TRCC vs. Earley - May 25th 2013

Game 4 of the league season and a confident TRCC paid a visit to Earley (formerly Catcliffe Way).

A glorious looking day although a fresh breeeze was making it rather cold early on. Its a nice looking square at Leighton Park school with covers but at the mercy of the school groundsman who dictates which strip to use. Our previous visit last year had us very close to the school side boundary whereas we flipped this year to the other end of the square making it a very small boundary on the clubhouse side. The strip itself was dry apart from what looked like patches of leaks from the covers and upon losing the toss again TRCC were put into bat. Earleys openers obviously had some home ground tactic as started bowling medium pace but well short of a length, extracting extraordinary bounce for a May wicket. TRCC made a steady start, a little wary of the bounce maybe as hesitant to pull to the short boundary too often though Akshay Apte, making his first appearance for TRCC this year, was launching the odd ball deep into the trees. Stuart Barrable was the first to go however for 19 off another short ball paddled to square leg and a good catch low of the ground. Marc Teal looked busy with a couple of slaps to the boundary but unfortunately didn't trouble the scorers for too long and it was 74-2. Ken Cochrane and Akshay Apte then managed to hit a few runs with Akshay beginning to find that short boundary with decent regularity. At one stage Earley adopted 6 fielders all along the leg side boundary to Akshay which made little difference for quite some time. However, to a chorus of some ridiculous derision about have only '1 shot', Akshay eventually tried one too many pull shots and was caught on the leg side boundary for 71. Tim Hogarth was next up and wasted no time hitting a lovely 4 followed by a huge six but then decided to waste no more time and got out. As the overs ticked by the wickets kept falling though Ken Cochrane managed to get to his second consecutive 50 in the 44th over before falling with a top edge in the last over. A final score of 188-9 was good but there was a slight worry that the final few overs yielded wickets more than runs as 210-220 was a realistic target at one stage.
A fine 'sandwich free' tea went down well before we got to the real business of the day. Earley got of to a flyer with Casey, totally confident on his home strip, taking a real liking to Steve Beamish and the short leg side boundary hitting 38 in no time. Early bowling change saw Akshay Apte have his first bowl of the year and within a few balls Casey was sent packing with an almighty and fearsome roar of approval from '1 shot' Akshay. Graham Burgess was bowling fast inswingers from the other end causing issues for Shacklady though he was put out of his misery soon enough with Stuart Barrables second catch of the innings of Akshay again. Akshay grabbed another and Graham bowled a screaming inswinger to bowl Verma. Spence Nichols and Ken Cochrane into the attack and pretty soon 3 more Earley men all bowled had TRCC cruising and Earley falling apart at 87-7. However the wise old head of C Hyde appeared at the crease and the turnaround was immediate. Unreal quick singles and aggressive slaps to the boundary started putting pressure on TRCC. Howard at the other end also started to get into the game some more and suddenly the 8th wicket partnership was looking very dangerous. Ian Evans was brought on fresh from two consecutive 3 wicket hauls and TRCC hoping he could make it 3 in a row but got tapped around in his first over. However the breakthrough came in his next over catching Howard LBW breaking a 59 run partnership and Earley 146-8. Game back on, though with overs no problem for Earley, TRCC had to grab the final two wickets to save the game. Akshay Apte replaced Ian Evans and managed to pick up another wicket as he bowled out his 12 overs finishing with a marvellous 4 for 39. Still the obstinate C Hyde remained at the crease with both Akshay and Graham finished for the day, Ken Cochrane and Spence Nichols were apprehensively back into the attack as things looked a little desperate for TRCC. Then the massive relief when C Hyde mishit a pull shot and skied it to deep mid on of Spence for a superb catch taken by a running Adam Smith coming in from the boundary edge. Relief and excitement all around for TRCC and no doubt palpable disappointment for Earley as they so nearly snatched one from the jaws of defeat.
3 wins in a row for TRCC and a marvellous first match from '1 shot' Akshay Apte for 71 runs and 4 wickets.

Match report from getwokingham.

"Earley adopted a particularly defensive field today. A very short boundary and Akshay clean striking resulted in 5 men on the leg side boundary."

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