I’m not sure whether the Chancellor had announced a cut in the number of players in a cricket team in his Summer budget, but it was 9 vs 9 at the sun-soaked KWood Bowl. SpoDev won the toss and elected to bat their 16 overs first.
The Albanian flag fluttered proudly in a stiff breeze as Galpin opened the bowling. His characteristic miserly pace attack conceded only one run from his opening two overs, and four runs throughout his entire spell. He didn’t claim a scalp this week though, with the first wicket going to Hurst thanks to a catch by Meering. That was two balls after a catch which didn’t stand due to a no ball, all of which was of particular interest to Ms Madison Goodman of Paloma California who favourited the tweet reporting this. She wants to be the next Selena Gomez, she says, and also promises to follow back, an offer the Blades have yet to exploit.
Meanwhile, Terry took over from Hurst and promptly dismissed a second batsman courtesy of Richardson’s gloves. And there was more action on Terry’s watch as his next over brought a maiden and a Run Out following disastrous batsmen confusion, and his third over toppled the stumps twice for just one run. Madison Goodman, however, remained unmoved despite Blades having SpoDev at 22-5 in the 10th.
Whitear M and Meering saw the innings to its conclusion, Whitear bowling one batsman in the process, but both were unlucky to be on the receiving end of a late charge which saw 24 runs added in the final three overs. SpoDev closed their innings at 60-6, the lowest opposition score since Shirley’s 40-9 in August 2011.
Blades seemingly had a straightforward task of hitting 61 at a rate of 3.75 and thoughts were already turning to beer and chips when Farmer and Richardson headed to the middle. It’s a cliché – but it’s true – that you can only judge a score once both sides have batted, and Blades were kept in check by bowling as miserly as their own had been. Farmer hit 20 before being bowled in the 9th over, the score having only shuffled along to 33. Runs continued to elude the Blades, even E X Tras was having a quiet innings, and the score had reached just 42 when Hamer was caught by a spectacular diving catch in the 12th over.
Whitear took guard and decided to up the pace. He hit the 14th over for 13 runs including the first six of the Blades innings and suddenly just 5 runs were needed from the final two overs. A four from the first ball of the 15th over as good as won it, and the single required shortly followed with nine balls to spare. Whitear’s lightning 19 and Richardson’s cultured 17 were both unbeaten scores in a total of 61-2 giving the Blades a second successive 8-wicket win and the fifth consecutive triumph of an increasingly successful season.
RESULT: Blades WIN by 8 wickets
Champagne moment contenders:
Galpin’s 0-4 from 4 overs
Terry bowling two batsmen in one over
Whitear smacking 13 from the 14th over