So with summer in full flight, Ives made the shortish (for some) journey to the lovely town of Hertingfordbury. In a surrounding that really lends itself to being the quintessential English cricket ground, Ives were met with a rock hard pitch and one of the fastest outfields in many a year.
So with the suntan lotion on, Ivanhoe began in the field. Despite some handy bowling spells by Ciaran and Andrew, only one wicket between them from the opening 9 overs led to the introduction of AD. After a first over where he attempted to full toss the opponent out in a Graeme Swann to Rogers fashion, however he soon settled into his rhythm, bowling one of the best spells of spin bowling I have seen. In fact it was too good, as countless times he just missed the edge of the bat or the stumps! Den followed toiling away in the heat, and can count himself very unlucky not to have at least two wickets to his name by the end of the spell!
Then it was time for the man of the hour, Golden arm himself. Earle showed the rest of the bowlers how its done. With his unorthodox technique cramping the batsmen for room and some accurate bowling, he disrupted the flow of the Hertingfordbury, finishing with 5 wickets for43! Meanwhile Adrian ”stamina” Dancer was still bowling a 17 over spell! So when the time limit eventually arrived, Ives had bowled 49 overs for only 231, pretty good going on a solid pitch and at tea Ives felt that the chase was on.
With Den and Richard opening the batting, and getting off to a good start Ives looked in a good position. When Richard departed Phil P took over the batting. An exhausted looking Den made 45, in good time before finally the heat of the day took its toll on him. Phil P, arguably the most improved batsman of this season began to take control and despite an increasing required run rate, Phil was smashing the ball about. Despite AD and Matt P’s assistance the score to chase and the overs to do it in were proving a hard task, and when Phil P eventually departed for a well earned 54, it was left to the Malcolm and Andrew to round off the innings, and settle for a draw.
Despite falling short Ives can take a lot of credit from their batting display. If the overs had been equal, or even 2 more to Ivanhoe they would have made the total. Still in order to win games like this Ives must also look at the areas in which they can improve, runs can be saved by a change in the manner in which they field, and this may in the coming weeks prove to be the difference between wins, draws and losses. Still a good display from Ives in which the majority of the game can leave Ivanhoe with plenty of positives!

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