Pirton v Northwood Cricket Club 3rd XI on Sat 12 May 2012 at 1:00
Northwood Cricket Club Lost 6 points

Match report The scene was set for the 3rd XI at Pirton. The sun shone on a grassy wicket which after two weeks of persistent rain, was very soft but fear not we thought as our captain strode out purposelessly to the middle for the toss. They say hindsight is a wonderful thing and no doubt Dicko was singing, 'If only I could turn back time' in the ice cold shower after the game. After winning the toss, he elected to bat but fear not thought we as MacPie and Mendelsohn strode out to the middle with their trusty willows in hand. The bowling attack itself was nothing to write home about and from the boundary at least it looked like we should post a fairly respectable score. Even when Mendelsohn edged behind early on, there was no doubt that our strong batting attack could weather any storm! Indy showed a deft touch, using his bat as a wand, caressing the leather with late cuts but it soon became obvious that the ball was not coming on and that what would normally have been '4's' were rolling up short on the saturated outfield. It was only when Indy who had looked so promising was bowled off his pads and our run rate at no more than 2 an over that the challenge before us became clear. Macpie had been relatively quiet at the other end, playing a sensible anchor man like innings, and continued to do so as the Kirmanator got into his stride, timing the ball extremely well considering the conditions! But no sooner had it looked like we were back on the straight and narrow than Macpie reached for a dolly and, choosing the ariel route which was by far the best option considering the stodge, sent the ball into the grateful hands of square leg. Mandar showed promise but mistimed a drive sending the ball into the grateful hands of mid off and after Shaky was clean bowled, Rumpers came to the wicket. After a two year absence, this was not in the script. The team were 66 for 5. With a potential 18 overs still to bat, it was time to see them out and stabilise the innings. At first it looked like that's just what would happen. The Kirminator was looking good, until he drove an innocuous looking ball low and firm producing an excellent catch close in by easily their best fielder. Reevo and Dicko were clean bowled by pretty much the same ball, the outswinger to Dicko was an inswinger to the leftie Reevo, and so the Sheriff [who had graced us with his presence from the 2nd's] came out all guns blazing .... there was only one thing... very little contact between leather and willow!! At the end of the over, I reminded him we were not in the IPL, but a sedate Herts league match with 15 overs still to bat!! A short outbreak of defensive play was quickly followed by reverting to type, and a heave ho at a low wide one, only managed to drag the ball back on to his stumps! Young Chris Watson, who had bristled with enthusiasm on the ride over, now had his moment in the spotlight, which lasted precisely one ball, as he was bowled off his pads! And thus at tea, with Rumpers on 8 not out, our measly total of 88 looked at least 40 short of anything which could possibly trouble the oppo. Or so we thought.......
Reevo produced some excellent flight on a pitch which showed signs of drying out and it was not long before cries of 'two minds' could be heard from a certain quarter!! A wicket quickly followed, with Rumpers at the other end doing his best to bowl the yorkers, which had served him so well in years gone by! His efforts resulted in a wicket amid cries of 'Resistance is futile!!' Hope began to take root in the team, could it be.... could the oppo be humiliated as well on this pudding of a wicket!! Shaky kept our hopes alive with some testing spin which accounted for a further 3 wickets, bringing victory within sight! There was only one vital wicket between us, and taking the match to the wire! After the Sheriff had secured another scalp the score was 70 for 6, and with only 10 men, the oppo were feeling the tension. The vital wicket we needed, however, evaded us, first with a difficult stumping opportunity and then an optimistic lbw shout from the Sheriff!! It was not long before their big hitter who had by means found his timing, danced down the wicket and despatched the necessary runs to herald early beers!!
The valiant fight back of Northwood in the field was the silver lining in what many would be forgiven for thinking was not the 3rd's finest day! However, the team showed great resolve and considering the stodgy pitch and the lack of cricket in the last three weeks, there is no reason to think that as the sun continues to shine, and our pitches dry out, the 3rd's cannot fulfil their potential and challenge for promotion this season!! On a personal note, I can say it is fab to be back, and there is no other place where I would rather play our great game! Even the humiliation of falling for Nicholson's 'sightscreen to sightscreen ploy' in the dead of night back at the ground could dampen my resolve to be part of a successful team this season in what is now and always will be a most excellent cricket club!


P.S Photos of 'sightscreen to sightscreen' challenge ( need to copy url and paste it in new browser.)!/NorthwoodCC1878/status/201740813900845057/photo/1!/NorthwoodCC1878/status/201424118023864320/photo/1

Northwood Cricket Club 3rd XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
3nb 8w 7b 3lb 
for 10 wickets

(39.0 overs)
Richard Mackey Caught  10 1
Martin Mendelssohn Caught  0
Indran Rajah Bowled  16 3
Mike Kirman Caught  20 3 1
Mandar Karnik Caught  6 1
Shaki Shoeb Bowled  0 1
John Clifford Not Out  8 1
Paul Reeve Bowled  1
Steve Dickson Lbw  0
Iyyaz Sharif Bowled  6 1
Chris Watson Bowled  0

Pirton Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
J. Howard11.05933.000.82
L. Howard2.001025.005.00

Pirton Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
3b 2lb 
for 6 wickets
89 (35.0 overs)
Beard b Clifford 17
Newman b Reeve 0
Bateman st Shoeb 22
Davies b Shoeb 14
J.Howard Not Out  26
Thompson ct Shoeb 2
Clarke lbw Sharif 1
Gilder Not Out  2

Northwood Cricket Club 3rd XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Paul Reeve11.0423123.002.09
John Clifford9.0222122.002.44
Iyyaz Sharif8.5318118.002.04
Shaki Shoeb7.012137.003.00