Riaz won the toss again and elected to bat on a decent looking pitch against an unathletic looking Darfield team. Keeping with current form we lost an early wicket as Simmo fell lbw, however a steady partnership from Benji and Tom helped to lay the foundations of the innings before Benji fell for 16 leaving the score at about 60 for 2. Riaz came in and after initially hitting 12 off the first over he faced was caught behind hooking, which brought Pete to the crease for his first innings for Collegiate. Pete’s arrival at the crease really put some urgency into our innings and having played in quite a reserved manner for his 50 Tom started to open up playing some good shots. With Tom and Pete at the crease, after initially thinking at 30 overs that 180 would have been a good score, we were looking at 220 plus, however both got out in quick succession and our innings all but petered out with the most eventful moment of the last five overs being Crofty hitting the ball straight back to the bowler and calling yes, leaving Butts stranded half way down and not very pleased.
We got off to a good start in the field with Dunc taking a wicket with his first ball for the second week in a row and picking up another soon after. Along with a run out this left Darfield 30 for 3. We continued to work hard in the field and managed to reduce Darfield to 80 for 6, however as happened at Hallam the week before, we weren’t clinical enough and allowed them back into the game as Darfield moved onto 120 for 6 before Ben Fielding had their main batsmen caught at mid off. We didn’t however learn from our previous mistake of believing the game was over as we let things slip with a combination of poor bowling, dropped catches and poor ground fielding, and Darfield got the target down to ten with us still needing two wickets. Riaz’s decision to bring himself on proved to be a good one when, after a bit of controversy, where the Darfield batsmen ran a leg-bye but was sent back by the umpire calling dead ball on the grounds that no shot was played, the very next ball Riaz had him caught straight in front with a much quicker arm ball. Then in the next over Pete who had bowled impressively in his two spells picked up the final wicket with a good catch from Riaz at second slip.
Overall it was a decent effort from everyone, however a lack of concentration at crucial stages of the game could easily have cost us the victory. By not making full use of the foundations and not getting enough runs in the last ten overs of the innings and then with some sloppy fielding we did our best to try and throw the game away, but it was a crucial win none the less and an important lesson learnt for an inexperienced team.
Submitted by Dave Revill