We welcomed back Idrees who we haven’t seen for a couple of seasons. Neville was shearing sheep, allegedly, and Kevin was watching football!
The good news was that we posted a respectable score and the bad news was that Lucan chased it down with some ease.
We had met this team before and thanks to a very level headed partnership between Tim and JT we had secured our only victory of the season. They won the toss and decided to make us bat not wanting to risk another tortoise and hare scenario.
We were happy to bat as our men were in good form the previous week against YMCA in a Junior Cup game. Clive Wardrop had recorded his maiden century for the club but it was number 28 in a prolific career.
The opening pair looked assured but it was a partnership of 121 between Richard (51) and Clive that put us in an excellent position.
No batsman in the memory of current club members has recorded back-to-back centuries but Clive worked steadily to amass an unbeaten 111 runs. He is very good at picking the right ball to hit and even when he is in full flow he is happy to leave ‘suspect’ deliveries alone. The shot of the day was a sweep to fine leg, which was an effortless maximum.
Gunther has been worryingly out of form for the first few matches of the season but today he really came good. He clubbed the ball to the boundary and scored 50* in a very short time. I don’t have the stats’ but I think his strike rate could have been up around 200. The last over of the day was smashed into the boundary fence repeatedly. The boy is back!
When you go in for tea and 3 batsmen have passed 50 and one has gone on to make a century you feel understandably confident. The stars are aligned, or are they?
Lucan had 239 to chase but we were aware they could bat. Another worrying sign was that only 2 wickets had gone down in the first innings.
In Neville’s absence John had the choice of ends from which to open. Unrestrained by the heavy hand of his partner he came in from the River end with the wind and slope in his favour. Backed up by Ahsan at the Pavilion end the bowlers opened purposefully. Ahsan bowls outswingers and was getting so much curve on the ball that it was regularly passing the outside edge. Wickets were hard to come by. Ahsan and Idrees got one each and Mark got 2. Mark used his height to get a bit of extra lift and this kept the batsmen quiet, albeit briefly. However, it was a day when the bowlers started well but once the batsmen got their eye in runs were scored effortlessly. Only JT had an economy rate of less than 5.
It is hard not to be disappointed with the result but Lucan never really looked in trouble. It was a sporting encounter punctuated by an excellent tea prepared by John. He is off to surf in California for 2 weeks and we will miss his presence with both bat and ball when we play Swords at home on Saturday 21st July.