BCC Thunder vs Marlow Town Thursday 14th June
By Viki Sullivan
Thunder starting to rumble.....
On a warm and breezy evening, Beaconsfield Thunder set out to use their enthusiasm, and home advantage, to prove that Sunday’s defeat was just a warm up for a season of success. Due to an admin error we found ourselves with 11 players, while the opposition, Marlow Town had only 9. The obvious solution (to adults), one of our players batting for the other team, was greeted with incomprehension, so instead we allowed birthday boy Noah from Marlow to bat twice, and chose bowlers at random to cover the overs. We used inventive, and at times hilarious, solutions to give all our 11 ample chance to get involved, guaranteeing ourselves an evening of fun, and a mental workout for the umpires. Thomas was captain for the evening, and took on the challenge of leading our attack – bowling first and chasing later.
Joe, Austin and Josh opened the bowling. Joe bowled accurately, and was unlucky not to get a wicket. Austin showed real improvement in his line, while Josh’s dot balls helped keep the score down. Next in were Liam and Thomas. Liam bowled well, and restricted the batters to the odd single. Thomas’s bowling was superb – including a maiden over, that should have been a 2-wicket maiden (catching practice is now on our list for training!) - and after 8 overs Marlow were on 239. Nathan and Lukasz bowled next, Nathan taking a wicket with his first ball, much to his surprise and delight! Lukasz continues to improve, and with practice should be getting wickets in future matches. Miles and Harry came in to bowl with the score on 261, knowing they needed to reduce the scoring opportunities to keep the total within reach. Miles bowled really economically and got a wicket with his final ball. Harry tried to tempt the batters to hit the ball in the air to give us a wicket, but unfortunately they held their nerve, unlike our fielders who were beginning to panic a little and leak runs. The final bowlers, Ben and Hector took to the crease with the score on 275. Wickets were needed, and they set out to get them. Ben bowled beautifully, taking a wicket with his first ball, and only conceding 3 runs off his 2 overs. Hector’s pacey bowling looked set to get him a maiden over, until our comedy fielding allowed the batters to run 4 on overthrows. Hector’s annoyance was palpable and we all rather felt for the batter facing the 2 terrifying dot balls after this fielding mishap. Fortunately Hector’s final over yielded 2 wickets – one bowled and a stumping (thanks to the quick thinking of captain Thomas) so karma was restored, and our score to beat was 271.
Brief break for a roman feast, sorry match tea, very kindly provided by Natalie Frith. Struggling to select from the vast array of goodies on offer, most of our boys simply opted to have at least one of everything, and substantially more when it came to Jaffa Cakes. While the manager was sceptical of how this would improve our performance, our sugared-up cricketers assured me it was fine, and headed out to bat in jubilant mood.
First in were Joe and Austin, facing, what we didn’t know at the time was, the fastest bowler in Marlow’s team. Austin, having bravely opted to be in the first pair, found himself rather up against it, but retained his positive attitude, while Joe tried to squeeze out any available runs. We lost a few wickets, but crossed our fingers that the rest of the bowling attack was rather slower. Liam and Josh, our next batters, immediately found this to be the case, as they faced a lot of balls that were too far away to hit. However, we were back to 208 as our batting trio (one of solutions to too many players) of Thomas, Lukasz and Nathan headed to the crease. This batting spell was characterised by attempts to find the boundary, lots of running singles, a few wides, and two utterly bewildered umpires. The boys made the most of the their batting opportunities and rotated the strike brilliantly. The score was 231 when they left the crease and the relieved umpires welcomed the next pair, Miles and Harry. Again, a lot of wides were bowled, limiting the scoring opportunities, but the boys hit what they could, and ran well, so even with an unlucky wicket, their partnership took the score to 250. In came Ben and Hector needing 22 to win, with the usual request from the manager not to do anything risky (maybe one day they’ll listen?) Having worked out that the bowling was not particularly accurate, the boys decided to just club anything they could reach taking us to 270 by the end of 18th over. An attempt by Hector to stop a dribbling no ball with his foot unfortunately ended up on the stumps and was given out (football is not his sport) but this made little impact on the boys’ see-ball hit-ball partnership and we finished the innings on a healthy 289.
Much celebration from the boys, and some relief that with a bit of work on batting Thunder can chase down scores. Fielding, especially overthrows and backing up, still needs work, but I think there were lessons from tonight’s match that will stay in their heads for more than the usual millisecond! Thanks to Robert for his patience in umpiring the game with our oversized team, and to Natalie for the amazing match tea, and to all the parents who came along to cheer the boys on. Thunder definitely in the ascendancy, and looking for more wins…..