James Fischer reports from a close game at the Dingle:
The 3s turned up to a cold and overcast dingle, buoyed by the selection of spin gods Ali Bee and Pete Newman, for a huge contest against the highly rated Exeter 3’s. Having been told he was playing the Freddie Flintoff role a certain player turned up having just rolled out of Lola’s. Captain Sidwell won the toss and had a bat. Having lost Rohan early, Harding and Bertie went about laying a solid platform until Harding was bowled through the gate. This brought in Vandepeer. Together they went about building a partnership and once both in the runs began to flow. They had built a solid partnership until Bertie was eventually dismissed, but this did not stop Vandepeer and with Sidwell, then Newman a good total looked to be in sight. Vandepper was eventually run out for a magnificent 75. Ali Bee looked to pick up the run rate and played some magnificent leg side shots, including a big six over midwicket for which Fischer decided to celebrate while batting, earning him the award of Dick of the day. Having first cue ended a waist high full loss back to the bowler, for which Sidwell shouted from the boundary ‘wheres your chalk’, Fischer was able to strike a few away to the boundary. Exeter picked up a few wickets including the run out of Browne, where Fischer decided to kick the ball to the bowler and shout yes, but we were able to continue adding to the total. Fischer was run out off the last ball after some farcical umpiring which left Bristol finishing on 212.
Norrington and Crane took the new ball against a strong looking opening partnership for Exeter. The opening burst was a bit wayward with the Exeter openers getting their teeth into a few short and wide ones from Crane (again). At around 40-0 off 6 overs Exeter seemed to be in control of the chase. Then came the over that changed the game. Crane started his 4th over with a typically wide delivery. Then came a head height full toss down the legside which made its way to the boundary despite the efforts of Harding. The third ball was another full toss this time however at the stumps which the batsmen somehow missed, bringing us back into the game. A few balls later their captain, in at 3 and on 0, decided to clip a leg stump half volley straight to the fielder at midwicket. The last ball was a typically short and wide one from Crane however this time it was cut straight to point, where Fischer took a sharp catch. The 9 ball over was eventually finished with about 10 scored but 3 wickets handed to us. After this the spin twins recruited down from the 1s were brought on. Bee picked up the wicket of the set opening batsmen with his first ball to leave them 4 down and giving us control of the game. Bee and Newman kept them quiet with excellent spells of spin. Bee picked up two more wickets in his spell of 7 overs, bamboozling the Exeter middle order with a mixture of leg spinners and googlys. This left them 6 down, however they were still in control of the runs after their fast start. Exeter managed to build a good partnership however we continued to bowl well and runs were coming slowly for them. A huge moment in the game saw Newman pick up a deserved wicket, brilliantly caught running round at long on by Sidwell. The game looked like it was going right to the wire as Exeter’s number 7 brought up an impressive 50. Crane and Bee then came into the attack for the final 10 overs of the game. Crane managed to find a good, consistent line and length and picked up the massive wicket of the number 7 caught by Bee at long off. With some tight bowling Exeter needed over 10 an over off the last 4 with 2 wickets in hand. Browne bowled a brilliant 49th over leaving Exeter 12 to win off the last, bowled by Crane. An edge for four past the keeper meant the ending was extremely tense and all too much for an extremely stressed captain. However he calmed himself in order to produce a direct hit run out off the penultimate ball leaving Exeter with 4 to tie and 6 to win off the last ball. Crane steadied himself to bowl the last batsmen leg stump to complete a slightly dodgy 5 wicket haul and send the team into wild celebration.
Victory beers where enjoyed by all at dingle before joining the rest of the club for many more at The White Harte. As expected winning sent Sidwell a bit mad but this was much deserved. A massive win for the 3s, with strong contributions through the team and some outstanding individual performance.
Chai Pani DOTD: James Fischer – for celebrating a catch while batting and trying to field with his jumper on the floor.
Bath Ales MOTM: Matthew Vandepeer – for an outstanding 75.
WG Grace Stylish Player of the Day: Ali Bee – for a very stylish spell of leg spin.
Nib Nibs Perfect Catch of the Match: Paddy Sidwell – for a match changing catch at long on.