1st XI
Sat 01 Jun 2024  ·  Division 6 B
Ickleford CC - 2nd XI
Eaton Bray Cricket Club
1st XI
It Does not Get Any Tie-ter Than This!

It Does not Get Any Tie-ter Than This!

Jaco Jacobs3 Jun - 17:29
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It Does not Get Any Tie-ter Than This!

The 1st of June saw the first team travel to Ickleford under leaden skies and accompanied by a cold breeze for their latest Hertfordshire Cricket League Division 6B clash.

Skipper Norris won the toss and elected to bat. Russ, having swept into the car park with minutes to spare joined him in an all to short-lived opening partnership as he inside edged one that kept a bit low onto the stumps. From there on, the pattern was one of EB giving away their wickets far too cheaply: after a promising start, Owen perished in a calamitous run out – a mix-up he would surely have survived if he had not slipped when trying to turn. Maybe time to replace the studs in his boots! Noz was caught from a shot he did not get hold of as he would have liked, and Chop was also caught before Ozzy uncharacteristically tried to caress a loose ball rather than giving it the treatment only to guide it to the grateful hands of the fielder at mid-wicket. 84-5 at drinks felt like too many in the wickets column. The pitch had some variable bounce which combined with the lush outfield meant that patience and grafting were required to prosper as batsmen. Ethan had picked up 3 boundaries before he was bowled, and Jaco looked in good touch striking the ball with his usual power and authority including a flat 6 straight back over the bowler’s head that punched a hole clean through the sight screen. Sadly, he was also bowled a couple of balls later and it was left to the canny and experienced Nico to eke out what runs he could with the tail. Sadly, Aaron and Dave perished quickly before last man out Jedders joined Nico in adding 40 runs for the last wicket. So, the tail wagged, but would it be enough?

A chilly tea was taken with thoughts of what might have been: 8 players had gotten into double figures without anyone going on to a big score. Nico top scoring with an unbeaten 27.

It looked like the Bray were up against it. The Ickleford openers rode a bit of luck, finding open spaces on a number of occasions when they did offer up a false shot, but they steadily accumulated runs despite Noz rotating his bowlers and the right hander suffering from cramping in both legs.

It would have been easy for Bray to think in terms of bowling bonus points, but this team has far more heart than that. Both sides had found it hard to score quickly and pace off the ball slowed the rate yet further. Jedders went wicketless but bowled his allocation of 10 for a miserly 25 backed up by Ronnie, similarly, tight going for just 29 from his 10. Nico’s first 4 overs went for just 11 and when the ball was thrown to all-rounder Paul Harris in the 29th owner, that is when the tide started to turn. He secured the break-through, the right hander was the first man out for 67 having played some fine shots in the 31st over with the score on 110 with 9 wickets in hand and only 53 required off 18.2 overs. Chop struck again, the left-handed opener falling next for a gritty 47. Fresh blood at the crease and we knew it was not easy to start on this pitch. The run rate started to climb and as the pressure began to switch onto the batting side, EB made gains. Chop finished with 4-26 from his allocation. Owen contributed a run out and Nico had picked up a couple in his second spell.

Chops stint with the ball was almost extended: the officials had to call time on his spell as a miscalculation saw him with the ball in his hand to start an 11th over. Dave was thrust into the attack with no notice: not easy for a medium pacer to return with no warm-up on such a cold day, but ultimately, with one over to go, Ickleford stood at 158-7. 5 runs needed for victory from the final over.

Surely there was no better man than the experienced and calm Nico Pearson to bowl the final over. A wicket tightened the screw further and tension rose as 3 singles left 2 required from the last ball. Captain Noz tightened the field – he was all-in for the win with everyone on the single. Contact from the batsman resulted in a diving stop from Ethan and the batsman scrambled a single to leave scores level. An unlikely thriller that left honours even, and we look forward to welcoming Ickleford to the Bray later in the season, when hopefully the weather will be as warm as the hospitality we enjoyed after the game.

Next up the 1st XI take on Southgate Adelaide at home. Bring on the first win!

Match report by Russ Bennett

Match details

Match date

Sat 01 Jun 2024




Division 6 B

League position

Ickleford CC - 2nd XI
Eaton Bray CC - 1st XI
Team overview
Further reading