Belmont & Edgware CC vs Ives – 21st May 2023

Returning to Belmont & Edgware for an early season game, Ivanhoe had high hopes repeating the performance of last year (https://www.ivanhoecc.co.uk/2022/05/ivanhoe-cc-vs-belmont-and-edgware-22nd-may-2022/) – however all was not aligned with last year…for one thing, it was not the final game of the Premier League season, so no cheeky checking of phones to stay appraised of the score, and the teams were slightly different.  Good for Ives, no fast bowlers pushing off the sightscreen, the pitch looked more even, but the weather was equally fair as last time around.

The toss was lost, and once again first use of the conditions went to the home side…how they must have been ruing that decision after two wayward overs as wides abounded, inter-spaced with some excellent boundaries by Bob Collins and Phil K. Thoughts of challenging last year’s big total were being aired on the boundary, batters waiting to come in began to relax and curses were heard from the scoring hut as all tired in vain to keep up with the runs…then calamity struck from the final ball of the third over. The hitherto untroubled BC, showing off his new bat was facing as the ball was angled in, seamed away and clipped the top of off stump…regardless of the newness of the bat, a very good ball had appeared out of nowhere and the first wicket was down.

Two in two!!! First ball of the fourth over saw PK beaten by an inswinger through the gate! Both ends had seen the stumps rocked back, and pressure was suddenly on Ivanhoe. Enter last year’s colossus at this ground, Ciaran. 70 odd not out last year with lots of time to bat – who’d bet against him emulating this feat? Ably aided by Earl, the next 11 overs saw consolidation with the odd boundary, good running between the wickets…the old adage of block the good ones and hit the bad ones was followed and stress free 49 runs added to the score. Many a leg side blow went for four, the fielding became a bit ragged, when Earl went to the well once again and was bowled.

The malady of having one’s stumps rearranged continued a few balls later, as, off the thigh-pad Ciaran was undone, thus ending a good innings of 32.

Another period of reconciliation of the innings between Steve and Mabs, before a catch in the deep broke the spell of all wickets being bowled…then another straight one was missed by Mabs who’d made 41, and the stumps rearranged yet again…

The end came quickly and all-out for 154 in 36 overs…

Last time round, tight bowling was the order of the day, with pressure ramping up all the time…

Saqib and Mabs opened up with some lovely stuff. The first wicket fell in slightly curious fashion, as the pads were struck and a confident LBW appeal ensued. The full repertoire of emotions were played across the umpire’s face and as the fielders were going back to their positions (it felt like 3 Ice-ages had passed) the finger went up!

Ciaran came on, bowling for the first time of the season, and in flash the off stump was knocked back – what a way to start! Earl then came on and fired one in to take a wicket, but after that the successes dried up and chances, both in terms of catches and near misses went begging. 77/3 at drinks was reasonable, but there could have been significantly more wickets down had a chance or two stuck.

The opening bowlers returned to the crease to try and put more pressure on and promptly delivered, with Saqib gaining two more wickets, and Mabs one with a caught and bowled…the only fly in the ointment was Belmont’s opener (who’d turned down playing for the 1st eleven because he’d have to bat a 5…the shame of being so low in the order!) was unbeaten and smote a glorious back-foot drive off Hansi for a boundary to finish the game off in the 33rd over and remain unbeaten on 89.

Retiring to the bar for a quick drink and reminisce it was agreed that the small moments went against Ivanhoe this week, a dropped catch, good ball sneaking through defences that did not quite happen for Belmont. There’s a saying about catches and matches, but it slips (or has been dropped) rather aptly from my mind…

Great game played in excellent spirit between two relatively evenly matched teams.

Congratulations to Saqib as player of the match

Author: Hansi B

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