Having dealt with several last minute team changes and one or two transport related hiccups – not least the closure of the road to the ground – I was relieved to find that we did have at least ten players to start the game with one more making his way from court; prosecuting not being prosecuted, or so he said. We managed to press a passing Wesley Bell into fielding for a few overs, and with the subsequent help of several Bolton Percy substitutes we managed to get to the 30th over, or so, when our 11th man (Matt Donkin) finally joined us.
I opened with the bowling with Tash Henry and Keon Williams. Both had their moments in their initial five over spells; however, I think both would agree that the batsmen had the best of the opening exchanges – until, that is, Keon took two wickets with consecutive balls. Andrew Brewster – for once opening the batting rather than the bowling – was bowled taking an inexplicable swing at a goodish delivery and he was followed next ball by Tom Atkinson who was caught off what looked like a leading edge.
Worried by this display of cricketing acumen, I promptly replaced Keon with his Dad. Zofi Akhtar, who was was coming back from an injury, which had prevented him bowling for much of the season to date, took over from Tash at the other end; however, due to this injury he was only able to send down a couple of overs before requesting he be replaced. I therefore turned to Larry Audain, our fourth bowler with St Kitts’ connections, for some spin.
Harwood and Larry both bowled their eight over spells right through and kept it very tight during this portion of the game. Their bowling was assisted by some excellent fielding by both Larry, himself, and by Tash Henry that helped in applying a brake on the scoring rate. Indeed, having previously warned last year’s centurion, Jake Green, that he was alright running quick singles to myself and Nick Hawkins but not Tash or Larry, he promptly hit the ball to Tash at midwicket, set off for a quick run, and was run out easily by a direct throw. Harwood ended up with 2-30, including two wickets in two balls like his son, whilst Larry undeservedly went wicketless.
Although the balance of the game had begun to tip back in favour of the fielding side, Peter Houseman (Bolton Percy’s opener) continued to bat well and eventually scored 87. Indeed, with Peter still at the crease a score of well over 200 looked to be well on.