Following our mismatched opening game, this was a much more competitive and even game. Arriving at a clean pavilion, but one missing chairs, the timing had confused the fixture sec, webmeisters and oppo, but Watford sportingly coped with this glitch. Weather went as forecast, with rain ending early enough for the track to be playable, and not returning till the final overs.
Having elected to bat Watford got off to a slow start. Edges were found, but catches went down. Parnell R and Woodcock (220.127.116.11) bowled well after a loose opening over. They bowled with little luck but kept the brakes on and the pressure mounted. Watford reached the half way point with only 2 wickets down but a need to push on if a defendable total was to be achieved. R Parnell bowled straight through and his spell of 18.104.22.168 was probably his most consistent for the club, with hardly a loose ball and some genuine swing. Hausler completed a very economical spell with 22.214.171.124, which began with 3 straight maidens. Watford pushed the accelerator but this also brought chances and wickets. Saqib “superstar”’s figures demonstrated this with 126.96.36.199, whilst Matt Parnell had his most successful spell for the club taking 4 for 34 off 7 overs, bowling at the death and yet holding his line as well as his nerve. Watford finished on 171-9, a total that could equally have been 20 runs less or considerably more if wickets had not been taken at regular intervals. Catch of the day by Malcolm Parnell at slip, a real contender for replacing Badders’ nickname of “buckets”, whilst “how to make an easy catch look tricky” went to skipper! Most ground covered in the field – an easy winner in Parnell C – many in the side wouldn’t have managed the distance he ran!
After a welcome tea, courtesy of Claire and Phil Parnell, Ives faced a challenging target of 172. The Watford opening pair were lively and economical and Hausler (4) departed in the 2nd over. Caras held on, keeping them at bay but also departed to a fine ball that swung and clipped the top of off stump. Parnell R and Dancer stepped into the breach, contained and then attacked, with Parnell particularly brutal when the ball permitted. Run rate accelerated so that after 20 overs Ives were already in the 90s. Parnell R (34) and Dancer (29) led the way but full credit to a productive middle order which ensured that progress was smooth, Collins (29), Saqib (22), Parnell P (14), Woodcock (17*) and Matt Parnell (3*) saw Ives home in the rain with a couple of overs to spare and a 3 wicket win.
Man of the Match: Richard Parnell