On Saturday the 8th of June KCC 3rd XI travelled to Old Grammarians. On the back of a high scoring winning draw Kibworth were keen to press on and add another victory to the pile. Buoyed by the inclusion of Ollie Lodge, Jai Singh and the inimitable Steve Matthew the team looked well balanced with young pace bowlers and experienced batsmen.
On a good looking flat deck skipper Greeno won the toss and elected to bowl first pairing the fiery Jon Butler and the swing king Monik Patel. Jon’s first over set the tone as he bowled with good pace and accuracy being unlucky not to claim an LBW with the second ball of the game. Monik then took up the challenge and bowled the best spell of his 3rd team career thus far. Swinging the ball away then occasionally nipping one back against batsmen determined to play around the front pad is always going to bring success and in his first 7 over spell Monik took 3 wickets for just 9 runs dismissing Brierly, O’Connor and Jarvis for a combined total of 8. Jon was unlucky not to take a wicket in his first 7 but bowling in tandem with Monik the pair went for just 32 in the first 14 overs of the innings.
OGs must have been glad to see the back of these two and get tucked into the first and second change bowlers. Unfortunately for them KCC have a wealth of talent in this department and Greeno was lucky enough to have Jai Singh and Ollie Lodge at his disposal. Both took up the reigns with gusto Jai restricting his end to 12 runs scored in 7 overs and Ollie removing opener Faz Shah following a great catch at midwicket for the enigma that is Jay Boucher. As the ball got a little older Kibworth would not have it all their own way and OGs captain Tom Pace began to build a partnership with the patient Luke Baish. Neither scored with great freedom having to fend off the occasional jaffa from Jai, Ollie and the inswing specialist Harry Miler but they both struck the bad ball with all their might and the score began to rise. Monik was unlucky in his second spell as an older ball didn’t do quite so much through the air and Windy despite solid figures of 7 overs for 24 remained wicketless as the OGs batsmen found gaps in the off side ring.
Following the tight spell from Windy, Jon Butler was brought back into the attack from the pavilion end and Ollie was asked to finish off the innings from the road end. OGs needed to push on having rescued 32 for 3 to 150 for 5 in the 35th over. Ollie and Jon are not the sort of bowlers you want to be facing when you need to score quickly and the pairing brushed aside the remaining 5 wickets for just 17 runs. Jon removed the skipper Tom Pace for a well made 57 and because of the tight bowling Luke Baish risked a quick single to the dead eye Loz Joel whose accurate throw saw wickets tumbling with Luke stranded 2 yards short. Ollie Lodge bowled full and straight claiming the last 3 wickets of the day in 12 quick balls. OGs finished 167 all out in 45 overs on a deck that looked more like a par 267.
After a light tea skipper Greeno strolled out to the crease with the left handed rugby warrior Tom Bale. Tom was desperate to show he still had the minerals after his poor show the week before and he and Greeno got off to a good start seeing off the opening pair of Babu and Houlden who both bowled too full on a flat deck. With the score on 49 and the between over conversation focusing on staying on the front foot Bale played on the back foot to the spinner Thomas Braggins and played onto his stumps for a solid 18. Greeno’s head shaking was only matched by Tom’s obvious disappointment as he departed the playing area to make way for LJ. LJ looked class as he hit a beautiful four through extra cover but was caught two balls later trying to play the same shot and OGs began to get a sniff that their might just be something in the game for them. When a team have a slight sniff of victory it is always good to have a player of FKs ability stroll out to the crease. His first scoring shot was a 4 four down the ground as he began to get stuck into the left arm over Steven Kendall who couldn’t quite fathom where to bowl to Steve.
As the score ticked along nicely the game was being played in good spirits with OGs lads enjoying themselves despite the pumping they were soon to be on the end of. Facing the left armer Kendell FK let a ball travel across him safely into the hands of Shah at wicket keeper. The noise that OGs heard was bat hitting pad but they were all convinced of a caught behind. The umpire was not and Steve (a wicket keeper himself) explained that he didn’t hit the ball and if he had he would have walked. Sadly this rational well delivered explanation was not sufficient for one rather Rubenesque gentleman in the OGs team who launched a tirade of abuse at FK suggesting that his parents were not married when he was born and that he should consider fornicating his way across the outfield back to the pavilion before his legs were irreparably damaged. Much like the United Nations peace keeping core Greeno did his best to calm the situation which sadly flared up the next ball as FK hit one past the aforementioned gentleman and suggested rather loudly that he should move his portly frame a little quicker. After a few exchanges of derogatory epithets where opposing players suggested each other closely resembled the reproductive systems of young ladies the game continued where it had left off. OGs tactics of giving Greeno one down the ground seemed rather short sighted as he quietly passed 50. FKs bludgeoning saw him go past the half century landmark and all was well in the camp. With only 18 runs needed for victory Greeno avoided the average booster by chopping one onto his stumps and it was the level headed Rob “the rocket” Ellwood who saw KCC home with 20 overs and 7 wickets to spare. FK’s 61* was both destructive and full of class as he showed his excellent command of both bat and the English language.
22 points for KCC in a week of wins sees us in 6th place tied on 111 pts with old rivals Grendon. Again another great team performance with young players coming to the forefront is just what is needed at KCC. Monik Patel took the yellow cap for his opening spell of 220.127.116.11 and showed that when the ball is swinging and he is on song he is a real handful for any batsmen. Roll on Stoke Bruene where the returning Mick Wilkins will be taking the reigns as Greeno watches his fiancé jump out of a plane!