|Date||13 May 2017|
|Opposition||West Essex 3rd|
|Venue||Brentwood Cricket Club|
|Result||L (Brentwood Lost By 162 Runs)|
The 4th XI started their league campaign in a disappointing defeat at home to West Essex.
With captain Daniel Ranns winning the toss and electing to bowl first on an overcast day, Will Davey and Luke Ranns opened up with Brentwood disadvantaged from the start, with Barry Brooks not aware of the earlier start times for the new season. James Bainbridge took the gloves for the opening half an hour and was required as both opening bowlers tested the batsmen’s outside edges.
Unfortunately, the bowlers’ efforts were not backed up in the field, Luke Ranns particularly unlucky not to get a wicket after a dropped catch from Jake Walker. The ball then managed to evade diving efforts from both Louis Morris and Ruku Sultan, with the batsmen capitalising on any loose deliveries to cement the opposition’s solid start.
After a wicketless opening spell of bowling, and the emergence of wicketkeeper Brooks, Jake Walker and Micky Payne came on to try and regain control of the match. Micky’s persistent line and length troubled the batsmen as the runs somewhat dried up. Both bowlers were unlucky with Nirav Parekh dropping a catch off each, though one of the chances was particularly tough.
As opener Wajid passed 50 and the opening partnership neared towards 100, Jake’s efforts were rewarded as a leading edge was spooned in the air to the grateful skipper Daniel Ranns in the slips. Shortly afterwards, Payne’s relentless consistency eventually lead to the simplest catch Parekh will take all season; an edge looping gently into his hands, removing opener Shinwari for 50.
Nirav replaced Jake while Payne continued from the other end, with the left arm spinner getting one to spin past fourth batsman Qureshi’s outside edge, and sharp glove work from Brooks doing the rest to stump the batsman for just 2.
Mick Payne eventually finished his marathon spell, which saw him gain figures of 1-44 off 11 overs. Louis Morris came on to replace him and got the occasional delivery to fizz past the outside edge, with skipper Daniel Ranns coming on for Nirav.
Another chance then went begging as Will Davey put down a high catch in the covers, and a firmly hit drive whistling over the head of Roger “Vape” Mahadeo, as batsmen Kanojia and Joy looked to accelerate the West Essex innings. Nirav came back on to replace Morris and was soon rewarded as a fired up Daniel Ranns held on to a sublime catch in the slip region. Despite the best efforts of Kanojia and new batsman Raja, Ranns and Parekh showed good control, seeing the last 2 overs conceding just 3 runs, the last ball being sent in the air by Raja for Ruku to hold on to at mid off, giving Nirav his 3rd wicket. Brentwood required 227 to win.
Ruku made an impressive tea debut with quiche and pringles galore, and he then set about trying to impress in his league debut by opening the batting with Barry. However, both batsmen struggled to get the opening bowlers away as they started with good pace, line, and length.
Brooks was the first to go after a yorker saw his stumps rearranged by Clarke. Ruku then took what looked a very painful blow in the inner thigh, and was subsequently dismissed the next over after struggling with his movement, Brentwood reeling at 20-2.
With Mahadeo and Bainbridge at the crease the run rate began creeping up to the 3-an-over mark, before Bainbridge offered a return catch to first change Kanojia, and Roger’s expansive drive saw his edge fly to gully to give Clarke his 3rd victim. Will Davey then got a good ball to remove him for a duck, leaving Luke Ranns and Louis Morris to rebuild.
The pair made it through to drinks and looked to have seen Brentwood through the spell of pace bowling, with the slower Griffiths and young spinner Kamal coming on to bowl. Louis in particular hitting a couple of nice strokes to reach 17. It wasn’t long before veteran Griffiths had used his experience to clean bowl Luke, with young off spinner Kamal getting through Morris’ defences.
Ruku’s reappearance from the changing room with the freeze spray and arsenal match streaming to his phone was hardly a surprise, and made for more comfortable viewing than the disarray taking place on the pitch.
Nirav and Dan were at the crease when young spinner Kamal got Nirav to edge onto his own stumps, and with Jake Walker in at 9, the bowler repeated the trick two balls later to leave West Essex one wicket from victory, Mick Payne joining the captain at the crease.
In the very next over, Dan was caught off the bowling of Griffiths to confirm the West Essex victory, Brentwood all out for 64 off 26 overs.
Despite a big defeat, the team will look to some encouraging bowling performances, and can’t help but think what might have been had some of the chances offered by the West Essex batsmen had been taken. Certainly there will be more time spent on fielding in coming training sessions, but the side must also remember to be more vocal in their encouragement of the bowlers. We will also look to improve our batting, though there was admiration for an extremely tight bowling unit on saturday.
Report by Jake Walker
|Name||Squad number||Position||Runs||Dismissed||Wickets||Overs bowled||Runs conceded|