By Alex Smickersgill
2nd XI at Home v Church Fenton
Saturday 20th July 2019
Cricket is a team game. Yet cricket involves individual contests. But ultimately to be successful, cricket needs to be a game of partnerships. This is traditionally seen as applying to batting but is equally relevant to bowling. Saturday’s match against Church Fenton was decisively turned by a crucial batting partnership and a vital bowling partnership.
Losing the toss looked to be a fatal blow on a pitch that was showing signs of the effects of the previous day’s rain. Sure enough wickets soon tumbled as the skipper and Will were caught as the ball caught in the track.
Now came the decisive batting combination. In a truly effective partnership the components complement each other. This was certainly the case with Adil and Shabby. Adil displayed immense patience, taking 11 overs to open his account. At the other end Shabby took the long handle from the outset. This proved to be a highly entertaining and effective union as they put on 126 for the third wicket. When Shabby was finally out for an excellent 80, Adil stepped on the gas, finishing with a carefully paced 78*. He was joined by Zaheer, who contributed a handy 23*, including a valuable 6.
The good work done here allowed Crossgates to set a challenging 200 for Church Fenton to win. Much depended on an early breakthrough as Church Fenton have a formidable front five. Now the second key partnership kicked in; with Sam supplying pace and hostility, perfectly blending with PD’s stump to stump accuracy. These two blew away the upper order to put Church Fenton behind the chase. When the middle order looked to push on, Will contributed two wickets at crucial times. The way Will worked out the batsmen just added to the growing evidence of his cricketing brain and justified the decision to make him acting vice captain on the day.
Zaheer and Finn bowled tidy spells and Rick chipped in a wicket to keep the momentum going Crossgates way. The ground fielding was solid with catches for Adil and Alex Bambrook, with Alex also effecting the run out that administered the last rites to the Church Fenton innings.
This was a great win against a top side, built on partnerships that were more Morecambe and Wise than Cannon and Ball ( one for the older readers there). Up the Gates.
Men of the match: Adil and Shabby
Fielding point: Alex Bambrook