Brentham 1st XI vs Winchmore Hill

Brentham 134 all out, 42.5 overs 

Winchmore Hill 64 all out, 26.5 overs 

 

After 5 games of limited overs the trees lay top of the league. However with a defeat last week to Osterley and reverting to timed games against promotion rivals Winchmore Hill, the question was how would we react? Would Brentham still have the scares of relegation or would we show a new found determination, fight and resilience that previously were lacking? 

 

With us being put in to bat, an inspirational team talk from the captain detailed the need to change our batting mindset; that it is essential we bat the overs, value our wicket and put on the board a score that our bowlers could defend. Unfortunately we were unable to replicate what was said and soon found ourselves 7-3. This then brought to the crease Luke Budden who was in a rich vein of form and Matt Lowen who was yet to hit his stride with the bat. The two started to rebuild with Luke continuing his good form and Matt willing to get himself in and construct an innings. Soon both were batting serenely looking to punish any wayward bowling. The two had put on 90 for the fourth wicket before Luke was inexplicably run out when well set on 40. Then followed a lower order collapse, resulting in the remaining 6 wickets falling for 37 runs. Matt ended up with 55, his first fifty of the season, showing what can be done when you apply yourself at the wicket.  

 

At the halfway stage the chat was that even though we knew we had batted poorly, that batting second against our bowling attack would not be easy. That if we put the ball in the right places, showed intensity, desire and team spirit we could put them under pressure, then you never know what could happen. The fact still remained whether this was just rhetoric or if we had come far enough as a team to show that we were able to rise to the challenge.  

 

From looking at the scoreboard after 2 overs and a score of 17 runs, anyone watching would think that we had already given up without a fight. However on the field there were no mutterings of discontent, no shrugging of shoulders or drop in body language. Matt and Yogi then started to hit their stride and found some rhythm. From 17-0, our opponents lost both openers without adding to the score. This brought to the crease Winchmore Hill’s leading run scorers. The decisive moment of the match had arrived. If we could get these two out without them getting too close to our score, then we were in with a chance, but if they were able to get in and rebuild then the match would be theirs. Both bowlers continued landing the ball in good areas, suitably backed up in the field, yet the Winchmore Hill duo seem resolute in their defence and were able to keep the scorecard ticking over. The pair had put on 23 runs and it seemed that they were preparing to take the game away from us. Then Yogi who had been instructed non-stop to bowl a fraction shorter than he had been (in his defence Yogi kept on saying “I’m scared that I’ll bowl my Brondesbury length”) got the ball to pitch in the perfect area and the opposition captain was clean bowled with the score on 40. At the other end Matt and the Winchmore Hill number 3 were locked in a fierce duel. Matt was landing the ball in the right place; the ball was beating the edge, the batsmen would reply by striking the ball hard, and was starting to find the odd gap. Then in a lapse of concentration, he mistimed the ball to midwicket who took a routine catch.  

 

With the opposition at 42-4, we knew that one good partnership would mean they were right back in it. After 13 overs the skipper had a crucial decision to make. Seam had worked well, but how long could they last, knowing that a couple of bad overs would allow the momentum to shift? A conversation was had with Yogi: “How many overs do you have in the tank?”, “skip don’t worry I can keep going”. What followed was a succession of half volleys with Yogi blowing hard after the first ball of the over leaving him with final figures of 7-1-29-2. An injustice to what had been an excellent spell. Matt continued bowling but was unable to have any more breakthroughs and he ended up with 9-1-26-6.  

 

With the score at 56, Brentham’s spin twins Jaisreet and Mehul were introduced. A mesmeric display from both left the remaining Winchmore Hill batsmen tied down, unable to keep the scoreboard moving. Tight line and length from both meant that boundaries were none existent and with our fielders hunting for the every ball, singles were proving just as elusive. The pressure was starting to tell, resulting in wickets tumbling at regular intervals including a run out. This saw Winchmore Hill bowled out for 64 and a victory by 71 runs. Seam had conceded 55 runs and taken 4 wickets but the spin twin’s figures out did them, with 8 runs off the bat and 5 wickets taken. Jai and Mehul ending with the incredible figures of 6-2-5-2 and 4.5-2-3-3 respectively.   

 

A fantastic win in an amazing game, with the trees still top of the league. Bowlers take a bow, an outstanding performance from the unit which enabled such a win to happen. We must also not lose sight that there is still plenty left to do with our batting. It is imperative that each one of us applies ourselves ensuring that we post scores that are at least par for the wicket. But less of the negatives, just remember what an astonishing victory this was. 

 

Come on the trees!