Date(s) - 03/07/2015
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Uppingham Town CC
Result: Won - Barford 132-4, Uppingham 115 all out
MATCH REPORT – BCC vs UPPINGHAM – 3rd July 2015
The tour party turned up at UTCC’s ground. The pitch looked astonishingly good. The changing facilities were of a standard not normally found on the Barford CC fixture list. Your skipper and the Morganiser were taken aback. Then we were told we were looking at the first’s pitch and were pointed to the lesser (but still very nice) pavilion and second’s pitch and we made our way there. An advance recce confirmed the wicket looked like one of the best we’d get to play on this season, beautifully prepared and rolled to within an inch of its life.
So we negotiated an all inclusive scenario involving two overs a man and retire at 25. Little did we know how important that would prove to be later in the match. UTCC then surprised us with an announcement that there would be no LBW rule either (again this was a possible game changer).
So we won the toss and I elected to have a bat. Choosing to capitalise on the needle that erupted at last week’s Warden’s game, O’Reilly and Morgan were selected to open and Simon quickly set about the bowlers. Chris stoically held the other end and when Simon holed out for 19 the medium to big hitting Sandy Pierson joined Chris in the middle. Facing some reasonable bowling, the two of them nurdled and nudged their way to 43-1 off 6 overs (ably assisted by E X Tras). We were told 140 was a score that could be defended. Try as they might Chris and Sandy couldn’t accelerate the rate above 6 an over. Chris waltzed and tangoed his way down the wicket but found mid-off every time. Sandy alternated between a swing and a miss and a nurdle off the square for a single. He even tried to retire himself on 15, but the oppo (rightly so) wouldn’t have it. After 15 overs we were 82 for 1 and even our regulation 120 was looking unlikely.
Giving it his all, Sandy was eventually run out for 17 in the 17th over and Ben Griffin set about the run rate. Two and half overs later he retired on 28. In the meantime Chris had made 25 and Simon “the leg” Drage swung his way to a lightning 11 off four balls. Paul Henderson added a couple and we’d managed to get to 132 off our 20 overs. Would it be enough? Was the big question.
With an embarrassment of riches in the bowling attack Morris opened with Jolly bowling with the wind (probably the Everards from lunchtime) and Timms looping his unplayable lofties back in to it.
Tim cleaned up their opener removing his off stump for not very many. They were 1-1 after 1. Timms apologetically bowled their no3 and they were 7-2 after 2. Then they got it together and a couple of big hitters pulled them way ahead of the run rate. 16 after 3, 31 after 4 and 47 off 5. It was looking grim. Henderson then came on and in a brilliant session he bowled one and had two magnificently caught by Sandy and Chris. His superb spell finished on 2-0-3-11.
But UTCC were 73-5 after 10 overs and 132 was under serious threat. And where were we to play the part time bowlers, fearing their lesser pace could leak a shed load of runs? Having retired on 25 a piece, UTCC still had two big hitters to come back in. Their tail was keeping the ball out but the runs down so the strategy was “don’t get ‘em out. Keep the big guns back in the pavilion”. How would the part time bowlers perform? Well Pete Romyn isn’t our go to bowler for nothing and his figures of 2-0-0-6 were exactly what we needed. Sandy was almost as impressive conceding only one more run and the non-wicket taking began in earnest. Sandy put down a difficult chance, yours truly convincingly missed a stumping (honestly I could’ve had ‘im) and Chris dropped a tricky one.
But still the runs crept along and several times, just as a tight over came to an end UTCC would hit a boundary and switch the pressure again. 94 off 15 and 102 off 16 made it a tight finish. Ben bowled 5/6 of an over brilliantly down the corridor with only a single to come off it. Then he bowled his unplayable inswinger taking out middle and off. He continued the torment down the corridor of confusion and Morris caught their no11 behind (vainly trying to claim a bump ball – but he walked).
So back came their first big hitter. Would there be enough time: 108-7 off 18? Some tight death bowling from Morgan and Drage meant they needed 19 off the last over. Simon Morgan stepped up to the mark. Dot. Dot. One. Dot. Then he brilliantly bowled their No1 with the penultimate ball (in light so poor that Henderson and Romyn were trying to stop the ball going for 4 having not seen the bails come off) and that was it. Morris could celebrate skippering his first tour victory, ably assisted by 10 vice captains.
MOTM? There are several claims: Chris O’Reilly with 25 n.o. and a couple of sublime catches? Maybe Ben Griffin with 28 n.o. and two wickets? Henderson with 3fer (no jug appeared, unless I missed it)? All worthy claims. But it has to be Pete Romyn on his touring swansong, with 2-0-0-6 which won us the game. And the TFC? It has to go to Erdsy for knacking his back and being unfit to play all weekend.
PS. Thanks to Adi Salt and Kev Bennett for their help in organising the fixture