Buoyed by a less than convincing opening win against Melksham, the second eleven travelled to Purton for New captain Patel’s first league fixture on the road.
With the pitch reviewed and Daniel ‘Stoddy’ Swatton taking the warm up, the lads were ready to put right theirs abysmal fielding display of last week.
After winning the toss, Patel left the team scratching their heads when he elected to field first on a wicket that although green we were assured by Rhys Davies would be an “absolute road” and would score “runs for days”
Patel once again looked at the same bowling partnership of Gareth “Flintoff” Robb and Mark “Harmison” Styles, and sure enough Styles living up to his new found nickname, obliged with a wide first ball. Loosener out the way, Styles and Robb began to bowl tight lines and Robb had soon made an early breakthrough with Half the team saying it was LBW and half the team saying it was caught, only Peter Deck will truly know.
This raised Styles game finding an outside edge of the Purton skipper, Phil Duffell, which fell just short of Craig Simmons in the slip, but success came the next delivery with Styles clean bowling Duffell through the gate. Bringing the senior batsmen, David Allen, to the crease finding the first runs off the bat with a lovely cover drive for four but the chance soon came when a rare back of a length ball from Styles cramped him for space and he guided one to Swatty at gully. Unfortunately with him taking the warm up instead of taking part in it, he shelled the chance, claiming it was “going some” and “absolutely flying”
But the team were not worried about the missed opportunity with Robb giving nothing away in terms of runs but continuing to take wickets, whilst Styles cut a frustrated figure at the other end, with only the sympathy of Jon Street to help him, describing the situation as:
“You’re at the party, but you’re not really having a great time as your Mrs has turned up and drunk instead of you”
With main man Robb having 4 wickets (including clean bowling 2 of the top order and drawing a superb catch from the skipper) and only going for runs in one of his 7 overs, Patel decided to look to his youth to further enforce the advantage, Rhys and Matty Milne came on leaving Styles (1-19) and Robb (4-6) with 2 each left in the tank with Purton at 26-5.
Matty and Rhys kept the pressure keeping runs down to the two batsman in, Allen and Trevor Carter, that were beginning to look settled. Milne Jr bowling good line and length inviting the elder statesman, Allen, into driving, with Patel giving him an unconventional 8-1 split field. The chance then came driving on the up to James Wheeler on his final game before getting hitched, again like Swatty the chance went begging, shelling what appeared a regulation catch.
Rhys continued to bowl with his variation short balls that unlike at Burbage didn’t go crashing into the batsman’s shins but went sailing above the batsman’s head.
With the youth in the team lacking the successful breakthrough, the ball was thrown to Charlie “roid” Green and Daniel “dot” Swatton. This lead to further inventiveness with the field for Green’s overs when Patel implemented a square leg, deep backwards square leg and a man on the 45, this was either captaincy madness or knowledge of the scoring V from Greener’s bowling.
With Allen and Carter set it took a Greener special fully bunger to dismiss Carter who sent the ball swirling into the air. Jon ‘safe hands’ Street, moving in, out and shaking it all about before taking the ball as safe as houses. Leaving Purton on 76-6
Greener subsequently struck quick fire with only a further 4 added to the score. Then Swatty (1-17) delivered with the ball, clean bowling the danger man Allen who had scratched his way towards his half century only to fall at the final hurdle for 48. A great knock that gave some respectability to proceedings, leaving Purton 86-8.
Greener (4-16) then finished off the Purton tail, with deliveries he described as ‘they show as wickets in the book’ and left a wicketless Matty and Rhys frustrated. Purton innings came to an end at 90 all out from 37.3
With tea eaten and the arrival of the second teams ‘Something old’ Terry Strong to support, it was time to tackle the low total with the hopes to gain bonus points by not losing wickets.
Having been advised ‘get your head down, don’t take any risks’ and the standard response that is not publishable, Gary Legg took to doing what he does best and attacking opening bowlers. Getting on the front foot he soon took to the task of knocking off a relatively low score.
But it was in fact skipper Patel that was the wicket to fall having only amassed 7 runs he hauled out to mid-on to be the only victim to fall at the hands of Joe Dunn, usually the thorn in Burbage’s proverbial side. Leaving Burbage 25-1
Striding out with point to prove, Craig Simmons joined Legg in the middle. He soon followed Leggy’s lead and the pair began to eat away at the hosts total. With the boundaries flowing, the two men in the middle looked like they were trying to outdo each other, with Simmo coming out on top with an almighty blow straight down the ground for 6.
With the team approaching the total at double quick time, it all looked comfortable and the bonus point already notched up in Burbage minds, with the scores level, Purton’s Alex Duffell had other things in mind. Drawing Legg (42) into nicking one through to the wicket keeper. Waving goodbye to that bonus point, the only downside of the day.
With Swatty at the crease having played his part of walking out to the middle, Simmo (43*) finished off the match with one final boundary. Burbage finishing the game by 5 o’clock with an emphatic 8 wicket victory in 17.3 overs.
This week, the 2s return home to take on Royal Wootton Basset 3s.
We would like to wish the Good Luck to James Wheeler and Maria Cope with their big day on Saturday and all the very best for the future. We will be sure to have a couple of celebratory drinks for you after the game.
MOTM: Gary Legg
DOTD: Daniel Swatton