Hadlow v Southborough Cricket Club First XI on Sat 27 May 2017 at 1:30
Southborough Cricket Club Won by 2 wickets

Match report First match as captain, first match report and first Win! (Perhaps time to quit whilst ahead!?)
Hadlow Batting Innings:

We arrived at the sun baked Hadlow Cricket ground, The rain that threatened earlier had little effect on what was a dry flat looking track. With 3 matches and 3 losses of the toss I looked to set things straight, however like my predecessor Jamie I again lost the toss and Batchelor (Hadlow Captain) chose to bat. I would of chosen the same, no one wants to field for 40 overs in 24 degrees heat.

We have had a great start with the ball this season and this continued early on, Imram and Jack opened up for us keeping it tight against Wash who was attempting to attack from ball one. Imran got the first break through bowling McDonald, quickly followed in the next over bowled by the ever impressive Jack with Hukam taking the important catch.

Hukam replaced Imran from the far end and began to bowl some beautiful away swing which accounted for captain Batchelor miscuing the ball out to deep cover Marsh on the run took a fine juggling catch. Meanwhile with his golden blonde flowing locks Jack finished off his fine spell only conceding 11 off his 9 overs a brilliant effort in the heat bowling straight through.

Wash then pushed the acceleration pedal partnered by Banersee they began to build and impressive partnership threatening to take the game away from Borough. Alain came bundling in down the hill for his first bowl in first team cricket, he bowled some good balls and some not so good but with the pressure of Wash and Banersee and the "dip before the crease skip" it was a good effort.

Moving into the last ten overs, Hukam finished his spell and I finally turned to spin. I came on from the far end and when I used the wicket (not bowling full tosses it was dry and aided the movement which took account for Wash dancing down the track and missing the ball Kev with the sharp work behind the stumps. This was quickly followed up by Banersee trying to hit me out the park only managed to fire it high into the covers Marsh taking another good catch.

James our resident Doctor had managed to injure his leg early on missing the ball doing the long barrier and only managed the one over before having to call the stretcher! ;) I managed to lack consistency and after a drop catch at mid on followed by a misfiled at mid off I lost the plot and threw it for four overthrows the strawberry blonde firey side clearly in evidence here (Like a Ben Stokes without the batting / bowling and fielding ability)

Then come of the hour come of the man...enter Steve Smith (not the number one in the wolrd Australian captain) but on this performance could push his namesake. Steve bowled with accuracy and deception cleaning up the tail with ease. A brilliant catch from Kev and some unnerving accuracy was all to much for the Hadlow tail. Steve taking career best figures of 5 overs 5 wickets for 14 runs a clear candidate for man of the match and helped keep Hadlow to under 200 on a flat deck.

A special mention to Alex with some excellent diving fielding even if you did let James hobble to the boundary whilst injured and you watched on...

The Interval: A pleasing first half to the game, the wicket was dry, flat and playing true. 200 was par so all was not lost, my thoughts now turned to the batting line up and my concerns all week as I planned the order was as you review the styles of each batsman it went like this:

Steve - Likes to hit it, Alex - Likes to smash it, Rob - likes to smash it, Hukam - likes to smash it, Alain - Likes to smash it. James - Only has one leg, Myself - Only one thumb (not that you have heard that before ha-ha) you can see my dilemmas here!

Southbourough Batting Innings:
Hibbs and Wright opened the bowling for Hadlow, Hibbs bowled with aggression with his black mohawk, large holes in his ears I was surprised he wasn't off with Jamie to Iron Maiden later! Kev and Steve opened up for us with little drama, and when Hibbs bowled the ball flicking Kev's stumps but the bails remained undisturbed I thought this could be ours and Kev's day. However Kev and Steve fell in a short space of time Kev was out LBW to Wright followed up by a top edge from a pull shot only for the ball to loop straight up in the air to be taken by the impressive Kennett behind the stumps, bowled Hibbs.

Imran and Jake then began to rebuild seeing off Wright and Hibbs. Imran hit successive fours and looked good before falling to a half tracker from Rogers, pitching it half way down the track Immy looked to put it way smashing it down the ground the bowler falling over stuck out a hand and must of taken the best catch of his life and I can't imagine will happen again.

In next a couple of our "I like to smash it" low and behold Hibbert to the crease smashed a four and in going for a six down the ground didn't quite get hold of it and holed out to mid off. Hoody followed in a similar fashion hitting two of the cleanest sixes and a pleasure to watch but it wasn't enough and a little tickle through to the keeper sent him back to the club house.

Promoted to 7 to steady the ship entered Jack, he began to nudge and nurdle playing second fiddle to Jake before falling LBW to the exuberant Wash. Jake meanwhile looked fresh after his week away in Wales the couple of 20/20's had given him valuable time in the middle and he looked good for it, quick hands and ability to read the length helped him put the ball to the fence eight times.

At 80 for 6 the game pretty much looked gone for Borough, with effectively what looked like only 9 batsman capable with injuries it left us needing 120 with 2 wickets.

Enter Hukam, the explosive right hander set about putting the bad ball away combing power with no fear, himself and Jake started the rebuild. Jakes inning came to end by an excellent catch again by keeper Kennett diving away to his right, an unfortunate end to an important innings the ball short and wide sitting up to be put away took the toe of the bat through to the keeper.

This brought Alain to the crease, as skipper at that moment in time I honestly had little faith but boy did he show me! Alain provided the backbone the innings we had missed nudging and nurdling and playing the "Alain Taylor Scoop" on regular occurrence taking the ball of middle down to fine leg rotating the strike to let Hukam put away the boundaries. Alain and Hukam took us to within 30 of the win with plenty overs left before Hukam fell in similar vein to Jake edging through to Kennett taking another impressive catch.

30 to win, 2 wickets left enters (One leg) James. James' second game for the club, another local lad just down the road from our home ground I didn't know what to expect. All I knew was I didn't want to bat it was hugely tense watching... until.... within the first few balls James faced he launched a beautiful lofted cover drive with the straightest of bats. We have another player on our hands here. James, supported by the excellent Alain edged us closer to the win, the closer it got the quieter the whole ground got tension was high and the pressure was on.

Horne began the 36th over with James on strike and 7 needed to win, this was his time and our time James smashed the 4th ball of the over down the ground for four bringing rapturous applause from all the Southbourough boys on the boundary, 3 needed to win. Next ball... 4! straight down the ground again from James incredible scenes. Alain roared in delight of his fine effort (only to be told to be quiet by Iron Maiden Hibbs) but it was well merited for his grit and determination to see us through to the victory.

What an effort! what a team performance and great spirit showed by all! It was a pleasure to captain and be part of a team that shared great banter and laughs all day! Well done everyone!!

Man of the Match: A number of mentions here as it was a very close run decision, Steve bowled brilliant to take his career best figures, Jake and Hukam hit excellent contributions 40 and 38 respectively and James finished the game of with power and class. HOWEVER...for his energy and his grit and determination I can only award the MOTM to Alain Taylor! he showed what the team is all about he stuck in when it got tough and stayed there to see us through to the victory. Brilliant!

Hadlow Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
2nb 4w 4b 2lb 
for 10 wickets
195 (4.0 overs)
Wash st  K.Matthews B Hildreth 75
McDonald b  Jameel 14
Kennett ct  Khan B Jack Matthews 0
Batchelor ct  Marsh B Khan 13
Banersee ct  Marsh B Hildreth 35
Stevenson lbw  Smith 10
Rogers b  Smith 10
Horne ct  K Matthews B Smith 13
Wright b  Smith 0
Pitcher Not Out  0
Hibbs b  Smith 4

Southborough Cricket Club First XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Imran Jameel7.0032132.004.57
Jack Matthews9.0211111.001.22
Hukam Khan8.0046146.005.75
Alain Taylor5.003700.007.40
Stefan Hildreth5.0038219.007.60
James Rumbles1.00800.008.00
Steve Smith5.011452.802.80

Southborough Cricket Club First XI Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
18w 1lb 
for 8 wickets

(3.6 overs)
Kevin Matthews lbw  Wright 10 1 1 1
Steve Smith ct  Kennett B Hibbs 9 1
Imran Jameel ct  & B Rogers 8 2
Jake Marsh ct  Kennett B Rogers 40 8 2
Alex Hibbitt ct  McDonald B Pitcher 4 1
Rob Hood ct  Kennett B Rogers 12 2
Jack Matthews lbw  Wash 5
Hukam Khan ct  Kennett B Horne 38 4 1 1
Alain Taylor Not Out  26 2
James Rumbles Not Out  24 5
Stefan Hildreth  

Hadlow Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy