Finally, the last day of June approached “blazing”, and as summer arrived so did Xmas, with skipper Adrian electing to bat after winning the toss, and allowing his team to remain in the shade during the hottest part of the day.
With the team at 9 for 2, he must have been regretting this decision and whilst things had stabilised (whilst Ciaran fell asleep) after 10 overs the score was still only 19-2 , so defeat was clearly the likely option! The opening bowlers bowled well and gave little away , but eventually occupation of the crease led to boundaries and first Bob moved the score along , and then latterly Phil P spectacularly attacked the bowling so they both reached 60 around the same time. Having put on 132 , the score of 141 was looking promising and 200 was on the cards. Games can turn in a moment and this was the case when a tired Phil raised his head and tried to pull a ball that kept low… cue scattered stumps and Bamville celebrations. The young spinner then removed Phil K and Richard, with neither troubling the scorers and Ives became becalmed in the crucial last overs. Bob (71) left soon after to the same young spinner and it was left to Adrian (16 not out) and Matt P (10 not out) to add 25 runs and set a score that after 10 overs had looked beyond us, but after 30 overs was certainly less than expected and hoped for.
After the usual Bamville hospitality with a sumptuous tea ( up there for tea of the season?) Ivanhoe took the field with the beginnings of a breeze. 1st over Ciaran bowled his best ball of the season to remove one opener and a few overs later Richard took a spectacular catch to leave Bamville in some disarray. The fielding of Ivanhoe was much improved as we sensed victory but hardly a chance was offered and Bamville skipper John Smith, always the batting danger man, again proved a thorn in Ives side. He played the initial overs cautiously with a solid and textbook defence but when the bad ball came it was dispatched violently to the boundary. As the overs progressed his scoring rate increased so that Ives were unable to increase the run rate required. His supporting partner played a vital role and also punished the bad ball. Many bowlers were tried but the next wicket did not fall until too late .. and Bamville finished with just 4 wickets down and 11 balls to spare.
Despite the defeat this match (as usual) was a highlight of the season – venue/hospitality/attitude and sportsmanship of Bamville and Ives performance was a creditable one, recovering from a bad start whilst batting and sticking to the fielding task with determination throughout.