Where to start?! Well we won and remain unbeaten this season but that doesn’t tell even half the story of an extraordinary match with a nail biting finish, a great individual batting performance, some excellent bowling figures, and self inflicted injury as a result of a crazy 2 man fielding effort.
It started well, with the toss won and the opposition put in to bat we prepared ourselves for a 1.30 start. Then the phone call all captain’s dread - checking that it WAS 2pm wasn’t it?! Never mind, Canewdon generously lent us 3 fielders – yes 3 because its always the car with the most players in isn’t it? - Anyway, on we go with David Jackson and Paul Southward to open the bowling - and what a start they gave us! A miserly spell of bowling saw DJ take 1 for 15 off his 7 overs and Paul was luckless but similarly tidy at the other end. With 13 overs gone, Canewdon’s score had limped into the 30s.
Vijay Vayalveettil replaced DJ, Paul Cox took over from his namesake and the game burst into life. VJ caused all sorts of trouble with his pace, bounce and variation but did not get the wickets his spell deserved. At the other end however, Cox was on fire! His 7 overs produced 3 wickets for just 24 runs and a further 2 batsman were sent packing as a result of run outs. With 27 of the 35 overs gone Canewdon had still not reached 3 figures although the rate had just started to climb. The innings was bowled out by President Jackson, Vice captain Summers and his son, Jack. As Canewdon swung the willow to try and post a score, all 3 bowled well but took the inevitable punishment that the last few overs often bring. This was not the only punishment however.
A delivery from Jackson was driven firmly at Southward at point, who was unlucky to see it go through his long barrier. He was soon to become more unlucky. As Southward chased back to atone for his error, Toby Duffin sprinted greyhound-like around from deep extra cover, eating up the ground as he sensed danger. How right he was. Duffin gathered the ball athletically as Southward continued his run. The Viking, took aim at his wicketkeepers end before unleashing a powerful throw straight into the startled Southward who was now no more than 3 yards away. Struck amidships but thankfully above the water line, Southward sank to his knees clasping his ribs in pain. The bowler also fell to the ground as did most of the Mount team but their sides were hurting for a very different reason. Eventually, we regained our composure and checked on our wounded team mate. It was decided best that he left the field and, following an examination from Dr David Thomas, was eventually given leave to attend A&E. Thankfully, an x-ray revealed no fractures and we wish him a speedy recovery. Canewdon lent us our 4th fielder of the day and stormed to a better than anticipated, but still seemingly manageable 151 total.
Our reply began well. Duffin and Summers setting a solid foundation before Summers was bowled bringing the President to the crease. Duffin enjoyed his elevation up the batting order and passed 500 runs for the club on his way to 23 before giving the bowler a return catch when in two minds as to how to play a short ball. William Wilcox came next but went surprisingly quickly LBW before Offord and then Vayalveettil each gave themselves a start which they failed to capitalise on.
5 down, run rate climbing, overs running out. The stage was set and the captain came to the wicket. Shortly after he left again following a quite dreadful shot having failed to trouble the scorers for the second day in a row. Paul Cox came and went almost as quickly and the collapse seemed set to lead us to our first defeat of 2018.
However, throughout the chaos, Jackson remained calm and stoic. Building a score by punishing the few bad balls and prizing his wicket far higher than his team mates. Jack Summers gave solid support but it seemed the game had gone. After some great running between the wickets and Jackson adding the odd boundary here and there, we found ourselves requiring 20 runs from 2 overs. The first over gave us the 10 required – more enthusiastic running and solid scoring shots to the fore. A miscalculation by the opposition skipper saw him bowl out his best bowlers an over early however and someone was going to have to bowl the last over “cold”. 6 balls 10 runs required. The field scattered. It mattered not a jot as Jackson feasted on the repast served up to him, finding gaps to strike 3 boundaries and bring us home with a ball to spare. A great knock of 80 not out the cricketing high point of an extraordinary day.
Never in doubts lads, never in doubt!