Brunswick gains the upper hand at Three Bridges
(23 July 2015)
Before we get into the cricket a word on the hospitality we all received on the occasion of our Honorary Director of Cricket Mr Rob Stewart's birthday. Brunswick would like to thank Rob & his partner Wendy for preparing and treating both teams, and their personal friends who attended the match, to an exquisite tea which they presented at the Three Bridges CC, his home club, in celebration of Rob's birthday.
The splendid weather ensured a good old-fashioned timed match. Whilst in some parts it was a 'slow burner' the tension grew to provide excellent entertainment to all those watching.
Brunswick opened the batting with Nomad's James Silk and Brighton & Hove's Lucas Barker. No doubt a proud moment for the pair. Bridges opening bowlers Robert Legg and Andy Smith got off to the best of starts with Legg bowling Barker with the score on only 14. Brunswick's Captain Callum Smith joined Silk and these two took the score to 32 when James, who appeared to be off-balance, attempting to work a straight one from Conner Golding to leg, paid the penalty, being bowled middle stump through the gap. Callum Smith is bang in form and scored a breezy 24 before Golding took his middle stump with a real nugget. At 55-3 the Brunswick were under pressure.
However, in the innings of the day Brighton & Hove's Waheed Safi got his head down and battled his way to a wonderful, and eventual match winning 92 runs. One for the purists to be honest. No modern t20 shots, just a straight bat, the odd cover drive, on drives and flicks to leg. His forward defensives were a joy to watch; textbook. Safi was eventually bowled by Mike Rose for 92. He was accompanied by John Connolly (10) and then Ryan Brown, also from Brighton, who made a powerful half century including a massive six. A fine knock. The innings was closed after a quick but very enjoyable cameo 17 not out from Carl Simon. He wowed the audience with a wonderfully timed drive down the ground followed by a late cut which arrowed to the boundary. 243 for 9 off 43 overs declared. Conner Golding was the pick of the bowlers 4 wickets for 23 off 8 overs.
Then to the wonderful tea. Taken combined with the odd glass of wine, it prepared the Brunswick well for the task ahead of them.
In reply opening batsmen Hugo Cowan and Tahir Liaquat got off to a very good start both batting very sensibly against the fast opening attack of Carl Simon and Ryan Brown. As I always maintain, if an opening pair can move to 50 without loss, they have done their job well. However, the introduction of spinner, Rebecca Silk who bowled an accurate tight length, frustrated the impeccable Hugo Cowan and in attempting to cut a straight arm ball he was bowled for a fine 27. The score 57-1.
Vishva Pate joined Tahir and lasted only one ball as he mishit Silk into the safe hands of Safi at mid-on. 67-2. This brought Joe Ludlow to the crease. He and Liaquat struggled against the spin attack of Rebecca Silk and medium pace of Chris Fullerton, changing the whole direction of the game which appeared to drift as both batsmen in the glorious early evening sunshine dug in. Despite Liaquat reaching his 50, a draw looked to be the only outcome. But with the score on 116 Rebecca Silk took her third wicket when a frustrated Ludlow played all across a straight ball and was LBW for 21. With Liaquat still at the crease going through the 70s and young Conner Golding throwing his bat around for a quick 28 the chase was on. However, in playing a reverse sweep to the spin of Ryan Brown, who had been brought back into the attack, Connor was bowled around his legs. 167-5
The captain rang the bowling changes well introducing the enticing looping-spin of the never aging Stan Speigel and orthodox spin of James Silk into the attack. Liaquat was batting well, moving smoothly to 80 as he hit Spiegal for 10 runs in one over. However, in attempting to hit the faster spin of Silk out of the ground he was bowled for a fine 80. The score 185-6
Fair play to Bridges as their batsmen kept up the run chase. But throwing the bat brings its inherent dangers. A gripping half hour was played as Andy Smith tried to grab back the initiative smashing a six over long on, followed next ball by a 4. But when he was out for a quick 12 the rest of the wickets fell cheaply and Three Bridges ultimately fell 30 runs short being all out for 212. Rebecca Silk, with 3-71 off 11 overs, was the pick of the Brunswick bowlers, taking three important wickets and a catch off her Nomad colleague, Carl Simon.
Congratulations to skipper Callum Smith for orchestrating a hard fought win and making sure that everyone was involved in the game. For his match winning and technically correct innings of 92 Man of the Match goes to Waheed Safi.
Many thanks to Colin Tennant and Alison Skinner for their expert scoring, both very neat books!
The Brunswick season is going from strength to strength as we move on to Banstead CC on 6th August for an all-day game starting 11.30 am. Good luck to all involved in that one.
MATCH REPORT BY COLIN BOWMAN - HEAD OF PUBLICITY