Close to the Edge

Winchmore Hill CC  Sunday 4 August 2013

JUDD STREET TIGERS 202-8 beat OLD GRUMBLERS 183 by 19 runs

In another tense match, the Tigers just shaded their dogged opponents in a contest that ebbed and flowed all afternoon. More significantly, skipper Chris Dane replaced a millstone with a milestone as he finally recorded his maiden century. It was fortunate that he did, as no other batsman really got going against some tight bowling and excellent fielding.

Asked to bat first, Chris unusually opened and was lucky to be dropped behind before scoring, but he made the miscreant pay in a near faultless innings of 17 fours and one six. Seventy-four runs came from the opening 11 overs, for the loss of Mike Delanian (17) and Barnaby Pinfield, who looked set for another big score before smacking a long hop stright to cover point for 13. The innings was temporarily strangled by an excellent spell from wily spinner Nero (2-7), who trapped Chris Wright lbw and bowled Dave Rawlings with a pearler, with just 20 runs coming from nine overs.

Daney and Ian Daffern got the balls rolling again with 55 in 7 overs, but Chris, having fallen short in the 90’s twice already this season, finally found enough in the tank to get over the line. Caught in the deep, his 105 came out of a total of 170 in 33 overs. Daffern and Steve Rennie (a lively 16 not out) edged the final score past the 200, despite only 10 runs coming from the last 3 overs.

Morgan (29) and Alex (44) got the Grumblers’ reply off to a flyer with 75 in the first 12 overs. Chris Wright seems to have lost his bowling mojo at the moment and had a disappointing day, but Matt Webster plugged away and eventually induced Morgan to play on before Dave Scally – after seeing his first delivery disappear over long-on for six – had Alex well caught by Pinfield. Daney, still stiff from his batting heroics, failed to locate the pitch with his first few balls, but thereafter settled down and picked up three more wickets. When Nero was brilliantly held by Daffern at cover from a full-blooded drive, the Grumblers had lost seven wickets for 18 runs.

Having seemingly almost won the game, the Tigers then proceeded to almost lose it, as their cricket inexplicably fell apart. Poor bowling, lethargic fielding, dropped catches, overthrows and poor teamwork produced some mild bitching and increasing panic as Joiner (35) and Stead (37) added 78 for the eighth wicket. With the bowling options fast running out, Mike Delanian came to the rescue, whipping off the bails to run out Joiner as he took one chance too many; then with 20 needed from 12 balls, bowling Stead and dismissing the last man with some smart glovework from Jimmy Carter.

It was a closer run thing than it should have been, with a great late effort from the visitors, whose target was always just tantalisingly out of reach.

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