3 from 3 for the 3s
By Stephen Course
A much changed side brings home the points from the ever unpredictable Blackheath Wanderers 1s
With several absentees higher up, the 3rd XI travelled to glorious Blackheath Wanderers with a youthful team that had an average age of a shade over 18. We were met by a classic pitch that was on three different levels and a large bowl on a length, it was going to be an interesting day.
With our captain jumping ship again, vice-captain Joe Russell won the toss and elected to bowl first hoping to hit the bowl and see what happened. Mark and Joe opened the bowling and Mark got immediate success as he snicked off the always dangerous ‘Jimmy’ Jameel in the first over, just the start we needed. What came next was complete carnage with both bowlers hitting a good line and length (Mark only bowled 1 wide!!), allowing the ball to pop or shoot along the ground. The Blackheath batsman had no idea what to do and they found themselves 36-6 inside the first 15 overs. Joe Russell turning back the years with 4 “fast bowler wickets” with batsmen fending to gully or hooking to fine leg as they didn’t know whether to attack or defend against our accurate openers. The problem when playing Blackheath Wanderers is that they could (and probably do) pick their batting line up out of a hat and they put on 80 for the 7th wicket as their remaining opener and number 8 occupied the crease and suddenly any shot in the air didn’t go to hand and ran away to the boundary. Thankfully the introduction of Humza to the attack put an end to this as he picked up the final 4 wickets in a fine 10 over spell finishing with figures of 10 overs 4 for 24 as only two Blackheath players reached double figures. If you had said that we’d bowl Blackheath out for 145 at the start of the game we would have snatched your hand off, if you offered it to us at the 15 over stage we’d have been quite disappointed as we knew the pitch had a few demons in it and it would be a tough chase.
George Newell and Humza were the openers and the chase started quite well with both batsmen finding the boundary regularly. With the score on 30, Humza was harshly given out LBW for 10, as it appeared he got a decent bit of bat on it and George was joined by Rohan Moon. Rohan was knocking the ball around picking up the 1s and 2s as George was pulling and cutting the ball to the boundary, as runs continued to flow freely. A change of bowling did the trick though as Rohan was given out LBW (13) to a full in-swinging delivery and the re-building process started again. Unfortunately the re-build didn’t last too long as George’s innings came to an ungraceful ending as he tried to hook a short ball that shot along the ground and bowled him for a well-played 44. Dave Hathrill and Abishek Menon were the new batsman and with the required rate around the 2.5 runs per over mark they picked up singles with relative ease even though some of the running was slightly kamikaze. I was getting a drink when the partnership was broken but looking at play-cricket Abishek (24) was out LBW (probably harsh). With 35 runs left to get, Mike Maietta licked it scoring 27 not out off of about 12 balls and Dave finished 20 not out as the 3s chased the total 4 down in 33.3 overs.
3 wins from 3 for the 3rd XI and a tough home game to come next against Staplehurst, who beat us by 9 wickets earlier in the year.