run out by a yard for a decent 34, Josh Marshall then fell LBW for 2 and when James was adjudged LBW for 48 we still required 53 for victory from 12 overs.
For some reason the young pace bowlers from Sidcup decided that banging it in would be the way forward and with the short boundary on my side I was going to take on the challenge, Callum did the same at the other end and he ended up hitting the winning boundary with 6 overs remaining to finish 16* with Brad unbeaten on 42.
A brilliant victory made all the more sweeter with the competitive edge that Sidcup provided. We're up and running with 18 points in what will be a tough season but we can more than hold our own.
This weeks Man of the match could have gone to a few, Ash for 4fer, Natty for his 3, Lewis for ridiculous fielding, James for a brilliant 48 and diving catch but the team decided it was Brad for 0-28 from 10 and 42*
Next week will be a big test when we face Bromley at home