After a long winter filled with lots of Footgolf and Golf being played, we turn to the first pre season game of the season. We travelled to High Wycombe, where we were greeted with a greenish wicket; lightning outfield and a tiny boundary. We started the day off with a quick game of football in which I have no idea what the score was, but then we won the toss and decided to have a bowl.
So the ball was thrown to the Durham Dynamo to open the bowling. Even odds were offered on a first over no-ball and as ball number 5 was sent down, Glasper didn't disappoint, a feature that would rear its head a couple of time during his spell. England U-17 bowler Arthur Godsall shared the new cherry, and was allowed to have the preference of the up hill into the wind, offered by Glasper. Tough conditions meant young Godsall took a bit of time to hit his early season straps, going for a few boundaries early on. Glasper, into his second, strikes with his first ball, a length delivery taken the edge to Mylo behind the stumps. That was the last bit of success for a number of overs as the 1 and 3 of High Wycombe make use of a pretty flat and short pitch.
Edges were flying for 4, the ball speeding over the lightning flat outfield and some suspect early season fielding meant the opposition flew through the runs putting on 157 for the second wicket. In that time, Glasper had bowled 8 no balls and 2 wides, the short boundary was causing issues for all bowlers and although on a no ball, Mylo managed to leave a ball that went over his right glove when stood still... then have a go at Glasper when simply inquiring why the hell he didn't bother going for it... the first of two unprovoked outbursts at Glasper in the day.
With the ball flying all over the place and some shelled catches and more suspect fielding, we went into the lat 5 overs of the innings with the score 300 for 3. Glasper back on bowls a no ball low full toss slower ball which is blasted back chest high into Glaspers hand and wrist. A yelp is let out well before impact that drew first blood. Going into the last over it was Elech to bowl, whose death bowling has taken many a scalp in previous years. A wicket with the first as Russell is surprisingly caught by Anand... a man who will not fully understand how unlucky he is. A boundary with the second and then Ahmed strikes again, as he bowls there newest batsmen. With his very next ball, same again, bowled! Now personally, I would know if i’ve taken a hat trick at this point, so when it was claimed that was the hat trick, everyone congratulated Elech on a fine performance... however this was the case... but that didn't matter as Elech with his final ball bowled the newest batsmen to actually record a hat trick!
With 337 to chase down, it was going to need some top batting first up in the season and things started off well with an opening partnership by the Wilkin brothers, when Oliver, after hitting the ball all over the place with a quick fire 26 off 13 (including 3 x 6's and 2 x 4's), hit the ball straight to the fielder. Ashok then came to the crease after offering below zero all day, then lasted 3 balls before walking across the line and getting caught LBW.
Then Hat trick man Elech came to the crease to make a 31 run partnership with Mylo, before Wilkin was cleaned up by Benning, scoring a pleasant 20 from 24 including a nice 6. Captain Jones approached the crease for his first outing as Ealing Skipper, but only managed 3 from his 11 deliveries. Crabby Lane then side stepped to the crease, before being dismissed by what he described as "a Jaffa" into his stumps.
A 48 run partnership then developed as Parry joined Elech at the crease. Parry hitting some good boundary shots before fallen for 19 as he hit a full toss to mid off. The rest of the order came and went with only Ahmed scoring some good runs as he went to his 50. Godsall and Glasper both out within 4 balls, left Kristian to run straight past one by about a foot, putting pressure on Ahmed to try and get as many as he could. Ahmed eventually fell for 67 off 75 with 10 x 4's and 2 x6's.
So the end of the game, and a loss of 183 runs to start the season for the E-Men. Some good signs with Ahmed all round performances and some people looking good in patches.
Next week is another pre-season friendly at Wimbledon, so until then, that's all from the Angel!