A particularly late season start for Ives, following a rain soaked Spring; this match was a bonus following the rain of previous days and the forecast for the following day.

Returning to Ally Pally where a victory was achieved in the previous August, the pitch was a very different prospect this time – surprisingly playable but not exactly dry.  Put in openers Kenchington and Collins faced the worst conditions with the ball hooping around – too much, in fact, to catch an edge, though both survived difficult dropped catches. Progress seemed slow, but they ground out an opening partnership of 103, in about 21 overs, before a self-inflicted run out changed the game. Collins (39) was soon followed by Kenchington (52), leaving Parnell R as the only other batsman to reach double figures. 1st injury of the day occurred during the opening stand when umpires Loveday and Prasad returned to the pavilion, and a cockapoo (or was it a large Chihuahua?) sensing Prasad’s fear, decided to take lumps out of the RSPCA animal whisperer Loveday who bravely, as in a Monty Python sketch , declared it was a” a mere scratch”. The second injury followed quickly with Abrahamson running into a fielder and rising from the horizontal, bloodied but unbowed.

 From 154-3 Ives managed a spectacular CC (catastropic collapse) to 158 – all out – yes that is 7 wickets in 4 runs. John Loveday and Prasad’s resort to pre innings Peroni resulted in the grand total of 1 run (though to be fair Prasad managed a one ball not out).

Then came Ts -– a superb tea provided by Octopus – a rare and much appreciated delight. But tea did lead to the 3rd “injury”: on the weekend that King Charles gained a crown, Collins lost one on a salad sandwich – possibly the least of the 4 injuries, but also possibly the most expensive!

Ives began the second half looking rusty with too many full tosses from Saqib and leg side deliveries from Prasad, which keeper Brooks athletically leapt upon impressively. Saqib did encourage two thick edges which flew to Parnell P at gully, the second of which, whilst it could count as a dropped catch, also resulted in the departure of said fielder to A and E where an impressively broken digit was revealed as a “proper job”. Luckily the injury count stopped there at 4. We were grateful to Manny, from Octopus, who efficiently and helpfully fielded as a sub for 20 overs.

Change bowlers improved things with T taking 3 wickets in all, including a played on by John who was striking bad balls for 4 with ease. With Octopus 3 wickets down, a victory looked possible, but the 4th wicket pair each scored half centuries, initially accumulating slowly, but increasing their tempo superbly.  Some credit was taken as Ives took more wickets with 2 catches taken in the safe hands of Kenchington, along with superb fielding by skipper Parnell R.  Parnell C and Parnell T, also, can take credit from their reliable fielding. A second spell from Saqib proved better and brought a catch – put down by Collins. In the end Octopus took a 4 wicket victory in a good and enjoyable match, but Ives know they can do better and must aim to reverse the result at home to Octopus on August 27th.

Author: R Collins

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