A trip to ex blues played on a ground we used to play Bromley Common. A sloping strangely shaped ground but we set our warm up to get used to the conditions. Having Allen Blackford in the side always helps and he convinced Mal Persaud that he wasn’t injured.
We won the toss and decided to bat on a hot day. The decision seemed to be a good one as we counted the fielders to find that Ex blues were two short. A slow start at the top but keeping wickets in hand is usually a good plan in this league. Alan Edwards went early so Alan Clarke joined David Straker. Alan looked good but after scoring 19 also managed to get out. Batting at 4 and with a bad foot (refusing to agree with Allen that it was not painful) Mal Persaud joined the action. Both batsmen after a short period of control started opening up and using the slope and varied short boundaries to dispatch the ball for 4. Successive partnerships of 29 (Alan and David), 41 (Mal and David), 47 (Mal and Jesse Johnson), 38 ( Mal and Simon Jones), 55 (Mal and Allen Blackford) got us into a very good position of 211 for 6. A good innings from David of 44 after a steady start and a 66 from Mal (on one leg) topped by an explosive 61 from Allen Blackford who went to 50 in (I think) about 23 balls. One of the opposition had had a bit of chat with Allen saying he only had one shot. Six balls later it was “But he plays it very well!” Simon Bailey and Jamie Hall came and went and a measure of the scoring rate of Blackers is that of the 32 partnership with Tim Brown, Tim managed 3 and spent most of his time avoiding being hit at the non strikers end. Allen eventually fell to one of their young bowlers who had stuck to the task manfully. Mangal Nasiri came in for a lovely 1 ball 4 straight past the bowler. 271 for 9 a pretty good first innings score. I’m not sure of the exact score at drinks but I think we scored 90 in the first session and 180 in the second off the same 23 overs!
We made a bit of hard work of the reply. Fielded OK but not as well as we would have liked as Ex Blues made 191 and we finally got them all out in the last over. Mangal and Jamie were a bit loose to start with and they started with an opening partnership of 49. Mangal disappointed to get the opener caught behind with the second ball which had just been called a no ball. Jamie was injured and Simon Bailey came on to give us some control which worked well – Simon bowling straight through with figures of 2 for 18 in 12 overs, 4 of which were maidens. Just what we needed to put the brakes on. Tim was less consistent at the other end. Bowling some really good balls but also letting the slope mess with his line and length to constantly give scoring opportunities to the batsmen. Allen was brought on from the bottom end after Simon had finished his spell and although he too had a few loose balls early controlled the situation well and ended up with an impressive 5 for 41 off 7.1 overs being particularly impressed with one ball as he bowled their top scorer. Mangal came back but also mixed some good balls with some not so good stuff.
In the end a good win but there was a sneaking suspicion we went out to field just expecting to roll then quickly. We need to be more ruthless in our execution.