Ives vs Harrowdene CC – 13th August 2023

Ivanhoe have challenged themselves over the last couple of years against the powerhouse team of Harrowdene CC A timed game in 2021 saw the Ives in desperate trouble but a powerhouse performance from Bob Collins and a controlled innings from Saqib both saved the game and brought the chance of victory but honours finished even. 2022 saw the Vet College host an absolute annihilation, 211 proved far too many in 35 overs as the Ives limped to 109, albeit only for 8.

A bright and sunny day in early August accorded the opportunity for revenge in another timed game, as the toss was won and Harrowdene inserted to face the new ball….

The first few overs belied the carnage that was to come; as few runs were scored off Saqib and Hansi, who took an early wicket as the ball moved off the seam and caused a few false shots and kept the fielders interested. The pitch wasn’t misbehaving in the ‘usual manner’ that we have come to expect from the Vet College.

When the shackles were broken, they were well and truly broken! Boundaries were plundered all around the wicket, leather was chased as the sound of the ball being dispatched echoed around the ground. Some outrageous shot-making ensued, including batters walking outside off stump and walloping the ball behind square on the legs side. It was entertaining to watch (even as a bowler being smashed), with high risk suggesting that wickets could fall at any moment.

Brakes were put on by Tristan, with two wickets in two balls, and Hansi had a plum LBW turned down (cue grins from the batter and a tacit understanding when they were bowling that any LBWs were not going to be forthcoming!). After a quite spell, lasting all of about 10 balls, the pace was picked up…A couple more big partnerships followed and a run rate of 6 an over was easily achieved. The ball, not the greatest to start with, resembled a lump of mud that was increasingly closer in shape to an egg rather than a sphere, certainly did not help.

Two dropped catches did not help the cause of the Ives, but in general it was one of the better fielding performances, espoused by fantastic keeping by Phil K who affected a stumping and kept the batters ‘honest’.

Newcomer Krishna came on to bowl deep into Harrowdene’s innings and bowled beautifully, taking two wickets from excellent deliveries – including the top scorer who was eying a century!

Ivanhoe’s response started in calamity as Phil K fell early, and tight bowling restricted Bob, Rich et al changed the nature of the game; it was no longer about trying to chase the target down, but to survive. Close fielders kept the singles to a premium, and the tight bowling gave few opportunities for the batters to free their arms and hit through the line to break the ring-field.

The battery of fast bowlers were augmented by two spinner; an offie who had tormented Ivanhoe in the past generating lots of bounce and turn, and a left-armer tied batters in knots…there wasn’t any respite and almost every-ball a challenge. The final insult came when a part-timer came on and bowled a maiden, a wicket maiden, then five balls (with another wicket) before conceding a solitary single that could have resulted in a run-out!  

Phil P and Hansi faced the music, trying to be positive wherever possible, with some powerful and controlled strokes from Phil. in a partnership that spanned nearly 20 overs, the draw was achieved, before off the last ball Phil holed out, having done his job to save the game.

Joint player of the match awards went to the returning Parnells, Phil and Tristan – glad to have you back!

Author: Hansi B

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