By Stuart Bruce
Tuesday brought the first T20 of the season for a combined Gardeners/TR team against long-time opponents Woodstock.
Jason & Stuart opened – the latter was dropped on 3 in the first over, so played round a straight one next ball to make it up to the bowler. How polite. No 3 Laurence was then adjudged LBW for 3 in the third over – the under-eleven team he coaches would have been very impressed with his stoicism on receiving the dreaded finger. The moist eyes and wobbling bottom lip apparently just symptoms of hay fever. Jason & John had defended well against accurate bowling from Bob & Kalpesh, but struggled to time the ball on a slow pitch, Jason bowled by Alex for 6. Debasis came in & played aggressively, bringing the run rate back above three an over, before retiring for a well-made 34.
With wickets in hand and overs running out, the Gardeners started going for some questionable quick runs – four run outs rather inevitably resulted – John for a patient 17, Nik for 1, Shahed for 0 and Nick for a diamond duck. Conor added some variety to the end of the innings by getting bowled by Sachith for 3. So Gardeners all out for 85, but on a slow low pitch, eminently defendable.
Nik opened the bowling from the School end and immediately got results, Laurence taking a great low catch behind the stumps second ball. Kalpesh Mate No 1 & Mate No 2 (bit like the Merchant Navy it seems) then consolidated well, putting on 31 for the second wicket before Shahed got through Mate No 1’s defences with a slower ball. Mate No 2 retired shortly afterwards for a chanceless 30, and with the target close Stuart decided the situation was dire enough to bowl some experimental “offies”. Darren was soon foxed by the lack of bounce natural variation and was bowled for 10, Kev then out next ball, bowled off the pads. Lorne confidently defended the hat trick ball before falling victim to an accurate Debasis spell – caught at mid-off by John. Conor has been bowling well in the nets this winter, and came on to close out the innings – unfortunately Bob had got his eye in by now and he quickly finished the innings with three leg-side fours.
So a four wicket win for Woodstock, but a battling performance from the Gardeners with only nine players. Time for revenge on Sunday!