Winning Streak comes to an End

vs Halstead High Street @home 23rd Aug ‘20

As much as they sounded more of a Saturday night venue than an opposition team name, our local opposition read like a Who’s Who of local cricket legends past and further past. A combination of ex/current Halstead and Gosfield players intent on a good game and messing up the Rec bar replenishment plans.

Colne too were intent on a good performance and maintaining their winning streak that stretched all the way back to 24 hours earlier when they’d met the might of the Templars head-on. With an eye on 2021, the skipper was tinkering with the line-up to ensure as many players got a game all weekend, hence we would see the return of some of the big guns – Oldrey, Hill, & Beal as well as some of the smaller ones – Pushman & Kerry.

Losing the toss for the 475th time this season meant Colne would be batting first, but no big deal, it would mean an early treat for the dozens of travelling spectators, as they could feast on the alternative delights of technique and brawn that Daryl and James brought to the game versus the accuracy of allround slow bowling.  With more singles on view than a University’s fresher’s week, it was a pleasant change from the norm to see the scoreboard ticking over with an opening partnership worth over 120.  Unfortunately, scorer Harry never fully recovered from the trauma of leaving his thermos of Earl Grey at home so didn’t record EXACTLY what that partnership was.

As ever with cricket, disaster is never too far away. The away team umpire had become so distracted by the serenity of the ever-flourishing partnership, that when cheekily asked for an lbw decision against Daryl he immediately exercised his index finger, despite all three stumps being on view.  It’s never easy having to walk when you’ve scored 94 and the keeper is muttering apologies…. With James also having fallen to a low one-handed catch on 69, it was time for the middle order to back up the good foundations.  But with a limited number of overs in which to achieve a solid 200+ score, the game was on !

David Griffith, fresh from a breezy 50 the day before, was settling in for a more ‘bed & breakfast’ sedate style of innings, whereas his partners were coming and going in a flash, until with one ball to go, Connor Oldrey walked out for that wonderful no-lose moment  – “hit out or get out, you did your best”.  He duly flashed a boundary and the Colne total had reached 207, not as many as some had wanted on this reasonably sound pitch, but confidence was high given that little of the bowling had caused any trouble, ergo the batting must be the same, correct ?

The start of the oppo’s inning was trauma and delight in equal measures.  Trauma in the 1st over for Connor who discovered that his back-of-a-length deliveries were a delight for left-hander Andy Rose.  Delight soon followed when James’ 1st ball splayed the stumps of the other opener.  The next ball will be played out in Gary Pushman’s mind for many years and will no doubt be exaggerated each time !  Playing a somewhat tenuous push to extra cover, #3 batsman set off for what looked a tad risky run.  Little did he know that Gary had planned for this moment all his life; in a flash, he was on the ball and thrown down the stumps with little more than one stump to aim for.  Cue euphoria and delight for Colne; trauma for the High Street with two batsmen out first ball.

But as with the Colne innings, the reverse of fortune is never far away and there followed a lengthy partnership between two experienced batsman – one of whom hadn’t played much in recent years apparently, but must have crammed a lot in at some stage.   This was the partnership that regrettably would take the game away from Colne.  Unfortunately, history didn’t record how large this partnership was but it was big and it was scored at such a rate that even when it was ended by the skipper bowling the unfortunate Rose on 99, the asking rate was down to well under three from circa 20 overs.  History does however record which bowlers coughed up this large run-rate, whilst we discovered more about our bowlers that we ought to remember – James will never be given an lbw no matter how obvious, Sam becomes more economical through his spell, Gary does the opposite in exponentially large quantities, and Connor is a good batsman.

As ever though, bowlers rely on good fielding and some notable fielding mishaps were caused by the Over-50’s present.  It’s a shame you can’t hide all of them at third man, and social media caught one or two of the more glaring cock-ups – that phone-wielding member is up for severe disciplinary measures !

Anyway, winning streaks cannot last forever, so we can head over to Chappel & Wales Colne next weekend confident that we have more players capable of contributing and that team spirit remains high.

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