Cloudy with rain forecast, chances of completing a match seemed slim, especially during a rain break mid-1st innings. However the weather changed and the sun made a very late appearance to ensure a result.
Ivanhoe openers Evans and Collins began confidently in the opening few overs but the run rate slowed as the bowlers steadied and the high but slow bounce restricted cuts and pulls. After 20 overs the score was 72-0 and when Collins (70) was out it had reached 147 in about 34 overs. Evans (64) soon followed, leaving Naresh (13*) and Dancer (11*) to attack the final overs, which they did well, to take the score to 175- 2.
Chaseville batted positively throughout, despite the loss of 2 early wickets to Woodcock (2 for 48), finding the boundary regularly. Ivanhoe were not able to put sufficient pressure on the batsmen. Only Hausler (8 overs, 0 for 32) and Naresh (7-1-18-2) were able to stem the flow of runs. In the end they reached the total, 4 wickets down, with 7 overs to spare.
In hindsight 175 was too few, so the scoring rate too slow, but, in light of previous batting performances this season, it was good to see the highest opening stand, and only the 2nd and 3rd half centuries of 2014. In addition the Chaseville bowling should be credited – tight at times and knowingly using the local conditions of steep bounce.
Also we should take some other positives from the game – Dancer’s six off the last ball of the innings – powerful and defiant; the welcome return of Blackstaffe with his exceptional performance in the field; the very welcome return of Hausler’s slip catching (skipper now dropped from slip!); the fielding overall (with a good catch from Matt Parnell); Woodcock’s aggressive bowling which brought rewards this week and above all the all-round performance of Naresh – his medium paced bowling, moving the ball both ways really restricted Chaseville.
Afterwards we were able to join in with the Chaseville barbecue – as always generous hosts.
The winning run may be over but let’s start another one!
Man of the match – Naresh