2nd Team Match Report
By Simon Evans
2nd XI come up short at Southborough
A mixture of Young and Old took to the field at Southborough for the 2's opening league game of 2016.
After winning the toss we invited Southborough to bat first on a firm but greenish looking wicket. The decision looked a good one when the home side were reduced to 65 for 6 thanks to some fine bowling from Ryan Maddox, Dave Ward and Jason Blanden, the latter being the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 22 off his 9 overs. The game turned when the Southborough number 8 decided that attack was the best form of defence and cleared the boundary at regular intervals. His innings of 71 finally came to an end when he was clean bowled by a well disguised slower ball from Under 15 captain Sam Pantlin, making his senior league debut. That innings helped the home side recover to post a total of 203 from their 40 overs.
In reply our tactics were to keep wickets in hand to then allow the youngsters the freedom to have a real go in the last 15 overs or so. Everything was going to plan with Alan Freedman and Simon Evans laying a solid foundation with an unbeaten 73 run partnership at drinks. However, both were out soon after drinks for 23 and 44 respectively, and wickets continued to fall against an accurate bowling attack. Our victory hopes finally went when Ryan Maddox was caught by one of seven fielders on the boundary for a quick fire 27 leaving us at 118 for 7, his innings included a huge maximum that finished in the churchyard! From here our aim was to secure as many batting bonus points as possible this task was helped by Dave Ward and Jason Blanden both hitting maximums towards the church (Yes I do Mean Dave Ward!) but it was left to youngsters Sam Pantlin and Daniel Barker to see us to our total of 156 for 9 off our 40 overs.
Despite the defeat there were many positives to take from the match. For a large proportion of the game our younger and less experienced side were very competitive against a strong Southborough side, who I believe if they consistently field the same side will be challenging for promotion. We will learn from this game and move on to the next match with hope of registering a win.