And so yet another double header weekend, which would see lonely wives, girlfriends, lovers mistresses and boyfriends spending another weekend without their loved ones. The pain of success in cup cricket etched on the faces of the weary cup hungry KCC squad.
The weather forecasters were about as accurate as a Craven off drive and the promised 27 degrees under cloud cover, was more like a an 18 degree mixed wind and drizzlefest.
Team news was an unchanged line up from the previous Saturday, the boys been given a chance to put right the disappointment of not beating Loughborough the week Harbrough lost a whole game to the weather. A close fought Kibworth Cup win on the Sunday gave new belief to the boys and perhaps the visit of bottom of the table Ivanhoe could be a potential banana skin if any complacency was to creep in. League tables by and large tell a story, but Ivanhoe as any other club in the division could beat anyone on their day.
Ivanhoe won the toss and elected to bat. Perhaps a double batting points tally and the ability to set fields to defend would be the strategy. It was again a decent bowling performance, Drives and Cannon again showed why they occupy the top 2 bowling slots in the prem. You would have thought that a left arm bowler who has major aspirations of becoming a professional cricketer would perhaps be at the top of that list, rather than a left armed babysitting carpenter?
The top order fell to perhaps some loose shots but some quality bowling, as selector juggled the bowling and switched ends. FK, Chuckle 1, Hanger and Rambo all got catches and the main winners in the wickets were Mrs Doubtfire and Cannon with 4 and 3 apiece. Burty was by far the best bowler on the day and without him the others would not have benefitted from the cauldron of pressure he created.
It was a convincing performance with perhaps a bigger squeeze keeping them 20 runs below the 138 they finished on. Twigg batted very well and showed patience and he could have gone on but for some good bowling to remove him as he threatened to grind out important runs.
The main battle of the day took place not on the grass but in the welton room. It truely was a battle of class and experience over fat. Yes FK and Aamir were locked on a cake eating contests. New tea lady’s impressive homemade cake derived from a traditional family recipe had delighted the Pakistan swing bowling all rounder and the chubby stumper and so at 3 slices each, they both disappeared back to the table for another attempt. As aamir devoured his 5 piece to hold aloft his spoon to celebrate his 5 Piece haul, FK still had a 6th slice infront of him and showed no signs of allowing Aamir to finish ahead of him and stuffed it in in one go. A fantastic high elbow and great placement and the final slice was dispatched with ease. Aamir is a fine match for a top 5 order batsmen, but with a 3 stone disadvantage in weight, he was always going to find the cake duel tough.
For the first time in his illustrious career the badger would have to make way at the top of the order for someone better. To be fair there are about 4 other better players beneath him every week but this week G.P Smith was gagging to get out there, so the badger would sit padded up hoping for imminent failure from the 2:1 University graduate (yes I know- how did he get a 2:1!!!)
A partnership with Lazer got going and the target was reducing quickly. A strangely patient Chuckle accumulated and they past 48, something he hadn’t done recently.
Just as Lazer was getting going, Greg called him through for a 3. It was a tight 2 at Best and so Rambo would be sacrificed and Johnny would partner Greg and see us through without further loss. Sometimes a bit of luck is what you need (just ask Tom Rabbits foot, 4 leaf Clover Burton) and as 3 catches were grassed, the final total was passed and Johhny and Greg saw it through with GP finishing on 81 not out.
The badger was forced to take a TFC much to general amusement along with Selector. Perhaps the badger would harbour ill feeling and bitterness towards his leader and take revenge on him by humiliating him by running him out or something later in the season or perhaps 24 hours later?
Good win and onto county cup action away at Syston.
The weather forecast was perhaps right for Sunday. It was proper hot!. It was probably hotter for Joey in a fuel-less, exhaustless and airconless car enjoying a 23 miles detour round the syston area as he searched for the ground to be talked in by ledge asking him if he had picked up any signs for kettering!
Ross, and Dazza returned with ledge to complete the side and Selector won the toss and asked the Syston boys to bat on a dry looking deck. Syston looked a picture and its a great venue to play at in the dry and boy was it dry.
We have managed to get off to some decent starts to be fair and we did again, with Syston wobbling at 3 for 3! Aamir snicked off big danger man Raja and the top order struggled on a slow low pitch which didn’t help Doubtfire as it just didn’t give him the pace and carry he generated and it would really be a spinners pace off the ball day. Aamir pulled up with a dodgy hammy leaving 5 balls of his over to be completed. There was only one man for the job. Craveo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its what we had been waiting for all season and the big man did not disappoint. (oh i nearly forgot, Kevin went really moody cause he didn’t get to bowl them)- FACT)
The first Badger delivery dipped and swung late and was only just dug out, the next 3 did the same and the 5th zipped into Fk’s gloves. A steaming 5 ball’s from the badger who was unlucky not to be given a much lengthier spell (according to him) until a bit later.
Some solid fielding in the heat and good all-round energy and consistent taking of wickets and they closed on 106 all out in 32 overs.
Some say that he sleeps in his full batting gear and that his cricket box was the salvaged half hull from a world war 2 U boat. All we know, is that he is called the badger!
Yes normal service was resumed after tea with Craves and Lazer back in parternship. It was tricky going and the syston boys bowled exceptionally well and had a real purpose about their fielding. Plenty of chirp and energy and they really were fired up.
The badger looked to be positive as usual and some lusty blows and soon we were 20 odd for none and shorts on, belly’s out. Not for long as a rush to the changing room to pad up as Ram was bowled by a jaffa from raja, the badger caught by a superb catch at cover having run selector out (TBF it was a great bit of fielding and it had to be as both badger and selector are 2 of our best runners between the wickets in the club apart from perhaps FK). It was getting a bit tense and the syston boys had the belief that it could be on and they were right.
Kevin left one which clipped the top of his front pad absolutely bang straight dead in front and hitting all 3 and was LBW, Rosco and drives followed shortly and we were neck deep in the brown stuff with Chairman Paul Hogan pacing the ground. Aamir batted with a runner. Having run him out, selector made the badger go back out into the heat and run for aamir. Perhaps badger thought that as a runner he would be entitled to 50% of Aamirs runs which would count towards his averages. Daz and Aamir batted sensibly and started to give us growing confidence. Apart from the fact that we are the most superstitious bunch of cricketers on earth and were not allowed to move until the end of an over from our positions in chairs or changing rooms and then had to be back in the identical positions before the first ball of the next over. It seemed to work when within 10 runs of victory aamir hamstring took a mind of its own and charged down the pitch to wily pete howard and was stumped. Cue much cursing and the safety net of ledge going into to join daz. Ledge got a shooter that bowled him and all that emmined in the hot syston changing room were the 3 dimensional allrounders, Justin Timberlegs and FK.
FK joined a grinning Daz who was enjoying himself and after FK negotaied the first over from Howard, daz rotated the strike, FK beautifully glanced Howard for 2 through gully (outside edge!) then with 4 runs needed from 4 overs, a cut from FK for 4 and the game was sealed with daz cementing the victory with a great gritty knock.
Elvis fell naked into Joey’s cricket bag on the way to the shower and a hot and red faced KCC 11 downed a couple of cold Jugs provided by Bushtucker Ellwood.
A win is a win and it is hopefully becoming a habit. National on Sunday after a trip back to syston on Saturday.