Having driven through the picturesque village of Crawley, the Blades knew they were in for a good evening of cricket. The scene was set: Beautiful countryside, quintessentially English cricket ground, a bespoke pavilion, 20 overs planned, and – an absolute rarity – 11 Blades, all in the same place at the same time!
The Badger won the toss, and after consulting with the troops (he really is a man of the people) elected to bat first. With Crawley CC taking the ball, and their opening bowler from the Top End steaming in and bowling a spell consisting of multiple jaffers, you could be excused in thinking he was a green grocer and that the wrong decision had been made. One such corker was the undoing of Wythe. This brought MC Hamer and K-Dog together and the runs then started to flow from both Blades with some exquisite stroke play, assisted by a lightening fast outfield. Hamer perished eventually with a delightful catch sending him back with a handy score of 15. D Brown was then in, bringing about the call of “left-hand”. Humph and Brown continued to keep the scoreboard moving, K-Dog eventually having to retire on a score of 28 not out. Hunter to the wicket and he took no time in settling in with a four off his first ball. Brown and Hunter continued to score relatively freely, until Billy-Bob was caught trying to extract the mythical 30 before retiring and was thus out for 24. Galpino next up scored a lovely 11, with Da Vinci Brown scoring another 25 not out (not a bad habit to be picking up, even though still yet to have any contact from Vine CC Thirds or even their Colts…. #awkward). The Badger in his lucky bowls shorts strode to the wicket and promptly back again without troubling the scorers. Bazza chipped in and contributed a nice 5 not out. Not officially on the clock, but quite possibly a call into the modern day Norris McWhirter is required. As Nadeem, for about the 3rd or 4th game now, has dutifully padded up only not to get out into the middle, has developed an impressive talent of unpadding at speed – for those that have not witnessed this display it is your loss! Even without the assistance of Afzal, the Blades innings concluded on 131 for 4.
So to the Crawley innings and what was arguably a very comprehensive display of Blades bowling. The dynamic duo of Afzal and Galpin opened the bowling, and are very quickly now becoming one of the great bowling partnerships. After an opening spell of 3 overs a piece Afzal had figures of 1 for 8, and Galpin 1-15. Humphrey took the ball next – nice to see that he had recovered from his tour injury which kept the leaping salmon out of bowling punishment action in Sussex – and delivered figures of 1-17 off 3, including a nice running catch from Billy Buckets Hunter. GT completed his obligatory 4 overs of wobble and guile (less said about the run up the better), finishing 4 overs with 3 for 24, which were a combination of a steepling catch from Hamer on the boundary, one bowled, and a caught behind from Brown (and unfortunately a little bit of tap from their opening bowler – who later retired on 25, to come back out later to bring the innings to a close). Meering kept things nice and tight and tidy returning 0-22 from 4, which contained a run out / stumping (scorebook says run out which is a little harsh). Along the way there was also a neat bit of fielding by the most dapper Blade on the day – Tanmay, donning a natty pair of work-shoes, joggers and t-shirt (watch this space Blades – could be the new kit). Ben Wythe, in combination with the Barrier’s spell, bowled well and produced figures of 1 for 22. The author of the match report is going to be understandably modest and unassuming in describing Ben’s wicket, but think Jonty Rhodes, THE catch from Andrew Strauss at 3rd or 4th slip, one could go on…..but this was better J A majestic one handed belter of a catch, a career best, taken sharply at mid-wicket. The team were amazed, the opposition were amazed… G was amazed! The innings of Crawley whilst gallant and brave fell short ending on 113 all out.
RESULT: Blades win by 13 runs
report written by G. Man, publication delay caused by A. Brown