2015 Match reports
Granta III Vs Fen Ditton
Saturday 30th July
Granta III Vs Fen Ditton
Round 10, Granta away, and much like the reverse fixture a match to be defined by a 5- from a slow bowler that brought a batting collapse , then a comfortable chase for the side batting 2nd. Thankfully a solid team performance meant we were on the right side of that equation this time.
The venue was St Cats sports ground in the centre of town, featuring a bowling green of an outfield and a nice track to bat on. We knew what to expect as plenty of us have played midweek games there.
A few team changes, H dropping down to the 2nd XI, Darren Cook and Joe unavailable for either side - Mani, Jason and Jamie coming in.
Similarly to our first fixture against Granta Jamie had to leave at 4pm, the reason for us winning the toss and bowling, when in decent heat and on a flat track we’d probably have preferred to bat.
Fez opened the bowling for the first time this season, and took a wicket in the first over, inducing Hammersley to pull a quick bouncer that got up, then taking a simple catch.
Other opener Sagoo was joined by youngster Baldwin, and the pair where kept relatively quiet by Fez and Jacko.
Fez was getting significant bounce, creating a half chance when a scything cut from Sagoo was smashed just to the left of McCann, who had barely the time to get his hands there.
At the other end Jacko did his normal thing of keeping things tight, bowling through for 10-2-34-0 that, in these batting-favoured conditions, was excellent.
Fez came off after an excellent five over spell, and Skip replaced him.
Skip took a wicket his 1st over, Baldwin skying a pull, Fez running around from slip to fine leg and taking a good catch.
Granta 33-2 in the 11th over and advantage Ditton.
Left-handed opener Sagoo was still in though, and was now cutting and pulling anything remotely short with success.
Number 4 Kumar played aggressively, and the pair put on 47 at five-an-over.
Skip wasn’t quite at his brilliant best, and suffered from the true pitch giving batsman the confidence to use his pace, though the left hander was batting particularly well.
Skip went for more than a run-a-ball in his 5 over spell before drinks, but read the game well and changed this one through his decision-making.
Granta were 80-2 at the interval and probably seeking around 200-220, which would have been somewhere around par.
However, Jamie Welstead came on to bowl for the 1st time in a Ditton 1st XI league game.
His bowling was described in the pub afterwards in a mixture of ways, that might include right-arm off-spin with a healthy mixture of full tosses, long hops and all sorts.
It started with an off-side wide, but the first over also brought two wickets.
Kumar went for a cameo 18 off 24 balls, trying to hit a wide one into next week, and slicing it to Jacko in the gully.
He walked off visibly frustrated thumping his pad in anger, but even then at 81-3, how could have called what followed?
Even then if this was a ‘what happened next’ moment on a question of sport nobody on either side could have reasonably predicted the collapse that followed, as one by one wickets were surrended.
Upon taking the catch Jacko had a wry grin. This was because after toiling wicketless for ten overs he saw Jamie rock up before his evening gig and get straight in amongst it! Jacko ended up the only Ditton bowler not to be in the ‘wicket party’, though another consistent stint and very tidy figures was very valuable in leaving the opposition behind where they might like to be.
Jamie’s first over had a second wicket when Felix Serby fell for a four-ball duck, gloving a leg-side delivery to Paul who took a neat catch standing up. A good bat to get cheaply. 81-4.
Fez had mentioned at drinks that we needed two wickets to beg Granta back, an old phrase of Boycott, and now we had them.
AB replaced Jacko, and we found that giving the batsman no pace to work with caused a total collapse at one end, with Sagoo quite possibly watching in disbelief at the other.
Hill was the third to fall to Welstead, chipping a catch straight to Mani at mid-wicket, going for 7. 93-5.
Jamie’s 4th over brought his 4th wicket, Aubrey caught by AB at fine leg mistiming a sweep to a ball that came down with flashing lights saying ‘hit me’ on it. AB initially thought the ball was going over him, but eventually re-adjusted to get his momentum going forward to take a simple catch for a fielder of his high abilities. 97-6.
Granta just needed somebody to stay in and take singles to support Sagoo and stop the rot, but nobody could.
AB had been keeping things tight from his end and experiencing but similarly to Jacko was itching for a wicket, and got one when bowling Davies for a 2-ball quicker. 103-7.
That became 104-8, and Welstead had his 5-, with a wicket that felt like cricket in slow motion.
Jamie dropped one very slow and very short and after what felt like an eternity Brown was still early on it, caught by his namesake (our Brown) at square leg.
Sago managed to get on strike against Jamie and give him some treatment, so he was withdrawn with excellent figures of 6-1-20-5 coming from his dolly mixture.
AB completed a good controlled spell of 6-1-17-1 and the seamers were brought back on to finish things off, which they did nicely.
Fez returned and got a wicket with his first ball, a sharp bouncer that was pulled hard by Sagoo at Mani, who held on to take a nice grab, with a flying aeroplance celebration to match it.
117-9, and Sagoo gone for a well-made 70 out of what eventually became 124 all out.
Skip completed the innings by bowling Coleman for 2. 81-2 to 124 all out, 43-8 the collapse.
Skip 6-0-35-2, Fez 6-1-17-2, as well as our West Indian overseas player he has bowled this season.
And with that it was tea, and 4pm, so Jamie left for us.
Maniism (corrected on the spelling by it’s founder regarding using ‘y’ or ‘I’) completed by Jamie as precisely as you can get.
GET IN - Arrive on time
SPOT ON - Take 5-20 in only 6 overs to go a long way to winning us the game.
PISS OFF - Leave almost immediately after your heroics and a quick bite to eat.
Jamie’s 5-20 was not quite enough to get onto the best bowling figures in our history, (5-11 is currently 10th) but it’s certainly not a performance that will be forgotten anytime soon.
The target of 125 was well below par, and Rob and Michael started the reply by putting on 42 together at four-an-over.
Both batted sensibly, putting the bad balls away, and it was a bit of a surprise when Rob got out because he was looking increasingly comfortable.
Rob went for 25 off 37 balls, gloving behind a good ball that rose from back of a length. The knock takes his season tally into 5th in the all-time Ditton standings, with five games still to go.
AB walked out aware that only a collapse similar to ours in the reverse fixture, or the first innings from Granta in this match, could cost us the game.
AB ensured no such madness would happen, combining with McCann to put on an unbeaten partnership worth 83.
In doing so both passed 300 runs for the season, though 18 extras from Granta (including 13 wides) meant neither batsman could reach a fifty.
Granta used an array of seamers who all bowled pretty well and offered different challenges, but the low target left no need to be overly aggressive.
The pitch was even managed during the tea interval, and took real bounce and carry, leading to McCann wearing a couple from Aubrey.
Both batsman accumulated and waited to hit the balls that suited there areas, McCann ending on 46* off 80 balls, AB unbeaten on 36 off 57 deliveries.
A good team performance in which everyone contributed, credit particularly to Jason and Mani for coming up and fielding well, whilst George C was as good in the field as usual.
With the target knocked off in 29 overs, and Granta bowled out in 33 overs, we were done by 6pm, leading to us all flocking briskly back to El Campo to watch the 2nd team.
It was brilliant to see the vast majority of the 1st there to cheer the 2nd team over the line, on a historic day for the club. The first time both teams won league matches on the same day, a 40 pointer.
The 1st victory leaves them 8-5 this season, 3rd in the table and still very much in “the hunt”.
Meanwhile Littleport beat Sutton to continue their great escape, a third win in a row for them which confirms their significant improvement, and gives some context to our defeat to them last week.
Girton at El Campo next, where a win would complete the ‘double’ over them this season.
*Ed - If you've read all of that, well done - you've got far too much time on your hands!