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CCC vs Lille CC - 31st August 2008

Match Reports 2008

CCC vs Lille CC - 31st August 2008

Posted by: webmaster on Monday September 15, 2008 (17:13:31)   (5976 Reads)

One more day of ‘summer’ gave another opportunity for the ‘whites’ to be donned and for the cricketers to strutt their stuff! Storms were predicted to threaten the proceedings later in the day so the match got off to a prompt start. Lille opened their innings and made steady progress through the undoubted batting talent of D. Szumowski, otherwise known to his mates as ‘Ricky Ponting’. Lille lost two early wickets to the controlled and skilful opening attack of Gillette and Congreve but this early inroad into the batting line-up was soon blunted by an explosive batting partnership of Nesser and ‘Ponting’ (sorry, Szumowski!).

Captain Oakley turned to his ‘wisdom beyond their years’ bowlers, Shepherd and N.Clarke who brought guile and change of pace to their medium pacers. However, the batsmen quickly got into their stride and by the time of the mid-innings drinks interval they had amassed 66 for 2.

Oakley sensing that the game could be going beyond Chantilly’s reach made a change in the bowling attack. Just as Sri Lanka have uncovered their new mystery spinner in Ajantha Mendis, so Chantilly has revealed their new potent weapon in Adrian Powell. The wizard began to cast his spell. He had everything; variations of flight, movement off the pitch, one or two mystery balls that prompted the fielders to hysterics and left the batsmen terrified. Supported by Chantilly’s excellent catching, Powell removed Ponting before he needed to resort to ‘sledging’ and began his campaign of systematic terror of the remaining batsmen. Post-trauma counselling was required as each wicket tumbled, while Oakley basked in the glory of captaincy and inspired decision-making. An amazing spell brought 3 wickets for 13 runs off 6 overs. It was clearly the bowling performance of the day. Patrick Clarke, bowling at the other end gave nothing away with a tight line and length, a perfect complement to the attacking and probing Powell, underlining a promising potential amongst the young players of the club.!

Lille’s innings stuttered to the century mark although the last 2 or 3 overs saw lusty blows that raised the mark to 110 for 5 off their 30 overs. A slow outfield and tight bowling was going to make this total a significant challenge.

Lille’s bowling began tightly and with lively pace. Nick Sansbury fell to an early lbw decision and Simon Hodson looked confident and ‘to the manor born’ as an opening batsman. When Hodson departed, Nick Clarke and Robin Oakley sought to steady the ship. When Oakley departed to a ‘corker’ of a delivery, lbw for 12, the situation looked very precarious for Chantilly. The bowling gave nothing away and Clarke’s very shaky batting that included edges past the wicketkeeper, the slips and a wafted cut over deep point gave the bowling attack much cause for optimism. Max Shepherd came into bat and gave a superb performance in steady concentration and a model of building an innings. As Chantilly’s required run-rate began to rise, so the batsmen began to live dangerously. With the partnership, came the confidence to take on the field with quick singles and twos reducing the game to a farce at one point when one batman ran 4 and the other 2! Max’s innings eventually came to an end, caught and bowled for 16, further underlining the promise of youth in the club, and furthermore, leaving Chantilly’s innings in a healthier state than when he came to the crease. Nick Jones came and accelerated the run rate to keep the momentum going and as he departed for 5, so it was left to the two Clarkes to notch up the winning runs, a win by 5 wickets, accomplished with two and a half overs to spare. Nick Clarke left the field 52 not out, somewhat bewildered at how his innings had survived, leaving the fielders understandably agitated and distressed by his good fortune!

However, it had been another very enjoyable occasion with another superb tea consumed by the usual crowd of supporters and onlookers. Thank you to Lille for making a great game of it and for those who had worked hard at making this a great social occasion.

Nick 'The Rev' Clarke
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