TRCC 'Thunder' vs. Finchampstead Eagles - June 18th 2017

Sunday saw the Thunder travel to the beautiful ground of Finchampstead, on what was a VERY hot morning. Proper cricket weather, one might say, though the boys certainly disagreed at the time!

Nonetheless, captain Tom H won the toss and decided to bowl first. Good fielding, including a couple of run outs, kept the Finch batsmen quiet, while they also struggled to find the boundary. However, the persistent problem of wides and no balls kept the score ticking over.

A drinks break at the ten over mark then brought a flurry of wickets though, with wicket keeper Max H taking a phenomenal one-handed diving catch that drew rapturous applause from everyone at the ground (their umpire said it was one of the best he had ever seen, and not just at junior level!).

The following over Ollie H clean bowled two players in two balls, with Archie S picking up his second and Tom C two more in the same over toward the end of the innings.

Finch finished 262-8. Only 38 runs came off the bat, so adding back the 40 runs deducted through wickets lost makes 64 runs conceded through extras! Pick of the bowlers were Ollie H with 2 overs, no maidens, 10 runs and 2 wickets, Tom C with 3-0-8-2, Archie with 3-0-15-2 and Tom H with 2-1-3-0.

After a much needed drink and cool down in the shade of the pavilion, it was TRCC Thunder's turn to chase the target down. However, having spent 20 overs fielding in the heat, and with a rock solid, bouncy wicket, it was not going to be an easy task.

Morgan S-O and Archie were first in and soon found the going tough, losing a wicket in every over during their time at the crease. However, they were also finding the boundary regularly too, hitting 12 and 13 runs respectively. Sam S and Samuel also found the strip awkward and despite some good shots and running, struggled to get the score board going in the right direction.

At 212-6 at the start of the 9th over, Finch were defending their modest total with an iron grip and looked very much in the driving seat. However, Max H and Matthew S clawed back the initiative for their team with some excellent calling, running and hitting the bad balls to the boundary. They put on 34 runs for the loss of only 1 wicket (Max chasing a ball that was just about to be called wide!) and swung the match back in Thunder's favour.

And yet Finch were not giving up. Will E and Tom C found it hard to make any headway as the hosts stepped up their bowling and fielding, conceding just 16 runs during the partnership and taking 3 wickets!

With Ollie H and Tom H at the crease for the final push, it was anyone's game. TRCC needed 16 runs to win, not counting any additional runs required through losing a wicket. A good over from Finch yielded just 5 runs, so the pressure was still on, but Tom did not seem phased. He clubbed 9 from the following over to bring Thunder just 2 runs from finishing line. A six in the next over all but sealed the game, and calmed everyone's nerves. 11 runs in the final over secured the win and earned the captain the man of the match award (although leaving the last ball of the match to hit his stumps almost cost him the accolade!).

This was a fantastic, rollercoaster match, with Finch fighting all the way until the end. TRCC were the better team on the day but made life very difficult for themselves. The boys lost 12 wickets on the way, compared to Finch's 8, including two players hitting their own stumps and plenty of unnecessary run outs. However, despite the heat, they looked and played like proper cricketers, and with similar performances and continued improvements, will no doubt win more games before the season is over.

*****

Finchampstead Eagles 262 - 8, Twyford Thunder 275 - 12

To add to Chris's comments on the extras I can tell you that only 3 bowlers managed an average of only 1 or fewer wides and no-balls per over, well done, Tom H, Tom C, and Sam.  Special mention to Tom C  who bowled 3 overs without a single illegal delivery, come on the rest of you, more concentration when you practice, 64 runs in extras is way too many!  Cut this in half and the team will win many more games.
Finch actually bowled only 15 wides and no-balls, TT bowled 30!  (there were 4 byes as well as the wides and no-balls).
Some other stats for you. TT actually scored 101 runs from the bat!  I have not checked but I am pretty sure that is a best so far by a long way and significantly more that Finch's 38.  Half of the batsmen made double figures, however 12 wickets lost is giving up 60 of those very hard earned runs.  Only Matthew and Oliver were not out, Matthew having scored 12 runs with the bat, well done Matthew.

This is a great win but it also shows that there is still a lot of potential to get even better.


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