A match report from the game day captain:
The day was a scorcher, for more reasons than the weather due to the Rosaneri performances in the field and with the bat. It was a genuine pleasure captaining the side which was stacked with bowling and only four batsmen.
In a strange turn of events, Mike had somehow mislaid his abacus and selected 13 players for the game. Thirteen is unlucky for some, especially Mike as he then had to drop out to make the team a more manageable 12. The toss was lost despite requesting to bat first beforehand so Rosaneri bowled on one of the hottest days on record. However this did not stop the Pinks putting in a fantastic performance in the field. Bell was quite happy to pass the gloves to Dan and sit out the fielding, something which would prove pivotal in the game ahead. Taimoor and I opened the bowling, Taimoor especially bowling quick and in good areas. In his first four overs he took 2 wickets and maintained superb control on the run rate. I had little luck at the other end, beating the bat quite a few times and seeing three edges, two going for four and one a little controversially given not out. Next on the after the opening pair were Steven and Ro, who carried on in the same vein as Taimoor by offering excellent accuracy and run-stifling deliveries. Steve picked up two good wickets (including a neat caught and bowled) and Ro was unlucky not to get a hatful of wickets, such were the chances he generated. Steven finished with 2-12 and Ro would return to finish later on. Hamza, ET and Sam all played little cameos with the ball, ET picking up a wicket in his third over despite two costly overs beforehand and Hamza looking good with his medium pace.
Throughout the innings, the fielding was sharp, especially from Nick and Alex who covered good ground with big arms to save vital runs. Alex also bowled a nice 6 overs and claimed another key wicket for the season. He showed a great deal more consistency and found some good lengths. Given the amount of time out of the game, a few more matches will see him at his best with pace and accuracy. Taimoor and Ro also came back for second spells which were both incredible. Despite the heat, Taimoor managed to get even faster and combined with a sharp catch from Dan, found an edge with a delivery that absolutely rocketed through. From my viewpoint, it was one of the quickest deliveries I’ve seen from a Rosaneri player and totally unplayable. He thoroughly deserved match figures of 3 wickets for 11 runs off 7 overs. However Ro was not to be outdone and with economy of under two for his six overs and two catches dropped, this could have been his best performance with the ball. His line and length were immaculate and the batsmen were simply unable to deal with the areas in which he bowled.
At the halfway point and having spent nearly three hours in the field, the Pinks took a well-earned rest after a quality team performance. Requiring a shade over 5 an over, the opening pair of Nick and Bell took to the field. At this point, it should be noted that despite the rest of us spending three or so hours in the baking sun, Bell had been sat down in the pavilion. This was key as he looked fresh from the off, bludgeoning the opening seamer for four off the first ball. A further three fours followed in that over and it was clear Bell was in the mood to take apart the attack. Nick was unlucky the other end and was caught despite looking assured. James was next in and assisted Bell with some nice looking shots, including a beautiful four flicked off the hip and even an attempt at a ramp shot! He looked much more composed and surely this will be a turning point in his batting. In the meantime, Bell continued to deconstruct the bowling, hitting another huge over with four boundaries. Two quick wickets followed but not before Bell had reached his fifty and raised his bat to celebrate a monumental knock of power and brutality. Hamza looked to play attacking shots and unfortunately didn’t get enough on one which was pouched comfortably.
Sam and Dan batted nicely together, Sam looking measured and restrained with some nice defensive strokes. Meanwhile Dan took a lead from Bell and knocked a six and four in his first over. The partnership looked balanced and chipped off the runs in quick fashion. The fifty partnership ended when Sam succumbed to the opposition but his knock of 11 and a vital supporting role steered the ship home. ET looked to play the same role as Sam, looking strong in defence and would have finished undefeated had it not been a rash call for one from Dan. With less than forty runs to get and plenty of overs remaining, I stepped out to join Dan. A few comments from Tills irked the batsman and this caused a little ill-feeling in the field which thankfully was resolved. Dan had already notched his fifty and continued to bat sensibly, taking good singles to maintain strike whilst punishing the bad balls. A forward push for one run sealed the victory and a wonderful team display. Dan was able to record a 87 not out, smashing five sixes (yes five scorer!), many fours and also a polished performance behind the stumps.
In summing up, there was an abundance of positives from the game. Aggressive batting from Bell and Dan earned them both excellent fifties. The bowling from Ro, Taimoor, Steven and Alex kept the run rate under close control, the fielding from Nick and Alex was energetic and the batting cameos of Sam, Hamza and James enabled the big hitters to go about their business. There was also a proper clubman display from Steven who didn’t bat despite only bowling four overs and then umpired for over 25 overs. Also, a comment from ET showed me that he is a true Pink. Despite being run out in very harsh fashion and through no fault of his own, instead of showing any bitterness, he simply said, “Better me than Dan getting out”. When you have such team players, it makes the game so much more enjoyable. Dan, you owe ET a pint!