Nearly 400 runs for13 wickets: not a bad afternoon for cricket but Ives were on the wrong side of the result, a match they had not looked like losing for long periods.

On winning the toss Ives batted on a used but benign strip. Openers Abrahamson and Kenchington faced the strongest bowling of the day and both perished. Parnell R struck some useful blows but also had to go. Dancer and Woodcock made progress, but when the former departed Ives were just 60-4. Woodcock (37) and Collins, the anchor, (41*) rebuilt and took Ives past 100. Parnell M (26), at number 7, struck one over particularly savagely, and Ives passed the 175 target early. Despite losing Zee and Saqib (4) (excellent boundary drive) Ives were able to declare 10 mins early, with Loveday showing he had learned the importance of a not out, defending the last 5 balls! A total of 195-8 was the highest of the season and Ives had plenty of overs to dismiss Octopus.

Tea courtesy of Earle and the Abrahamsons went down well before Octopus found themselves 12- 2 of about 10 overs. Everything was going to plan, but the next pair dug in and it was some time before the next breakthrough. However with 20 overs to go Octopus were 5 down with over a 100 needed. Eight bowlers were used (well 7 plus Zee!), a couple of catches missed, and the 6th wicket pair, though they looked unorthodox, got their eyes in and creamed everything, finishing with individual highest scores and winning with 3 + overs to spare.

A disappointing result against a team we should play again. With hindsight, maybe on that pitch, we should have bowled first, but batsmen like to bat and dictate the game and there were no complaints at the start. Excellent fielding by Octopus saved many runs, and we could have batted longer, but we went for the win and with everyone fully involved it was what is was – a good match! 

R Collins

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