Elsted CC v Southwell Ramblers CC – Sunday 20th July 2014
Result: Ramblers won by 58 runs
"The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed."
The 9-time Wimbledon Champion and Celebrity Jungle Queen would have purred with delight at the commitment shown by the Ramblers on another successful Sunday in Sussex. It may have lacked the adrenaline and drama of the win at Burpham, but this was an impressive victory set-up by a solid performance with the bat and sealed with an outstanding effort in the field.
There may come a day when our captain has a genuine choice to make on winning the toss, but for now a scorching summer and a tardy team make it a single option outcome. Batting first it was then, and Ben Leach and Dom Ash did exactly what it says on the Opener’s Tin: they had a look, and then they had a go. The Guernsey Southpaw brought up the 50 partnership in style, punching the young seamer back over his head for six, but then perished trying to hit a 12. Tim Stansbury settled in quickly and together with his partner showed the virtue of a positive intent and some aggressive running as the total cantered towards three figures. It took a smart leg-side catch from their keeper to deny Leacho a landmark of his own, but tellingly his 39 would be the highest score of the day on a bowler friendly surface. Stanners fell soon after, but not before executing a reversed-reverse sweep that was both sublime and ridiculous.
The partnership between Chris Williamson and Jamie Jaggard was a more conventional affair; Jamie drove the ball gloriously, while Chris cut and pulled to good effect, but with 200 in our sights the introduction of their young leggie changed everything.
Jaggers was first to go, well held at long-on. Chris was castled after being caught in three minds, and Ali Macleod-Smith and Tom Handley discovered that full-bungers, big boundaries and safe as houses fielders are a deadly combination. With fours and sixes now rarer than rocking horse poop, we scrapped and scraped our way to 168 for 7 in 35, leaving Elsted needing a tick under 5 an over for victory.
A typically tight opening over from Macca was followed immediately by a wicket. Mark D-B will deliver better first balls, but there are no adjectives in the scorebook and ct Owen b Dryden-Brownlee made for good reading. If the catch was impressive, Jim’s next contribution was inspired; sprint, slide, shy – the oppo’s best batsmen out of his ground and Elsted 2 down for spit.
Ben Harrild – this time unencumbered by a conference call – took over from Mac and picked up his first Ramblers wicket in a decade, courtesy of another fine catch – this time from Jamie. With Tom easing into his work at the other end, and every Rambler straining every sinew in the field [some trying desperately hard to make up for lost time] the target looked a long way off. Elsted’s number 4 countered briefly, slogged violently, and was cleaned up by Jim, having an afternoon to remember. Williamson Junior joined the clean bowled party soon after, and when Leacho took a beauty behind the stumps to see off their number 7, Owen’s redemption was complete and the match was effectively over. Tenacious Tommy Handley showed the virtue of bowling straight and the lesser spotted Harrild slower ball made an appearance as the overs ticked by and the Ramblers brought home Martina’s bacon with a victory forged by a ferocious commitment to the cause and to each other.
Team in batting order:
Ben Leach, Dom Ash, Tim Stansbury, Chris Williamson, Jamie Jaggard, Tom
Handley, Ali Macleod-Smith, Gus Williamson (c), Jim Owen, Mark Dryden-Brownlee, Ben Harrild
Toss: Won by SRCC
Yellow: Jim "Leggie" Owen (outstanding with the ball and in the field)