We travelled to our good friends and close neighbours Enfield CC for our last T20 of the season, already out of the competition. Time to blood some young players as Richard Shovelton came in for Russ Whalley. Not so for Enfield, who reckoned a win would get them through on run rate, if Lowerhouse beat Church
On a glorious evening in front of a packed DHL, unlucky tosser Maher called incorrectly and was invited to field.
A tight opening spell from Aspinall at one end was not backed up quite as well at the other during the 6 over powerplay, Phil going for just 2 from his initial 3 overs. A great effort! The bonus of Adam Bracewell running out his professional for just 3 from 13 balls the other benefit from what is always a nightmare part of the innings for a captain and the bowlers tasked with picking 2 spots at random for a fielder to give them some protection. Faced with a wicket giving some uneven bounce, hopes were high of restricting Enfield to a manageable score.
But that was as good as it got, as Joe Wrigley (56 from 46) batted beautifully throughout the rest of the innings. Special mention must go to the reserve swept boundaries for 4 and 6 off Kaz, which brought applause even from our own fielders.
However, his innings paled into insignificance at the brilliance of Bracewell. Fresh from a breathtaking innings at Lowerhouse just 7 days earlier, where he silenced the Liverpool Road masses with an unbeaten century to guide Enfield to victory, his purple patch continued as he bludgeoned his way to another undefeated century, finishing with 105 from just 61 balls. It was a brilliant display of hitting, one to which we just had no answers. A tough caught and bowled chance on 47 aside, there was no let up as Enfield set an imposing 178-1 from 20 overs. Two brilliant innings, magnanimously applauded off the field by all GHCC players. Great to see!
A nice touch from Enfield as drinks were provided in the dressing room at the tea interval (non-alcoholic of course) – Editor: Sadly! –
As we strode out to bat to chase down the imposing target, a stuttering start and the early loss of Armer (4) and Masood (6) left us with a mountain to climb. Ash came to the crease at the end of the first over, and we weren’t able to support him enough as we struggled the hit the boundaries with the same regularity. As the required run rate began to grow, the pressure grew and wickets fell regularly with no-one but Matty (13) reaching double figures.
A last wicket partnership between Silva (60 from 49 – including a beautiful six over cover, sadly through the clubhouse window – SORRY AGAIN!) and Newton (17 from just 6 balls) put on 44 to give the score some respectability in a game where we were very much second best. Ash was the last man out, leaving Newy ‘stranded at the other end who was obviously going to knock the rest of the runs off’. Or so that’s what he said anyway. All out for 133, losing by 45 runs – a big margin in T20 cricket.
So, at the end of the campaign, what have we learnt?
Winning only one game from five is not a great return, but it’s clear our present side lacks the batting power and big hitting of our opponents. We can improve on our bowling and fielding too, and rotation of the strike to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Work to be done before our 2019 campaign starts!