The VP XI continued its march up the table after a third victory in a row in the Y&D League. After losing the toss we found ourselves batting first on the windy, high altitude plains of Frechville. Much research suggests that high-altitude winds created at this level of the troposphere represent an untapped energy source that is larger than the world’s current energy needs. However, the concept of Kitenergy clearly hasn’t caught on yet at Hollinsend, with the best source of energy still being the biogas from the bags of dog s**t tied to the outer perimeter fence surrounding the ground.
Our openers made a steady start until a procession of wickets taken by ‘chucker’ Hill and co. left us sitting at 73 for 4. Bully and Wellman proceeded to add 45 for the sixth wicket, with the highlight being a superb captains knock of 61 off 69 balls by Bully. Ably supported by the tail and the entertaining batting of Bambi on Ice (aka Bruce) we grafted to a total of 179 all out from our full allocation of 46 overs.
Tea proved a fantastic affair which all but the ‘gluton-free’ thoroughly enjoyed. An additional 15 minutes were added by our one umpire to allow for seconds and desert and after a three hour break we commenced the second innings. Having ensured that Parsy was sent to the woods for fire making practice, Bully opened with Alex & Wellman. They were soon 50 for 5 with the pick being Wellman taking 3 of the first five wickets and catching out the other two.
At 50 for 5 Bob decided to take over the captaincy for the rest of the day and implemented his ‘scorched earth’ policy, which one can only assume meant dropping the ball and throwing yourself at the feet of onrushing batsmen. Despite this we continued to take wickets at steady intervals with all bowlers contributing well throughout. Worryingly Parsy reappeared from the woods with his trousers round his ankles just in time to see Benji and Josh wrap up the tail; Hollinsend all out for 122 and 3 wickets for Wellman, 2 for Alex, 3 for Benji and 2 for Josh White.
This was a solid performance in tricky conditions and demonstrated our growing belief as a team. At times today we found ourselves in difficult situations, but worked hard to find a way through. A special mention should go to our Skipper for his knock of 61 and to Tom Wellman for his contribution of 22 runs, 3 wickets and 2 catches. He will be sorely missed in August unless Bob can arrange to fly him back from Cornwall.
Next week baslow home.
NB: A scorched earth policy is actually a military strategy that involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area. Highly useful in a game of cricket at Hollinsend!!