Match Report: 23rd June, 6:00PM, Verulam, Rothampstead Park

Amit & Gareth uncompromising batting display wins the day

Result: Crabtree win by 6 wickets

Catches win matches, so does big hitting.

Crabtree were inserted (Gareth is not known for his tossing), started with a flurry of wickets, oppo were 20 off for 4 after 4 overs, three to Ian B. Wickets continued to fall until a father and son team managed to add some ballast to the innings. No one came in for significant tap, the fielding was very good. Jonty was the fielder of the day, two key moments 1) bending to stop and collect a ball sharply hit to point, actually used his knees as well as his back, and 2) beating Matt to a ball (Matt was at deep extra and Jonty was at point, ball went to cover). Gareth wins the Nostradamus award, offering to swap with Ian at deep backward square as Ian was struggling with his arm (not having let a single ball go by mind you), next ball Gareth let it go flying past him, subsequently Gareth was offered swaps at each new position he took up. Mind you, he was Captain Fantastic, not only a babe magnet, but a ball magnet too. Drops were few and far between, only two from memory and both to very sharp chances. Once again, Steve 'Stumps' Sear was astounding, I hope Butler recovers but of not and if Bairstow is also injured, Fabrace should give him a call for the Ashes.

Slowish start to our reply, they had a couple of decent medium pacers (young) and that on a Rotho pitch is a heady mix. Matt and Rob kept the score moving, Rob falling to an attempted increase in the pace of the game for decent 15 odd. Matt got his 25+, by way of offering 4 catches which the field declined each time. We counted 8 such offerings in the innings, most of them fairly standard stuff so Veralum helped us out on this account. Darren and Gareth joined the fray, with Gareth very keen on improving Darren's fitness program, Darren went to a decent ball, Gareth got his 25+ and after a quick dash by Ed, Phil's arrival was announced by a textbook late late late late cut for 4. Amit arrived with no interest in 4's, sixes were the order of the day, along with trying to push Phil's heart over the limit, they ran three ! Almost immediately Phil fell, too exhausted to lift the bat. Amit was surprised by a change of bowling, no pace at all, and gave a very soft return catch, which the bowler popped over his head, spun around to watch it land literally on his forehead and fall to the ground, priceless ! Amit retired bringing Jonty and Ian in to see the match out. 10 required off 2 overs, became 2 off the final over. Ian is such a tease, he let the first three balls go by with the field all up, then delivered a gentle cover drive for two to win with two balls remaining.

Match Reporter: PA

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