By Skipper Alex Smickersgill
2nd XI at Home vs Kippax
15th June 2019
Visiting teams to the Crossgates Oval are starting to learn there is a new gun in town (see picture). Anyone turning up expecting a stroll or laughing at ‘Gun’s’mule will be sent packing. Even without his blazing bat ‘Gun’ showed he can see bad ‘uns off with his bare hands. More of that later.
Kippax arrived expecting an easy 6 points. Keen to start the game early they suggested we bat until our full quotient of players arrived. Even the skipper was not naive enough to fall for that.
A damp pitch was matched by a damp atmosphere. This had been a difficult week and Dan Horry deserves great credit for getting out two 11s. The toss was crucial and amazingly skipper Alex won it. This in turn presented a dilemma because at the time of the toss we only had 8 players present. It was not a day to bat first but could we risk fielding with just 8 men? Gambling, the skipper put Kippax in.
Ray opened from the bottom end with an excellent controlled and threatening spell. His first 4 overs going for just 5 runs. At the other end Sam too was looking very dangerous and picked up a wicket with his fourth ball.
As the innings progressed the talents of our 2 debutants came to the fore. Harrison was showing excellent glovework behind the stumps. His willingness to sprint out from his keeper’s postion also prevented a number of quick singles. Coming on as first change PD virtually sealed up an end and bowled his 10 overs off the reel. Final figures of 4-34 in no way flattered him.
Good support from Tahir and Zaheer kept things tight but crucial was fielding which saw no catches dropped. Smart catches were taken by Ade, PD and even the skipper. Added to this were the efforts of Gun. Two swirling steeplers were swallowed with the cool of Clint Eastwood in his prime. Backing up the catching, was solid ground fielding with Ray and Adil covering huge areas of the field.
Will showed his cricketing nouse when he came on to bowl. Eschewing spin with a ball that was hard to grip, he was rewarded with 2 wickets by sensible variations of flight.
Restricting a top batting side to 174-4 was a commendable effort. Then the heavens opened…
Fielding point: Harrison
Man of the match: PD