|Date||15 July 2017|
|Opposition||Hainault & Clayhall|
|Venue||Brentwood Cricket Club|
|Result||W (Brentwood CC 240/7 G.Bull 58, Hainault & Clayhall 209 A.Panesar 93 D.Oliver 51 D.Balroop 4-24. Brentwood win by 31 runs)|
Brentwood 3’s come through stern test to make it ten in a row.
The second half of the season started in similar fashion to the first for the Brentwood 3rd XI with a competitive game against Hainault & Clayhall.
With rain about prior to the start of play and the covers only coming off at about 12:15pm captain Pocock ummed and ahhed having won the toss before confidently declaring that he’d like to bat. 18 hours spent to and from Trent Bridge with 5’s captain Kevin Brailey on Friday may have subconsciously affected his decision!
After a few raised eyebrows at their skippers choice, openers George Bull & Roger Mahadeo went to work against the Hainault bowlers. Bull in particular taking an early liking to week one tormentor Daniel Austrie to give a positive platform with a half-century partnership inside the opening 12 overs. That then turned to a century stand, and an individual 50 for Bull, before Mahadeo “got a bit bored” and missed one dancing down to be stumped for 36 with the score on 102 after 21 overs gone.
Having bemoaned his teammates bats the past couple of weeks, Bacon strode to the crease with new lumber in hand and it looked money well spent with some lusty blows finding the boundary as he took the lead in a positive partnership before Bull fell LBW having missed what had been a previously fruitful flick to the leg side. Former 1st XI captain Micky ‘Mouse’ Davis’ class did not go unnoticed by the opposition as the Hainault skipper remarked at the tea break that after the first ball he knew he’d played at a high level. Davis went off like a train with three fours in a row coming off Shah before very effectively rotating the strike with 21 consecutive singles (with very few dots in between). Bacon & Payne both fell during this period holing out to Hainault skip Daniel Oliver.
With nine overs to go and the score on 184 it was a great position for some of Brentwood’s pinch hitters to come up the order to push for an imposing total. Numerous side bets were being organised by Balroop on the sidelines on what ball Degg would hit for six and after a surprisingly watchful start he obliged with a trademark drive way over long on’s head before he was run out following a smart stop in the covers that caused some confusion in the calling. Mouse then departed in somewhat unlucky fashion in picking out the hidden fielder at deep fine leg who, from the celebration at least, was probably taking his first catch ever. Hobson decided to wait for the final over before starting his fireworks with two convincing sixes over very wide long-on (ok, Cow) before he missed a straight one and was bowled which brought about massive celebrations from Shah. Very keen for someone who’s final over went for 18 but each to their own. With the final ball going for a boundary as well it gave Brentwood a total of 240/7, more than enough surely….
The Brentwood bowling effort started as so many have this year with early wickets falling. Balroop’s first ball easily could have cleaned up Gulati but he instead worked it down to third man for what should have been two but slow running and good work in the field by Bull and a clean take by Pocock saw the opener run out for 2, the first of six wickets to fall during a Balroop over. The second wicket came only a few balls later when Balroop’s inswing cleaned up Hassan for 3. The dangerous Hainault keeper was next to be deceived by Balroop as he played all around one that swung and moved off the pitch to see the visitors three down for just 26 runs. Three became four in Balroop’s final over of his opening spell when Khawaja was LBW for 10 before the baker’s replacement Hussein got Zulfiqur (0) to snick one to Pocock who took a smart catch up to the stumps. Runs hadn’t completely dried up however as Amreepat Panesar was going strong at the other end and even at 72/5, there were 31 overs to go and Brentwood knew they would have to work hard to keep their winning run going.
The spinners Hussein & Pabla initially dragged the run rate back as the visitors took drinks slightly behind the rate on 102/5 however positive intent was shown straight after as 60 runs came in the next nine overs to put the pressure back onto the hosts. A couple of chances went to ground and the atmosphere was certainly tense with a number of spectators now gathering to watch what was shaping up to be a gripping conclusion. Opener Degg was brought back on to try and make a key breakthrough in this potentially match winning century stand. Having narrowly avoided a run out to bring up his 50 skipper Oliver didn’t quite get hold of Degg enough and Payne took a solid catch coming in from long on to break the partnership. This ended a fantastic final three over spell of 1-13 from Degg at a crucial stage of the match. The other danger man A.Panesar survived a massive LBW shout before pulling a short ball to Degg at deep fine leg to be dismissed for 93 by George Bull.
Having taken some punishment in his first over from the set batsman, Hobson returned to york S.Panesar for 6 to leave Hainault 8 down but with only 36 needed off the last 5 overs. King Balroop still had three to bowl though. He only needed one though as first he and Hobson calmly completed a run out before Bhardwaj was cleaned up to be last man out for two to give Brentwood a win by 31 runs much to the delight of all the players and the spectators on the boundaries edge.
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