|29/01||ECC Summer Ball 2013|
|1st XI v Hampstead - Home|
|Hampstead won by 77 runs|
Ealing v Hampstead
Toss won by: Ealing
Weather: Perfect, if a little windy
Pitch: Very hard and flat and nice
Hampstead: 318-6 (66 overs)
C Peploe: 26-4-105-5
Ealing: 241 all out (51.2 overs)
D Holt: 81
M Wilkin: 68
O Wilkin: 41
The morning of the Hampstead game didn't start at all for us, with Leigh managing to twist his ankle in the warm up and effectively ruling him out of the game.
With Harry already out injured we would need all the bowling we could get, and on the extremely flat looking wicket we knew that bowling first after winning the toss we would have to look to restrict the batsmen scoring.
Unfortunately Hampstead got off to a strong start, and although Oli had one opener playing and missing three or four times an over, we couldn't find a breakthrough as the score passed 50.
Peps came on and the runs started to drop, but Leigh could only manage one over before limping off and making his way to hospital for an x-ray. We were now down to just four bowlers, but Peps got our first wicket with a nicely flighted ball that just clipped the top of off stump.
Number two also fell to Peps, a bit of extra bounce finding the glove off the left-hander and lobbing up to Zeke at slip. This made it 84-2, and first ball to number four struck the pad and we thought we had our man. The umpire said no, and from then on the batsmen looked relatively untroubled before lunch as the ball got older and the wicket got even flatter. The visitors went into lunch on 152 - 2 off 37 overs.
After lunch it was more of the same, and although we were boosted in the field by the return of Huw "The Wall" Jones on as a sub, the runs continued to flow. Oli was unlucky in his second spell, four or five edges going through the vacant first slip region not only not being caught, but also flying to the boundary as well. The 200 came up in the 55th over, and with wickets in hand the batsmen could afford to chance their arm as their last 10 overs started with no sign of a declaration.
Both batsmen neared on a century, but both fell in the 90s, and both to Peps who now had four. The next men in swung from the start and it was only a matter of time before Peps grabbed his fifth, finishing with 5-105 off 26 overs. Glasper returned for the last few overs, picking up a well deserved wicket in the 64th over. But as the innings finished on 318-6 we knew we would have a lot of batting to do to win this game.
Things couldn't have started worse, Pat get a ball that popped a little on him and ended up in a simple catch to cover. Then when Hawky was bowled by a well directed yorker in the next over we were 6-2.
Oli and Mylo steadied the innings a little, but thanks to some very defensive fields set by the Hampstead bowlers, runs didn't flow quite as quickly as needed. The 50 partnership came up just before tea, but by now we already needed seven-an-over to win.
After the break all signs of slips and gullies left the mind of the captain, intent to stop runs rather than press for wickets. But finally the partnership was broken, Oli getting a ball that kept extremely low and resulting in a very simple LBW decision for the umpire. This made it 81-3 but Mylo and Holty added another 85 off 90 balls, Mylo going to 50 from 73 balls.
At the start of the last 20 overs we needed 162 to win with seven wickets left, but Mylo was bowled for 68 the first ball after the break triggering a collapse from 166-3 to 187-6. With overs running out we started to focus on reaching the 266 runs needed for the winning draw, and with Holty and Wakers going nicely it looked like we would just about get there.
But then disaster struck - three times - as we went from 241-6 to 241-9 in the space
of two overs, Holty's seemingly
match-saving innings finally ending for 81. Leigh - only just back from
hospital - strode out to the wicket and was greeted with an inswinging yorker,
but survived. However the last wicket fell two balls later - their overseas
with his 7th wicket to add to his 91 from earlier - and we had lost our last
four wickets for 0 runs, and the match by 77 runs.
All in all we were well below par, and although the Hampstead tactics may have been negative, in truth they worked. We just have to hope it is just a momentary slip, and with 15 games to go we have plenty of time to make up for it.
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