The Club's Results

FaT vs BPBC Cricket Challenge, May Term 2003

First and Third 1st XI

Beat BPBC by 47 runs
The First and Third CC vs BPBCCC challenge took place, as has now become traditional, on the Sunday after May Week at Madingley Cricket Club (or the MCC, as it is now known). The weather was not quite as good as last year's opening fixture, but the match was every bit as exciting, as the young blood took on the old hands.

There was an initial delay to the game, with half of the First and Third team being involved in a match for Trinity BAs (an unfortunate semi-final defeat in the MCR League), but with Byrne and Ingram providing a taxi service, the two captains were out on the square by 2:30 for the toss. Talbott won the toss, deciding to bat first - a decision that had served him well last year. Accusations thrown at Ingram of being a useless tosser were perhaps a little harsh.

But with the two teams ready and raring to go, it looked as if the weather might have other ideas. An early interruption for a heavy downpour was an ominous sign, as were the lightning forks clearly visible as the game got underway. But after a few minutes spent sheltering in the pavilion, the First and Third innings resumed, with openers Goodson and Harding looking to build a useful early partnership. The game began with Mike Goodson and Dan Walker opposing each other - a situation similar to last year but with the teams reversed. Walker has now graduated to the ranks of BPBC, while Goodson, an ex-rower still in statu pupillari currently enjoys the status of "floater" and will turn out for whichever team is in need of numbers.

The early overs, from Walker at the Mount Everest End, and Crawford at the Dead Sea End, were negotiated safely, with the score standing at 24 for 0 in the fifth over when BPBC made their first breakthrough. Walker removed Harding for a score of 5, smartly caught behind by Ingram off an outside edge. This brought last-minute addition to the side Ben Olbourne to the crease for a short but eventful innings. His first ball was a full toss from Walker hit in the air to Blackburn at midwicket - the catch was taken, but only after a fumble and spectacular diving recovery. BPBC celebrated, but joy turned to dismay when the square leg umpire revealed that he had called it no-ball - for being above waist height. Now facing Crawford at the other end, Olbourne hit the next ball for four on the onside, and was then caught off a top edge, attempting the same shot, at mid-on by Al Fisher. Sills was next up, and could only manage 2 before a beautiful ball from Crawford pitched on middle and clipped the off stump. And with Goodson falling next over to Walker for 16, looping up a catch to Glass at cover, 4 wickets had gone down in the space of three overs, and First and Third were rocking on 37 for 4, with only seven of their allotted thirty overs gone.

The new men at the crease were Talbott and Lea-Cox, and both knew that a partnership was needed to stem the flow of wickets. A veteran of last year's game, Talbott had been in exactly the same situation, so knew exactly how to go about the task. Some obdurate defensive work saw the pair last ten overs, moving the score onto 70 before the next wicket fell, Talbott edging an attempted hook to Ingram behind the stumps off the bowling of Al Fisher. Talbott had only made 4, but it was a captain's innings, steadying the ship, and allowing the runs to come at the other end in a partnership of 33.

In this time, several bowling changes had been made in an attempt to make the breakthrough. Crawford, having bowled through his spell of six overs with figures of 2 for 25, was replaced at the Dead Sea End by Graham Fisher, with Case taking over from Walker (2 for 21 off 4 overs) at the Mount Everest End. Both bowled tightly, with Case's four over spell yielding only five runs, and only one of those being off the bat. It was the introduction of Al Fisher though, running in down the hill, that had brought the sought after breakthrough. Bullock was the next batsman in, but was trapped leg before by Graham Fisher in the next over for just 1, and BPBC could sense another mini-collapse in the offing. Not so, with Jenny Lee content to hold one end up, while Lea-Cox, looking increasingly confident under his helmet, scored the runs at the other end. Another valuable partnership, this one of 20, ensued, before Lee was bowled by Graham Fisher. This completed Fisher's spell of 6 overs, with figures of 2 for 22.

Meanwhile, Al Fisher was struggling to cope with the precipitous slope at the Mount Everest End, and sent over a succession of no-balls, including a hat-trick of them in his second over, and with figures of 1 for 15 off 3, was replaced by Case to finish off his overs. A maiden was followed by an extra-strewn over which rather dented Case's remarkable figures, but he did manage to pick up the wicket of Byrne, given out lbw without scoring, amid protests that the ball was heading down legside. This left Case with the still economical figures of 1 for 14 off his six overs, with only six runs being scored off the bat in that time. This latest breakthrough spurred BPBC on to complete the job, and with Glass removing Lea-Cox in his only over, bowled for an innings-anchoring 35, and Walker taking only two balls of his second spell to clean bowl Dunleavy for 1, the innings was over. The excellent rebuilding work done by Lea-Cox in the middle order, ably assisted by Talbott and Lee, had pushed the First and Third total past the hundred mark, to post a challenging score of 104.
After an excellent tea, First and Third came out to bowl, knowing that wickets would be needed to defend this score, and in openers Glass and Ingram, they had opponents who were looking to deny them exactly that. Two further rain delays had briefly threatened the completion of the match, but the pitch soon dried out, and play was able to resume. With four overs of the BPBC innings gone, the game plan was clear - block everything. Ten runs had been scored, none of them off the bat, as the openers looked to Geoffrey Boycott for their batting style. Using this to his advantage, Talbott made early bowling changes, bringing on Lea-Cox for Sills at the Dead Sea End, and Lee for Goodson at the Mount Everest end. Saving the front line bowlers for defence against a potential late slog was a primary reason for this, but it also brought the advantage of wickets, after Sills had bowled two overs for 9, and Goodson an economical, if unthreatening, three overs for just one run.

With the pressure building, and the openers finding it difficult to do more than block, Lea-Cox continued his great day of cricket by striking in his second over, clean bowling Glass. This was in the seventh over, and Glass had faced seventeen balls for his duck. Ponsonby soon followed, bowled by Lea-Cox in his next over, a wicket maiden, again for no score. The next man in was Darley, who clearly had no taste for such slow scoring antics, and soon hit the first boundary of the innings - a four off Lee in the 12th over. But Lee struck back immediately, using the slope to her advantage and bowling deceptively quickly. Ingram perished to the first attacking stroke of his innings, caught by Talbott at cover, diving forward to take a very sharp, low chance. Blackburn was next to go, bowled first (legal) ball. Following a no-ball as his first delivery, there was some post-match debate about whether Blackburn's innings counted as a golden duck or whether the no-ball counts as a ball faced. Perhaps Bill Frindell could shed some light on what the convention is in these cases...

With the score looking perilous at 29-4 in the 12th, Darley and Wilton were at the crease, and with Jenny Lee bowling to Emma Wilton, the quote of the day was made by Mark Crawford, umpiring at square leg. With clear relish in his voice, he announced to the world in general - "marvellous, some girl on girl action". The rest of the over was seen out, and Goodson came on at the Dead Sea End, replacing Lea-Cox, whose first four overs had given him two wickets at a cost of only five runs. Goodson, with the long uphill climb taking away what little pace he had, saw his figures immediately dented by the first six of the match, hit by Darley into the field over the square leg fence. But with Wilton bowled soon after for 0, Walker came out to join Darley with still plenty to play for. A cat and mouse spell saw BPBC move to 53 for 6 off 17 overs, with Goodson bowling out his allotted six overs by trapping Walker in front of leg stump for 8. Though a couple of boundaries had been conceded, Goodson ended with figures of 2 for 13 off six.

With useful batting still to come, the game was still very much in the balance, but the introduction of Talbott into the attack proved to be the final turning point. With Talbott bowling down the hill and about to start his second over, what followed was the stuff that bowlers' dreams (and batsmen's nightmares) are made of. First, dangerman Darley's off stump was removed, sending him back to the pavillion for a creditable 21 - rewarded for being willing to hit out and score quickly. Next up was Crawford, determined to make amends for last year's first ball duck, when he was given out off what might have been called a no-ball. This year, he can reflect on being unfortunate enough to be caught behind off his first ball by Olbourne in the middle of a hat-trick, for the next batsman in was Case, whose off stump was also knocked back with a beautiful leg cutter.

Talbott, never the most taciturn of cricketers, was understandably jubilant at his hat-trick, as the match was now in First and Third's hands, with Graham Fisher joining Al Fisher at the crease with 9 wickets down. Graham managed to survive the next three balls, setting a new record for his longest ever innings, to complete a remarkable triple wicket maiden for Talbott. His two overs had yielded 3 wickets for just 6 runs. With victory in sight, Lea-Cox came back at the Dead Sea End for the next over and wrapped up the match within four balls. After a near run out, when Graham made it more than half way down the pitch before being sent back by Al, Graham made it onto strike, and was sharply caught at mid-on by Lee after a mistimed drive. Lea-Cox, the bedrock of the First and Third innings, had proved very useful with the ball as well, finishing with 3 for 9 off 4.4 overs. BPBC had just not been able to put together the partnerships, and the innings closed on 57 after 18 overs and four balls.

As with last year, the margin of victory (47 runs), does scant justice to the excitement of a game that could have gone either way. In the end, it was Andrew Lea-Cox's innings-bolstering 35 runs and his three wickets that earned him the BPBC vote as First and Third's man of the match. Neil Talbott's hat-trick also deserves an honourable mention, as in most games he would have won the accolade with that achievement. Dan Walker was the recipient of the First and Third vote for being BPBC's best player, for picking up three wickets with the ball and second top-scoring for BPBC with the bat.

Credit must go to Tom Rose for being a fair and consistent umpire throughout, to Ingram and Talbott for captaining and organising the teams, to Mark Crawford for booking the venue and organising the tea, and to whoever it was who baked the chocolate brownies - they really were delicious.

With another set of First and Third-ers graduating to the exalted ranks of old buffers for next year, it can surely be only a matter of time before BPBC record their first victory in this fixture. Congratulations to all involved, and roll on next year... (Mike)

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