vs Chappel and Wakes Colne Cricket Club @away 29th August 2020
(by Harry Porcher)
The Chappel and Wakes Colne ground is somewhere I’ve always had mixed emotions about. Having played at the ground before for Colts and Adults several times, I’ve always likened it to England in Australia. A nice ground, but a nice result doesn’t normally follow. After all, this is the ground I managed to bowl a 10-ball over on before, as well as having a few golden ducks too for good measure. Despite my initial negativity towards the fixture, I was pleasantly surprised when arriving at the ground that the rain wasn’t present (at least at the start) and a game was still on the cards. Keen to make amends for the loss against fellow rivals Halstead and Gosfield the previous week, there was a sense of energy and enthusiasm towards the game that would make any opposition fearful.
Colne were soon put to work on the field, assisting with the lifting and moving of the sightscreens. Perhaps you could argue myself and Woodsy didn’t do much lifting, but I like to think we were more suitable for the health and safety supervising role instead. Once this task had been completed, we were then waiting for the skippers call on whether we would bat or bowl first. I can’t remember who won the toss, but judging by our previous toss record, I’ll assume we lost. Bat first was the call by captain Daryl, whom was ready as usual to lead the Colne by example and open the batting with newly-found opening partner, Dave.
The tense and passionate derby-day atmosphere was visible, much like the rainwater on the scorer’s chair and table I was about to occupy, with fellow teammate Jack. I knew this was going to be a difficult game on and off the field, but without further ado, Tom Bosworth and Gary Pushman cracked open a can of Carlsberg each, and myself a cup of tea, and we were all ready for the action to begin.A strong start was needed if Colne were to put themselves in a good position to win the match, and that was exactly what was delivered by Daryl and David as they put on solid partnership that Burns and Sibley would be inspired by. Like most good things though, they must come to an end with David departing the field with a solid score of 25.
What the Colne needed was a steady innings from the number 3, to ensure the run rate momentum of 7 an over continues. Yet again, that requirement was met, with a great innings from Colin that saw him hit 8 boundaries to make sure that Earls Colne were in the driving seat of the match. Having been out there from the start, Daryl was on course for another high scoring performance. With an innings consisting of ones, twos, fours and sixes, 100 was soon brought up, leaving Darryl to leave the field under the pre-made agreement that centurions must retire. Following this departure, the next batsmen was required. In at four was Jack, who had just completed his pre-match analysing and preparation schedule, consisting of watching the Oasis Supersonic documentary on his phone and debating with David over who the greatest British band is – the Beatles or Queen. With an exciting first few overs, Jack continued the Holdgate momentum, hitting plenty of fours and sixes, as well as handy ones and twos as well.
With the father and son combo going strong, Colne had ensured they would have a healthy target for the opposition to follow. Unfortunately, like David’s innings earlier, good things must come to an end. My scoring tenure ended as I went to the car to grab my flask for yet another cuppa, and Colin’s high scoring innings ended too, being trapped LBW on 60. With 4 overs to go, there was a chance for debutant Nick to experience what its like out at the crease, where many greats (and not so great) have occupied before. With a boundary, a couple of twos and even a rare three for the team, he ensured that he started his playing career with a good score of 12 not out. Jack also reached his half-century too, with another good performance for him and the Holdgate family, to ensure Earls Colne posted a healthy total of 292…well, from what I counted anyway.
With a great tptal on the board, it was now up to the bowlers and fielders to defend this total. To begin the innings, myself, Alex and Ben were tasked to keep momentum of ECCC going. With the score at 30-1 after 10 overs, the bowlers made a tidy and efficient start. The one wicket to fall was a ball from myself to just outside off-stump, of which needed an acrobatic effort from someone in the slips to catch. As they say, “cometh the hour, cometh the man”. That’s exactly what happened when Colin made a very unlikely wicket seem easy. Following this wicket, I made a rare celebration by simply shouting “Yes” followed by a face that must have been similar to a face Stuart Broad often makes when he gets a wicket too. With the number three in now, the tails were up and the team were determined to continue the breakthrough into the top order. Recently-returned Ben then continued the breakthrough by taking two wickets in one over to ensure that ECCC were in a good position to win the match.
Positivity was high within the team at this point, despite the rain beginning to soak everyone once again. The aim was clear to the bowlers and fielders, continue to take wickets so we could get inside sooner and have a pint (or in my case a cuppa). The number three continued despite the wickets falling around him, making a helpful 23 to help his team’s pursuit of our total. Entering my final over, with Jack reminding me I was 2-1 down to Ben in match wickets, it was clear the team were still hungry for more. With a rather underwhelming ball by myself being caught with the safe hands of Darryl behind the umpire, I acknowledged the key match wicket of the number three with a shake of the head rather like a grumpy James Anderson this time than Stuart Broad. Nevertheless, four wickets down and the Colne were in unfamiliar position this season of actually being able to wrap up a match. Chappel and Wakes Colne opted to play their youthful side this game, all of whom showed positive intent on still wanting to score runs, with more technique than I could ever dream of having with the bat.
Unfortunately, despite the positive intent, a few wickets fell in quick succession thanks to the bowling of Ben and new bowler Sam Beale to give ourselves a good position in the final stages of the match. With the rain becoming heavier again, the innings needed the bowlers to take wickets ASAP to ensure we wouldn’t see a familiar sight this summer of ‘Rain or Bad Light Stops Play’. However, Chappel and Wakes Colne still had unfinished business to do, with their youthful number nine scoring a quick-fire 21 to test the patience of the fielding team. Captain Daryl decided to go with his spin option to try and take the last couple of wickets in the match. With Connor bowling one end with his dangerous Ashley Giles-esque bowling, and wicket-taking Sam bowling from the other, Earls Colne had the right men for the job. On the last ball of his first over, Connor took the wicket of the number eight, with an outside edge being caught by the now stalwart wicket-keeper, that is Woodsy. Following this wicket, fellow teammates David and Jack recognised and acknowledged the great bowling effort from Connor, by affectionately giving him the nicknames of either Ashley or Rahkeem, although, it remains to be seen whether the recipient appreciates the comparison to the fellow spinners.
Finally, with one wicket needed to win and the covers being prepared, the end was imminent. The skipper brought himself onto bowl, and after just a couple of overs, he was the man to take the final wicket to ensure a second win of the season for the Colne (first against a cricket club) and leave us in a good position to face Boreham at the Rec next week. Up the Colne!