St Cross defeat the PCA Masters
The weather cleared after overnight rain, and we were able to enjoy a sunny afternoon on which to entertain the PCA Masters, a collection of ex professional cricketers still able to take teams apart, as was evident the previous day when they scored 240, Owais Shah scoring 160!
We allowed them to win the toss and bat first, Mal Loye and Ali Brown turning the scoreboard over on a regular basis, although Jack Bransgrove and Harry Trussler kept it pretty tight in the early overs. Ali Brown wanting to get on with it, decided to take on the spinners, dispatching the ball to all parts, it was raining 6s and 4s.
Howie came on and bowled what he would call Stinky Pete (Heat), beating the bat more than once.
A change of bowlers brought G Man out of bowling retirement, Mal Loye falling prey to the deceptive flight and guile, sending the first ball deep down to Charlie Ayers who held the catch in style after dropping a catch earlier in the game.. Dave Orchard and Jack B came back for the final 5 overs, conceding only 18 runs, a fine display of death bowling against quality opposition. Jack going for 16 from his 4 and Dave getting 4 wickets, Owais Shah being one of them.
A special mention too for Morgan Smith, who made 2 superb stumpings, the dangerous Ali Brown when on 58, and Owais Shah.
They finished on 141, a gettable total, even for our hastily assembled team, this would be due to the fine fielding by our unfazed young team, Tom Fay running his socks off and the ever dependable Steve Berryman stopping anything that came his way.
We came out to bat with a little trepidation, but when you have youth on the pitch, fame and celebrity don’t count for much, Charlie in particular getting under Simon Jones’ collar. Charlie continued to Chinese cut with a little luck and a lot of skill, ably supported by Billy Mead, who put on 55 for the first wicket.
Billy fell LBW to Jones for a stylish 19 and very quickly Charlie was bowled by Ali Brown for a superb 36.
This brought Bradley Aldridge and Steve B to the crease, Steve falling to a great catch by Mark Alleyne off Simon Jones. Bradley was then joined by an exitable Howie, who said he had waited all his life for this moment, to walk on to his favourite music. He was unfortunately stumped by Blakey off the spin of Ali Brown.
In came the destructive powerhouse known as Jack Bransgrove, a man who can put the ball into orbit, something he almost achieved on 3 occasions, the 3rd an almighty swipe.
He finally fell to James Kirtley for a magnificent 31 from only 12 balls.
Helped along by Bradley, he had given us a platform to go on and win the game, with 20 needed from the final 4 overs.
Dean Headley and Kirtley were brought on to stifle us, but we chipped away.
The scene was set for the final over, 9 needed, Headley to bowl. We turned the board over, needing 4 from 2, G Man dancing down the wicket and missing the wide to be stumped! 3 from 2, Dave O joining Brad, 1 off his first leaving 2 off 1. Brad drove through the covers for the first, but on seeing the batters turn, Mal Loye misfielded and we completed our 2nd run for an unexpected victory.