At best KCC 3rd XI could say that fate conspired against them on Saturday the 4th of May 2013 but in reality we managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
On a beautiful Saturday we started with a refreshing rain shower before getting on the bottom deck at Fleckney rd for a 1305 start. Having lost the toss Captain Greeno was, much to his surprise asked to bowl first as it appeared Bowden’s captain Sam Freer fancied putting his feet up in the sun and watching his lads bat on a lovely looking deck.
Monik and Jon Butler opened up for the KCC and had to contend with the ex KCC man Jon Lee and his excellent eye. Mr Lee began to dispatch the bad ball with consummate ease as Jon Butler struggled to hit his lines on a very unforgiving pitch. A specialist field was set and Monik snaffled Lee with a short wide one that was taken very well at backward point by Ben Lodge.
With the new hard ball going around the park it was time to get control with Ben Lodge and Jai Singh coming on to strangle the Bowden top order. Jai hit good lines 80% of the time but strayed onto the pads of the left handed Dan Masic who put him away to the boundary with well timed shots through mid wicket. At the other end Ben Lodge bowled 4 beautiful balls every over but inconsistency saw him go to the boundary once or twice in a set of 6. It was Ben’s 4th over that saw him start ticking as he bowled Karl Pollard for a well made 30. Bowden went into drinks 2 down with 100 on the board looking well set to make a good score.
As Jai Singh plugged away without reward Greeno decided to bring on Tej Thakkar from the pylon end whilst persisting with Ben Lodge at the pavilion end. Tej’s control deserved more as his 7 overs went for just 7 runs allowing Ben Lodge to prosper. Ben went through Bowden’s middle order as they began to play shots to force the scoring along. Ben ended his 15 over spell with 4 wickets and a well deserved MVP cap to his name. As Bowden’s tail end came out swinging it was Monik and Jon Butler who finished the party. Monik claimed the wicket of ex KCC man Brad Downing, fellow county star Thomas Reeve and all rounder Anthony Roberts to finish with 4 wickets to his name. The biggest loss in the field was the sad departure of Dips Patel from the pitch who it was later learnt had broken his finger and would be out for 6 weeks having jammed his smallest digit into the rock hard KCC turf trying to grab a tough catch.
At 183 all out Bowden must have felt 50 runs light and KCC were set to enjoy a big tea and watch the top order make hay. We started 1 down knowing Dips was not to come back from hospital but still confidence was high.
Luke and Henry Simpson were paired together again and left off where they started last week. Bowden bowled with good early control and ex Langtons man Joe Whitworth looked a class above as he hit his line and length with good pace. Luke and Jnr Simmo survived the early onslaught and went to 50 for the first wicket with both men hitting the rare bad ball and working singles where they could. It was ex KCC man Brad Downing who made the break through as Henry tried to hook a short one and Jon Lee took a good catch at slip. LJ strode to the crease and the scoring began to climb as Bowden’s spinners Sam Freer and Dan Masic found it hard work on a flat deck. Again it was a bowling change that gave Bowden a break through as John Lee nicked LJ off for a well made 33. With Wilko joining Luke at the crease and the score climbing all seemed well at Fleckney rd. The 4th and 2nd team gathered to report wins and news came in of the brilliant 10 wicket first team victory. Everyone began to discuss what their chairman’s tipple would be and whites were discarded for shorts and flip flops as the sun beat down.
Then things went horribly wrong….
The dangerous Tony Roberts took the ball from the pavilion end and John Lee carried on plugging away at the pylon end. At 160 for 2 Luke called Wilko through for a quick single which saw him run out by half a pitch length. Greeno then strode to the crease and spoke to Luke of the golden rule about not losing another quick wicket after a rather daft run out. Luke then chipped the next ball to cover and the fox was loose amongst the pigeons. Monik came to join the skipper at the crease whilst flip flops were cast aside and desperate efforts were made to get kit on whilst a silence fell on the expectant crowd. Two overs were survived and quick singles were scampered as the score climbed to 167. Greeno then played around a straight one from Roberts and Jon Butler sauntered out to the crease. He played a beautiful straight drive down the ground to calm the nerves before another run out as a risky single was yet again our undoing. Tej joined Monik with 5 runs needed for victory and nicked one behind to a good catch by Ben Wade. Tony Roberts bowled some good lines from the other end and Monik and Jai Singh felt the pressure mounting. Monik decided to back his strength and charged Roberts trying to send the ball into orbit but as he missed it Wade grabbed the chance and stumped Monik with a sharp bit of keeping. Ben Lodge was the last wicket to fall as Roberts finished the game nipping the top of off to give Bowden a 4 run victory.
To say the mood in the changing room was down is under stated. Greeno is not a man to speak in anger and the crushing sense of disappointment was evident for all to see without harsh words being spoken. KCC has made constructive not destructive behaviour a motto for 2013 and from this shambles constructive moves will be made. Golden rules were broken, victory was taken for granted before it was achieved and broken back bones will be forged stronger as the bitter taste left in the mouths of all will not be forgotten quickly. Battlescars will serve as a reminder that however talented we may be it is attitude and bottle that transfers skills on paper to victories on the field. Our place will never be with the cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.