Match Report: 7th May, 6:00PM, Stags, Sandridge CC

History in the making!

Result: Won by 3 wickets

After rain put pay to Crabtree's scheduled first game of the season last week, they opened their account with a win against Stags on a slow, tricky pitch.

The match was reduced to 18 overs a side due to poor light. The Crabtree bowlers (maximum of two overs each) all bowled tightly, the highlights probably being Parkinson (2 for 4 in his two overs), Hale (2 for 12) and Bryson - 0 for 12 off his two in only the second game he had ever played. With a bit of late order hitting Stags scrambled to 113 which, on the face of it, looked a decent total, and so it came to be.

Whilst Rob Cole (26*) set off like a man  who had somewhere to be, Graham Reid (19) batted with class and serenity, providing the Crabs with some much needed backbone: last years humiliating 81 all out here still fresh in his memory.

Newton (30*) and Hale (18) provided some impetus in the middle overs getting Crabtree into a position where it was theirs to lose. The Stags bowlers suddenly found their line and length, though, and Crabtree got stuck....Blanchard (1),Parkinson (1) and Dearman (3) all trying wilfully to finish the game before it got dark and Crabtree ran out of overs.

As we all know though, there's one thing Crabtree like, and that's a tight finish. Needing 7 to win off the last over a dot, two scrambled singles and then a wicket meant Phil 'Muddy' Waters strode to the crease facing an unlikely 5 to win from two deliveries.

What followed will go down in the annals of Crabtree history as one of the most exciting and unexpected finishes. President Waters exquisitely clipped a leg stump half volley down to fine leg but the ball refused to make it to the boundary line. Instead Waters and Bryson ran, what Phil later described as "the first I have run in 20 years", an all run four - leaving 1 to win off the last ball. Phil calmly chipped the last ball over mid-on and ran the single seeing Crabtree to their first win of the season, at the first attempt.

The Beer and snacks in the bar tasted all the more sweeter, or savourier-er as we toasted a beautifully timed opening salvo and a steely-eyed finishing effort from two of the more experienced team members in Reid and Waters. 

Match Reporter: Ben Newton

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