On yet another lovely afternoon at Middleton Stoney we welcomed Simmons CC from Leighton Buzzard. Both teams were on time and raring to go. Tim House (skipper for the day) walked back from the toss and informed us that we were batting after being inserted by the opposition. This was then followed with the comments that they elected to field first to make a game of it with which the openers for the day greeted with scepticism, as they watched one of the opposition bowlers in his late teens and bowling partner in mid-20’s warm up.
MSCC had a strong batting line up batting all the way to number 11 and so were confident to be batting. The first ball of the second over was slightly short and held a little which hit the inside edge of Joe Moorman’s bat and then there was a quick game of pinball before unluckily trickling onto off stump and dislodging one of the bails. MSCC 1-1
This brought Andrew Thomas striding out to the crease to join Jon Springer. After a few watchful overs Andrew started to pepper the cover boundary with some immaculate timing which would be a theme of his innings. MSCC were in the mid-twenties with the shine being removed from the ball when Mr. Springer fell LBW for 7 runs.
Jay Mumtaz joined Andrew at the crease and together steadied the ship with a nice partnership to get to 50 for 2. Jay was then caught having reached 14. MSCC then lost a few wickets in Jamie Lumb, Squiffy Wordsworth and David Cole. In the meantime, Andrew Thomas was still at the crease closing in on a well-deserved 50 before eventually being removed for 61.
This left number 8 and number 9 at the crease with the opposition probably feeling happy with the efforts so far. Unfortunately for Simmons our Number 8 and 9 were Tim Riley and Tim House who had free license for 30-40minutes. Within this time with some very clean hitting indeed which today's author of the match report would be proud of smacked the ball to all parts of the boundary hitting 44 not out in quick time. This was assisted with a fine 22 for Tim Riley.
Tea was taken and MSCC 191 for 7 (31 extras well received by the home team)
MSCC took to the field feeling that this was a very respectable score and would take some beating. It is said that cricket is all about partnerships and what an opening combo MSCC started with in Paul Wordsworth and Tim House.
Second over and the first of the openers fell LBW to very precise bowling from Tim House and the visitors were 1 for 1. This soon became 2 for 1 in the same over with the number 3 being clean bowled. Paul not wanting to outdone turned this into 9 for 3 in the 7th over. Tim responded to this with another wicket in the 8th over leaving Simmons 13 for 4 after 8 overs.
Tim made way for Mike Simpson and then once Paul finished his spell of 7 overs 17 runs and 1 wicket it was spin from both ends with Tim Riley joining the fray.
The next 40 minutes and start of the 20 overs not much really took place as Simmons batted resiliently after the challenging start accumulating runs but eating into the clock and start of the 20 overs but with only 1 wicket falling.
Skipper decided to make some changes and brought Andrew Thomas and Joe Moorman on. In addition, with some fine fielding and wicket keeping with their only being 3 extras MSCC could pile on the pressure as it felt like only 2 possible outcomes.
In Andrew’s 3rd over there was a breakthrough and another wicket fell. Tim House also came back on and managed to get one more finishing with 7 overs, 4 wickets for 15 runs. Tim Riley also came back on with a few overs to go and produced some left arm bowling wizardry to get his second wicket of the afternoon.
With a few overs remaining could MSCC get the final breakthrough. With 2 overs to go the ball was given to Mike Simpson. With all around the bat hoping for an edge one bounced (did not turn though) caught the glove after the pad and the catch was taken for a MSCC victory.
Hats off to the skipper as all the changes he made brought a breakthrough.
Our thanks to Simmons CC who provided a great afternoons cricket and were good value on and off the pitch. We look forward to welcoming you to MSCC next year.