‘Wet Wicket Provides Result’
Once again Buckhorn fielded a much changed side from the previous League match against Plush. This was to benefit Buckhorn as it meant they had more than enough seam bowlers on a seamer-friendly pitch. The only option, if you won the toss, was to bowl first and then hope you could chase; however Adam B duly lost the toss, therefore Buckhorn were put into bat.
Simon B and Alex Gibbs opened up the innings, but the start was delayed a few minutes due to a short shower. The innings started breezily, with 6 runs in the first over. This didn’t last, as Alex was caught behind in the next over for 1, but he was soon to return the favour. Adam B joined his brother and they looked to spend some time in the middle, which they did, but Simon was caught and bowled for 15 – having been deceived by the pitch’s slow bounce. Charlie Leach was next in, but was also beaten by the pitch and was out for 4. Jay Westcar (making his Three Counties League debut) arrived at No 5, but was soon out caught at mid on for 1. Adam B looked as if he may be left stranded, watching wickets fall from the other end, but after several violent attempts at hitting the Hazelbury bowlers out of the ground, he was bowled for 22. Simon Dodd was next in at No 6, batting unusually high(!), and Buckhorn hoped he could use his many years of experience to see them through. The 2 Georges (Jones and Ovenden) were at 7 and 8, but both fell for ducks, both clean bowled; although Jones didn’t offer a shot to his ball and shouldered arms, the ball nipped back a long way into his off stump. With all the youngsters out, it was left to the senior players in the side to see Buckhorn to a respectable total, as they were now 62/7. Try as they might, the Buckhorn players couldn’t get the ball away, and the last three wickets fell for 6 runs, as Tim Ovenden (2), Ant Woolway (0) and Simon Dodd (6) had no reply to Hazelbury’s attack and the variations off the wicket. Mark ‘Chopper’ Chinnock was left not out for a solid 2 runs.
Tea was next and this provided the teams a chance to figure out how they could win on that pitch. The batters had to think how they could get off the mark and possibly make 69, whilst the bowlers were thinking where to bowl and how they’ll fare in the foot-holes (which provided the Hazelbury bowlers with quite an obstacle, as their front foot was slipping in delivery). In amongst these mini-debates and brainstorms, a delicious tea was enjoyed courtesy of the Dodds.
Buckhorn opened the attack with Simon B and George Ovenden. Simon B tried to bowl as many Yorkers as he could at a reasonable pace; meanwhile George toiled at the other end, bowling a tight line and using the facilities to good effect. Both picked up vital breakthroughs, picking up impressive figures in the process. Simon got 3 for 9 from his 8 overs; and George finished with 2 for 12 from 6 overs. As Hazelbury only had 9 players, the damage done by Simon and George meant that the main damage left Hazelbury with only 3 wickets left. Charlie Leach and Daffy had the task of trying to finish off, with Hazelbury 21/5 after 13 overs. Charlie Leach bowled well once again and bagged impressive stats: 3 overs, 2 maidens, 1 for 1. Daffy also bowled well, finishing off the Hazelbury batsmen, and finishing with 2 for 3 from 1.4 overs. Hazelbury finished 26 all out, having been blown away by a fired up Buckhorn attack; however the pitch did look rather helpful, and if the bowlers couldn’t get good figures on that pitch, they wouldn’t ever get them.