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Fixtures and Results | Match Reports

Date Against H/A Link Result Captain/Score
Sun 30 / 5 / 2021 Martins C.C. Home (YW) Won by 9 runs. Old Mo 220 Oppo 211

SCORECARD

Fit Men Reverse The Tide And Ride The Wave To Victory.

A beautiful powder blue sky with a gentle south easterly and temperatures climbing steadily befitting an end of May bank holiday Sunday was somewhat against the grain. As amateur meteorologists had gleefully ticked off the rest of the month as the coldest on record.
A strong Fit XI looking to turn a run of recent defeats assembled at HQ (Graveyard) awaiting the arrivals of Martins C.C, debut opposition from Small Heath. A quick reconnaissance foray on the oppo into social media on Saturday night revealed to skipper Howarth that Martins CC a nomadic club were in their centenary year since being founded, with 2 star batsmen who consistently score 1000 runs each per season!

Start time was adjusted to 13.15 as Martins C.C. took the scenic route via Brittanic to watch a league game for half an hour before the toss was conducted with oppo skipper calling tails and home skipper having no hesitation in batting.

Openers Azam and Green opened proceedings against good accurate seam bowling. Both were watchful punishing anything that deserved and laid good foundations. Mo was the first to perish run out by a misjudgement by his partner for a circumspect 16 off 45. Green gathering in momentum opened his shoulders garnering some well taken boundaries before perishing L”Bal”W for a spritely 26.

With a new combo of Harris and Nicholls at the crease the oppo changed their bowling with a seamer and a spinner and the Fit Men responded with slick some gear changing and rapid acceleration of the runs. What was witnessed next was a glorious display of vintage Harris, hitting elegantly in the “V” and unleashing hell on the oppo. Ably supported by Nicholls turning over the strike with aplomb before falling for 9. Harris raced to a superlative 50 off 27 balls before perishing on 64 off 31. An extra cover drive for 6 being the pick of 11 boundaries.

Skipper Howarth then came out to join Bice at the wicket with Howarth returning to the club house immediately wearing a ball at the back of his bonce having been felled by a ball hurled from a fielder. Sharif joined Herr Bice with the former going for 3. Sunny then joined Bice and the two feasted on the bowling. Herr Bice in imperious mood going ariel to great effect hitting a swashbuckling 47 off 35 balls with 8 fours whilst entertaining the crowd with a number of literally breath taking singles!. Sunny too galloping along to a spritely 19 off 22 supporting Bice followed by Raj with an athletic 9 off 14 and a lovely wristy flick off his legs for 4.

Skipper Howarth then re-entered the game and was promptly dispatched back to the pavilion flat footedly swishing at one for a blob. Feraz then joined Bal for the last 6 overs with the forming clobbering a nice boundary before perishing for 5 leaving Bal high and dry and with 4 overs to spare the Fit Men closed on a slightly under par 220, given the previous momentum of the innings. Would not batting out the 40 overs come back to bite us on the arse?

Tea was taken with members of both teams utilising the culinary delights of the Covered Wagons cuisine.

The Fit men took to the field with Sunny opening the bowling with Sharif. Both men getting amongst the wickets quickly as the Martins openers went about their business with great gusto. Sunny bagging the hard-hitting opener off a skier very well taken by Feraz. Sharif then joined in the fun having the number 3 well held by Sunny at point. First change combo of Raj and Bal continued the good bowling, with the general feeling that if we could get the free scoring opening oppo skipper out we were in with more than a chance. Raj was rewarded with 2 wickets, with Herr Vice standing up to the wicket and juggling one before pouching, followed by Nicholls holding onto one of Raj’s (oooh err). Bal bowling from the bottom end stemmed the flow of runs from the previous free scoring opener who was trying to push 2’s to get the strike, as several mis-hits just failed to go to hand. Bal was well rewarded with 2 wickets (bowled).

The Fit Men’s grip was tightening on the game as in out fields were set and everyone supporting their bowlers in the outfield. Enter Feraz from the top end who with an absolute “jaffa” cut one back to take top of off of the opening bat (castled for a pugnacious 68). Feraz in the groove quickly removed 2 more “Martins”, bowled and caught by Sunny. With the oppo 9 down for 160 the Fit Men were now on the brink, and with Mo bowling from the bottom end the end was surely nigh?

Not so as this is why we love cricket as anything is possible….as the number 10 Martin endeavoured to prove! With cautious defence and “one shot” that regularly cleared the fence the oppo’s target became ever closer. Harris was introduced for a cameo over at the top end going for 19. The Fit Men held their nerve well and remained totally focussed, putting bodies on the line and remaining positive. With not many runs to play with Skipper Howarth turned to his old-pro allrounder Sharif to bowl from the top end. With 20 runs needed to win and overs in hand with hard hitting Martin to face Sharif the momentum in the minds of the Martin’s was in their hands! A rather stiff Sharif delivered first ball wide, re-focussed and not fussed by a huge straight six, delivered a couple of dot balls followed by another glory shot that went huge but not far enough as all Fit men went quiet eyes focussed on the trajectory of the ball as Nicholls at long off positioned himself perfectly and snaffled a well judged skier…..never in doubt Stevie!

With hoops of delight, handshakes all round (Fuck COVID!), the Fit Men repaired to the club house and enjoyed jocular moments with the oppo (who unusually were very keen to play us again). Well played all 22! What a game this cricket is! Long live cricket!