Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Match report for Camberley 2nd XI v East Molesey 21/5/2011.

Narrow defeat in classic encounter.
Camberley lost by one wicket in the final over of a match that had everything on Saturday.
The match featured a superb century for Camberley's James Reeves, a brutal 95 in response by East Molesey's Gavin McMillian, dropped catches, umpiring disputes and tension as the match swung one way then the other before the hosts finally crawled over the line.
With the sun beating down, captain Phil West won the toss and elected to bat on a good-looking track, and Camberley's new-look opening partnership of George Crowdy and Jon Cooles got the visitors off to a strong start, putting on 53 for the opening wicket. Cooles was the aggressor, firing boundaries all round the ground before he mistimed an attempted clip through the leg side and was caught and bowled for 36.
James Harrison replaced him, but never really settled and was trapped LBW for six.
In another change to the order, Reeves was sent in at four, and the big-hitting keeper-batsman immediately set about his business, thumping boundaries everywhere as the visitors looked set to post an imposing total.
The nature of Reeves' batting allowed Crowdy to sit back and try to hold the innings together, but despite coming into the game just 18 hours after hitting his second century of the season, the 17-year-old wasn't at his fluent best and fell to sharp return catch by Jamie Glynn for 34.
Mac Sayed looked to be aggressive but only made nine before chopping on to his stumps off the bowling of Trevor Brown.
At 142-4, the innings could have gone either way, but Dom Peter played an assured innings on his return to the side, providing the perfect foil for Reeves, who continued to dominate the hosts attack. The pair batted intelligently, firstly taking advantage of short boundaries to push the field back, then knocking singles around as Camberley raced past the 200 mark.
Reeves batted with both authority and common sense, and brought up his deserved 93-ball hundred in the 45th over with a single down the ground. Looking to add to his six and eleven fours, he was bowled soon after, but it didn't take away from a magnificent innings which was imperative to Camberley's impressive total.
Peter, who had put on 99 with Reeves, soon followed for 40, as the innings was in danger of petering out, but Jordan Gibbs and West ensured the visitors went into tea with the momentum. A flurry of fours from the captain's bat and some good running saw Camberley to 274-6 from their 50 overs.

Upon taking the field, West made sure his side knew the job was only half done, with the need for tight bowling and clean fielding on a bobbly outfield. Sean Clamp shared the new ball with Cooles, and while neither bowled badly, the hosts opening pair comfortably reached 50 without loss.
The introduction of spin worked instantly, as West brought himself on and trapped Mark Waters LBW with his first delivery.
As Chris Pike's impressive first spell of 6-0-18-0 tied down the batsmen at one end, West continued to make inroads, using his control of areas and changes of pace to bring false shots from the batsmen. First he had Chris Wood well caught at mid on by Peter, then Mark Collins caught at square leg by Pike, reducing the hosts to 66-3.
Sam Holmes, having replaced Pike, then removed Adam Potter as East Molesey struggled to 90-4 at drinks.

But if Camberley thought the game was in the bag, Brown and McMillian had other ideas, and quickly set about the visitors attack.
Brown played solidly, while McMillian didn't mess around, hitting multiple sixes, one of which ended up in the Thames, as the hosts got well and truly back in the game.
And as Camberley's grip loosened, so their fielding worsened. Numerous occasions saw players dive over the ball which turned ones into fours and eased the pressure on the batsmen.
As the required runrate decreased, Crowdy was brought into the attack, and his metronomic style gave the visitors a lifeline.
Seemingly cruising to victory at 230-4, Crowdy finally drew a false stroke from Brown, who was caught by Pike for 66, ending a partnership of 142.
But while Brown was snared, McMillian was allowed numerous lifelines; dropped by Gibbs, Reeves and Pike before Crowdy eventually bowled him for 95.

With 21 runs still needed, Camberley sensed a chance, but that quickly seemed to evaporate as the hosts got to 268, just six runs behind, with four wickets still in hand.
But an incredible period saw Camberley take three wickets for just one run. Crowdy's third and fourth wickets of a magical spell sandwiched a contentious run out from Sayed as the visitors threatened to make the impossible possible.
It was left to Pike to bowl the 49th over, with the equation simple. Six runs needed from 12 balls for the hosts, while Camberley just needed one more wicket.
While he only conceded four runs in the over, he also failed to take the wicket, leaving Crowdy with the improbable task of bowling a maiden in the final over, unless of course he took the final wicket.
Unfortunately for Camberley, Glynn managed to clip the winning runs from the second ball, ending an enthralling game in the hosts favour.
But if that's where the action finished, the debating didn't, with all the questions being directed at George Burden's umpiring colleague.
There's a saying in football that says if the referee has gone unnoticed throughout the game, he's had a good game. The saying certainly didn't apply this umpire who incurred the wrath of multiple Camberley players on various occasions.

Not only did his apparent sudden decision to call anything down leg-side a wide come into question, but also the mystifying length of time he took to give them. On more than one occasion he took a good 20 seconds to decide, with the most ridiculous instance coming when almost everyone on the field had changed positions at the end of the over, only to be called back.
But, while this episode riled Camberley, it certainly couldn't be used as an excuse for losing the game. The standard of fielding was not where it should have been, and will have to be improved before the Bank of England arrive on Saturday.

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