Have you ever been having a great night out, things get a bit out of control and then all of a sudden you wake up the next morning not knowing how you got there with a deep sense of regret? Over the course of this report I intend to explain to you why our 1st XI game vs Cheltenham was just like that.
The day started well, we were put through our paces as usual by Stoddy and there was a good buzz around the group. We chatted about responsibility, knowing our roles and focusing on the task at hand. We were as well prepared as we could possibly be.
The pitch was green and had got a bit damp so it was never going to be a run fest, but it still looked a decent wicket. With overcast condition favouring the bowling side Copey won the toss and elected to field. We started well with the ball myself (6-2-17-0) and Ollie (5-0-24-0) bowling with good discipline, but ultimately frustrated by the resistance of the Cheltenham openers.
We eventually took our first wicket with the score on 52 courtesy of an aggressive James Lavis (10-0-43-2). Despite some horrendous chat about the batsman being in a rush to get to a wedding and that they should play the lottery, he was bowling well in partnership with Deepak (10-4-17-1). At the end of their respective spells we had reduced Cheltenham to 106-4.
The game started moving at a quicker pace with introduction of spin from Adam Lavis (8-0-35-3) and the only spinner I know that rivals Solomon Benn for height Jon Chandler (8.4-1-26-3), Cheltenham’s Schofield and Cooper were well set and scoring nicely, but spin soon started to pay dividends when Cooper holed out to Chandler. Wickets started coming thick and fast now for BERCC as the spinners toiled away. Schofiled made his half century before he was eventually out for 52 with the score on 162-8. It wasn’t long before Cheltenham were all out for 167 in the 48th over.
Revisiting our night out analogy, at this point we’re about 4 pints in and having a great time. We put in a very disciplined bowling performance, yes we dropped a few catches, but all in all we were pretty happy with how things went. After a fantastic tea we were ready to chase down the total and it was at this point in our analogy that someone (probably Copey) decided to buy a round of 30 Jagerbombs, and things went south from there.
The innings didn’t start well when both Copey and Hayd were clean bowled by Sellers and Walker respectively, however from here we dug in as Joon (41) and Chandler (22) rebuilt the innings. Chandler was looking in fine form before he was bowled by the off spin of Peter Woodland. This bought Smash to the crease who came out sweeping and looked extremely positive as he and Joon pushed the tempo up. This was our second wind everything had calmed down from the earlier round of Jagerbombs and the night was back on course, we were 106-4 inside 25 overs, 62 runs with 6 wickets and 25 overs to get them in, we’d soon be out of the club, and back home with a nice chicken kebab….. How wrong could you be, unbeknown to everyone else the group joker had gone to the bar and ordered 30 shots of something terrible. Smash was adjudged to be out LBW and with only two more runs added to the score Deepak was caught behind off Sellers. With the score on 108-6 we still needed 60 with just 4 wickets left, the good news was that Sellers and Walker who had looked the most dangerous had bowled most of their overs.
Unfortunately for us by this point our heads were spinning and panic had set it, we lost regular wickets to the spin of Schofield (4.3-1-12-4) and despite some positive batting from Adam Lavis (17*), we were all out 156 in the 42nd over when James Lavis was out off the back of his bat for a first ball duck. Perhaps James was invited to the same wedding as the Cheltenham batsmen?!
So that was it, we’d woken up from our night out feeling terrible and at loss to explain what had just happened. In reality it was a very disappointing second half of the game and ultimately a game we threw away. Credit to Cheltenham who bowled and fielded very well and in particular to Schofield who was surely MoM for his all round display. We move onto next week, where we we will look to put things right at Rockhampton.
On a positive note, we weren’t the biggest chokers this week, enter Shannon Gabriel: