Dan Shows his Colts the Way Forward!

The 3s turned up at Newfound in hopes of a third win on the bounce in the sun. Read on to find out which of these dreams comes true.

As Dan walked out to the middle with the opposition skipper, it was the definition of a “good toss to lose.” The pitch looked a belter, firm and straw-colored despite the changeable recent weather. The C&CF skipper wasn’t fooled by this and sent the Oaks in after calling correctly at the toss, hoping the pitch would reveal its usual demons.

Oaks Bat First

Dan and Jeff strode out to the middle, and for a while, it was tough going. A sticky pitch combined with some very tidy bowling from the young C&CF opener meant that the first five overs were steady if not spectacular. The change bowlers came on, and while Jeff still found timing tough, Dan started to open up with his usual leg-side assault. Big shots and sensible strike rotation meant that the Oaks were well-placed when Jeff fell for a useful 26, with the score at just over 100 in the over before drinks.

Dan Ends 49 Year Wait

By this point, Dan had passed 50 as Tom Hartgill joined him in the middle to build another partnership. Tom once again found timing difficult but knocked it around nicely as Dan moved through the 60s and 70s. As Dan approached the big milestone, excitement was building on the sideline, mainly because it was an opportunity to get up from our seats and warm up in the arctic winds. Dan accelerated through the 80s and early 90s but unsurprisingly started to slow as the milestone approached. At last, Dan’s 49-year wait for a ton was over after another trademark boundary to square leg. A great knock, and he made timing look easy on a track where all other batters for both sides struggled.

220 on the Board

Tom departed shortly after for a well-made 22. It was time to accelerate, and Benjamin’s strike rate of 27.27 was just what the doctor ordered (or not) before he skied one to cover. Will McCarthy was next in and helped shepherd the score beyond the 200 mark as Dan continued to find boundaries with ease. Will knocked it around nicely and was on strike for the final ball of the innings. On the sideline, Dave Bowers was giving some riveting coaching insight, explaining how he tells youngsters to protect their wicket at all times, even if it’s the final ball. Will has more sense than to listen to Dave and tried to launch the ball into space, the predictable outcome being stumps flying everywhere.

The Defence

The score of 220 was a good one but not an unbeatable one, so we knew we would still have to bowl and field well. Fortunately, Bowers and young Joby hit the spot from ball one, restricting the C&CF openers to just 8 from the first five overs. The openers showed little intent, subjecting the non-bowling Oaks to a slow death in the field with only one outcome ever looking likely. Joby was replaced by the exciting George Bird, who finally got some life out of the pitch. The occasional loose one was more than made up for by some absolute seeds which whistled past the batsmen. Bowers was the one to get the reward though, picking up two quick wickets at the other end with a drag-on and a smart catch from Dan, whose body was just about still working.

A small partnership then developed as the young opening bowler from C&CF also turned out to be handy with the bat. The score had moved on to 48-2 before Benjamin decided to finally reward those with him in their fantasy team with a decent run-out, including good work from Steve behind the stumps. Despite never going for the win, the opposition batsmen refused to roll over and small partnerships continued to develop. Harrison Bird proved a useful partnership breaker, picking up a simple caught and bowled. The C&CF skipper walked to the middle and decided to have some fun, smashing two 4s and a 6 in quick succession.

Up Steps Avi

The moment called for a man with experience. Up stepped Avi Thakur, fresh from a 40-over umpiring stint – the only disadvantage of a side packed with colts. Avi’s line and length were metronomic, and he soon received the big reward of bowling the opposition skipper. Avi now had the job of mopping up the C&CF youth team, which he did with great glee. Line and length remained superb as batsmen came and went in quick succession. Joby came back on at the other end and picked up a well-deserved wicket before Avi finally put the visitors out of their misery, picking up superb figures of 5 for 15 in the process. Special mention to the youngster who finished 38 not out.

A pretty faultless all-round performance, including some excellent work with the ball from George, Joby, Will, and Harrison. The fielding was also impressive, given that hands were in pockets and other warm areas for most of the innings. Victory was made even sweeter by a team drink in the bar as usual.

On we travel…