|Date||29 July 2017|
|Opposition||Wanstead & Snaresbrook|
|Venue||Brentwood Cricket Club|
|Result||W (Wanstead 79, Brentwood 80/8 H.Chaudhri 5-35 Brentwood win by 2 wickets)|
Brentwood walk on water to win a low scoring thriller.
With the weather forecast for the day very poor and the wicket only being covered by a tarp sheet, the prospects of a completed game were looking bleak prior to the start of the game. After surviving a couple of player scares with Degg awaiting the arrival of some goods (guaranteed before 1pm) and Rob Jones misunderstanding a text message that he had been selected, Brentwood were able to take the field with a full XI at the start of play. Captain Pocock had practiced the coin toss and three heads in a row had appeared so it was no surprise that when in the middle, it came down as a head again and Pocock understandably elected to field.
Paul Degg was an obvious choice for the new ball and looked dangerous from the off as he started beating the edge of Wanstead opener Rahul Patel with what became laughable regularity. With the likes of Balroop, Bainbridge & Wells missing, Pocock opted for youngster Will Davey to open up the hill and he started with a bang. Wickets in each of his first three overs. Firstly, he tempted the visiting skipper Karan Singh into a wide slash that was skied to Luke Brailey in the covers, in his second over, a similar fate became of Piracha as he hit one to Micky Davis at short point before finally trapping Raja Usman LBW following a couple of big sixes in his third over.
Inbetween all the excitement at the other end, things were getting a little tasty after Patel actually managed to put bat on ball to a Degg away swinger to edge behind. A well deserved wicket for Degg surely. No. An umpire unmoved at the other end and a batsman not prepared to walk following smashing one led to some heated exchanges between all involved added some extra spice to a game between first and second in the league. It’s Wanstead, there was always going to be a little bit wasn’t there??!!
Degg was eventually rewarded for a great spell with the wicket of left hander Rafey Mukhtar who played a loose drive to Hobson at short cover. The unenviable task of following Degg’s spell of 6-3-9-1, fell to Richard Whitehall who rolled back the years on a seaming deck to get Chaudhri to edge to Pocock, while Hobson came on at the other end. He did for Patel eventually trapping him LBW for 14, before then getting the youngsters Kamal (caught Degg at short fine leg) and H Usman (bowled) cheaply.
It fell to Rob Jones to end the innings and sadly his Brentwood career as he moves back t’North. Another two lefties departed as Janjua drove to Hobson at mid off before Tom Bentley edged to Whitehall at first slip to close the innings on 79 all out.
With tea not quite ready, and the weather still threatening, common sense prevailed to ensure a match was completed so after a quick turnaround, Hobson and Ewan Smith strode to the crease. Despite the small total, this was not going to be an easy chase and it was made even harder when following a maiden first up, Smith chased a wide one to depart off Chaudhri’s first ball and then Nigel Bacon nicked off the last ball of the over to leave Brentwood reeling on 0/2.
Special mention must go to the setting up work of Nigel Bacon & Ewan Smith who showed tremendous judgement of rope length as they completed their perfect boundary at the exact moment the rope finished on the reel. So even though they scored 0’s their contribution on the day was a positive one!
Then came a rare period of stability in the game as Hobson & Davis put on 39 before another spell of carnage came as 4 wickets fell in two overs including 3 in 4 balls. First, Davis hit Tariq Zaman to extra cover for 13 before Luke Brailey was bowled by the same bowler two balls later to end the over. At the start of the next Hobson tried a dab to third man only to see a flying hand of Piracha keep the ball in the air long enough for him to set himself and take it on the second chance. The captain came to the crease and there was some calm for four balls before he then missed a ball that seamed to be trapped in front and the all to familiar finger of Harb Pabla was raised. 41/6. Game definitely on!
Not one to be concerned with a treacherous scorecard, Degg proceeded to hit the next three balls for four to again settle things down with he and Jones looking comfortable until one shot too many from Degg saw him caught at backward point off left arm spinner Mukhtar with just 12 required for victory. Young Will Davey showed great composure in hanging around and waiting for balls he could score off in support of the more experience Jones, however with just two required it got exciting again as Jones feathered an edge through to the keeper to give Chaudhri his five-fer.
Three balls later it was all over following a single from Pabla before Davey looped a drive over the head of cover to the delight of the Brentwood men on the sidelines. 159 runs, 18 wickets, many fingernails chewed, very few nerves left but the long and short of this tremendous result is Brentwood extend their margin at the top to 83 points with six games remaining.
|Name||Squad number||Position||Runs||Dismissed||Wickets||Overs bowled||Runs conceded|