Paulin Ground, Winchmore Hill Sunday 7 June 2015
Despite a sterling bowling stint from Matt Webster and the Tigers’ best batting effort of the season, they could not force a result against a determined visitors, the non-limited overs match ending in a somewhat disappointing draw.
‘Time’ matches are not everyone’s cup of tea but they can make for interesting tactical innovations and do allow for bowlers to extend beyond their normal comfort zone of 7 or 8 overs. Matt’s Trojan effort of 17 consecutive overs brought him all six wickets to fall in the N2 innings, without the assistance of any fielders (4 bowled, 2 lbw.). Sadly, none of the remaining Tiger pitchers could claim a breakthrough on a flat wicket in excellent conditions.
Scoring at above six-and-a-half an over, the home side rattled up an impressive 239. After a steady start by Mikes Delanian (29) and Herlihy (16), the innings was mainly built around a third-wicket partnership of 98 between Chris Dane (75) and the red-helmeted Chris Boden (46) in just 15 overs. Daney, fresh from reliving the trauma of his Cedric Pioline car crash on last week’s Pointless repeat, was in resplendent form once again and looked on course for another century until falling lame. Further contributions from Andy Ward (17) and Stewart Taylor (20*) kept the momentum going until tea and a declaration.
The visitors’ reply got off to a good start from Dyer (23) and Parker (32), plus a cart-load of extras (the batsmen scoring almost as many runs with their feet as their bats!), the total reaching 86 before Matt made the initial breakthrough. Thereafter ‘Buttocks’ was rampant as he looked like running through the whole N2 team, his inswinger taking the top of off stump or pinning the batsman leg-before. At 142-6 and plenty of the final 20 overs still left they were in trouble, but some sturdy resistance from Wilson (14*) and captain Bhatt (23*) saw the visitors safely to the close without further incident.
Matt’s spell of 17 overs, 6-48 was herculean in the conditions and deserves every credit, but with Daney unable to bowl captain Taylor’s options were somewhat limited. Twenty years ago Stewart himself was recorded bowling such a spell (off his long run), as was Phil Hill, then both playing for West X1, but these days it is a rare occurrence.