Old Southendian CC 4th XI 112/9
Orsett & Thurrock CC 4th XI 114/1
OAT cruised to a crushing victory by the margin of nine wickets on a day that was littered with incomprehensibilities!
First of all was the weather, with showers falling all around Essex, one corner of Essex remained dry. What Victory Sports Park in Southend lacks in facilities, charm or parking spaces for that matter, it makes up for in a warm and dry microclimate.
Another quirk was the manner in which the game was played. In the reverse fixture, the game was played in a mood that was more spiky than a bunch of pineapples! This game, perhaps reflecting the end of season wind down, was played in a much more amicable and friendly manner, well except for a Southend ringer who usually plays in the second XI who was probably more upset with his sub par performance as opposed to the oppositions banter.
Skipper Owen lost the toss again, at least that was normal procedure, and the home side elected to bat. They might as well not bothered as every batsman seemed disinterested in scoring and looked more intent on surviving at the expense of posting a competitive total.
To be fair, with a pitch that resembled a Neapolitan ice cream, dry and hard white patches, soft and brown muddy patches and the damp green tinge in the middle, then maybe that was the only course they could take. OAT gave the new ball to Big Willy Hudson and Paul Scamp Tidman who made use of the variable bounce. With balls taking off from a length and other balls keeping low from halfway down the track, OAT keeper Iain Oakley done well to keep the byes to a minimum although at times he resembled a fat kid in a bakery section of a supermarket desperately snatching at the baps and cakes on the shelf.
Southend opener Georgia Holdaway managed to dispatch Tidman for a couple of boundaries before he got her caught out by the bucket hands of Stuart Warren on the leg side. Michael Parker, The Silver Haired Shuffler, The Janitor, call him what you like, returned from his one week suspension and actually performed for a change.
In his 12 overs he took 3/15 to destroy the home side stop order and effectively end the game as a contest. He removed Hinds for 26 with an out swinger that initially the batsman left before realising too late it was curving away towards his leg stump. His next victim was Sutheran who produced a leading edge for a caught and bowled. His third and final victim was Goodwin, unfortunately not Murray, who was clean bowled, this time by a slow full length in swinger.
At the other end, Tom Tom sat nav Redman was also claiming 3 wickets for himself. Taylor was trapped LBW for a duck and he was joined on the quacker list by veteran Karl Wilson, who thankfully this time restrained himself from attacking the stumps after his dismissal that was confirmed by a McCartney catch.
Redman’s last victim was captain Simon Darby who was turned inside out by a fizzing delivery that spun off the pitch to remove the bails. Stuart Warren rolled back the years and years and years and years and years to claim himself the wicket of Johnston, although he should have had another but Parker should of gone to spec savers as he yet again dropped a catch in the outfield. A complete contrast to last season when everything stuck. Another young spinner of the OAT production line is Kyle Robinson and he had Bambury caught at slip by Tidman as the home side posted 112/9 in their 45 overs.
The OAT reply was pretty much a non event as they knocked the runs of with ease. The only victim was the tanker from Sri Lanka, Venkatachalam who played his shots but was caught in the deep. Dan Swiss Groves helped himself to a 50 while Skipper Owen was the other not out batsman with 19 runs as OAT cruised to the target.