Detail: 23-08-2020 - Frensham

Result: L by 7 wkts
Frensham Match Report

A fine body of men (well 10 plus one delayed on the motorway) assembled for a pre-match net - yes you did read that correctly - to get warmed up for the match.

It was a good job we did as the Frensham Team hove into view all looking a lot bigger, fitter and more like cricketers than the team we usually play.

On the skipper enquiring of the home team's strength their captain Harvey explained that their Saturday 2nd XI team was not playing in the league this year due to COVID-19 so were all keen for Sunday cricket!

Hmm.......could be a long afternoon I thought!

However in true Blues style "we have to be in it to win it" so having won the toss I decided to bat in this 35 overs game

As you look down the XI you could see talent if all batters had a chance to score and contribute and we did not lose quick wickets

1 Das (w)
2 Alistair
3 Aqib
4 Abid
5 Sam R
6 Aman
7 Glenn
8 Sam W
9 Will
10 Rich (c)
11 Daragh

Forward Alistair and Das to see off the initial Frensham opening attack to set us on our way for 22 for 0 after five overs - a good platform before Das unluckily played on off his pads.

The middle order of Aqib, Abid, Sam R and Aman (fresh from a pre-match fag and a Perroni) was our core force to push on the score. Sadly Frensham decided to play their better bowlers from their second XI so no pie chuckers appeared and a succession of wickets led to the Blues slipping from 57-2 to 59-5.

The bulk of these runs had come from Alistair who dug in (like a man who runs a landscaping business) and reached a very well deserved 50 with crisp off side drives as evidenced by Sam R's photo skills. Thanks to Sam as the Official Blues photographer for the day.

Daragh was initiated to do the score while his wife Jen and young son Oliver investigated the fine Frensham playground - a big hit with all as London playgrounds have been closed because of lock down.

Back to the action and Glenn strode out with his large cream pads to join Alistair in a fine 86-run partnership with lusty blows - a 6 and five 4s from Glenn's bat - and Alistair calmly getting to 78 before "feathering" one behind.

Forward Sam W into his first match who was quickly finding bat to ball and like Sam R has a great future at the Blues.

Frensham continued to strike and with Sam R, Sam W and then Glenn gone, for a well made 33, Will took on the mantle of pinch hitter and supported by the Skipper and a 6 (one run and five over throws) kept the score moving to 164 for 9 when the skipper was caught on the boundary going for a proper 6.

Forward batting debutante Daragh. Having introduced himself to one of fielders - a fellow Irishman named "O'Sullivan" and debated where to get the finest pint of Guinness overlooking the Liffey - Daragh took guard trying to remember all the coaching from the pre-match nets.
O'Sullivan realised that he and Daragh had to help each other and encouraged the bowler to serve up a fine off stump half-volley to which Daragh played his classic forward defence.
To his amazement the coaching had worked and the ball scuttled off to the boundary as fast as an Irishman to the bar before last orders.
After a single Daragh was up at the non-strikers end to further more important pub discussion with O'Sullivan - leaving Will to finish with a very well made unbeaten 8

The Blues had got 171 - a great team effort.

Onto our "bring your own tea" and then into the pre-match socially distanced "huddle" ready to bowl out Frensham.

As you will know the Frensham pitch is fast, batsman friendly & with very short boundaries at one end so our best fielders were deployed to marshal those parts. Sam R, Sam W, Will, Aqib, Alistair, Abid and Daragh all fielded well to keep he runs down and Das was very tidy behind the timbers

Glenn as usual opened up with a tight 4 over spell and claimed an LBW

Likewise Will got good bounce from the flat Frensham pitch which meant that the new ball was not wasted - however no other chances came and the experienced Frensham batters started to gain traction.

Forward Aqib and Aman who backed up with fine all round team fielding restricted Frensham, but by 10 overs they were on 60 for 1 and by 15 overs 115 for 1, with both their batters at 50.

Time for a drinks break - always works and gets a wicket - and it did! as Aqib took an excellent caught and bowled first ball after drinks.

Were we now back in it?

Sadly not - as the biggest of the Frensham batters strode out and proceeded to smash a quick 31 with only Alistair and his off-spin claiming a wicket with world's most flighted delivery

Frensham had won in the 25th over.

Glenn has analysed the score book and we could have declared the game void due to Frensham scorebook totaling 166 on their batting and 181 on our bowling but as we were out by 4 runs as well and we wanted to invited back next year we decided not to appeal to the ECB and focused on the outside bar.

More time for a drink was used to good effect as "El President" Paul and retired blues keeper Alan Porter enjoyed the T.E.A. (That's the local Ale) and the post-match analysis with the team.

Before we all departed Sam R was presented with a very well deserved Blues cap for his 5th game and this time it was actually blue!

Please contact Steve Metson for this Sunday's game


[updated 26 08 2020]