After winning the toss (Thanks Skipper), no big surprises, we were batting first. Our in-form openers took a few watchful overs to then set the platform for an explosive first innings. James Barker (64) and Scott Browne (76) put on an 108 run partnership with 13 fours and 6 sixes! Runs were flying all over the PWCG as the 35 degree heat meant the outfield was lightning quick. Some good running and calling from the top two cashed in on multiple mistakes as the fielders were often participating in non-league football trials rather than using their hands. After multiple hefty blows, Scott was caught out trying to reach the road which brought Vikram to the crease. He started steadily but quickly joined in the fun hitting 56 of just 27 balls with 7 fours and two big sixes! Not really much more to say here as the poor ICCB bowlers got hit to all parts of the ground and beyond. We ended on 221 off our 20 overs which is the highest score reached by an OCC side in the BCF T20 this season!
Using only four batsmen meant all our bowlers had been resting in the shade and so were fresh and ready to go. Despite this, the opposition started well at 53-0 off 6 but Saransh got the breakthrough as Advyth whipped the bails off for his first of four stumpings of the day. From here the problem for ICCB was a familiar one losing regular wickets which were shared around all the bowlers. Amit and Tony picked up two a piece and skipper Vik bowled containing 3 overs 1-6. As the run-rate climbed well above 15 an over, the game looked done and dusted but not before some interesting bowling changes. The Skipper was considering the heat and shared the ball around to a total of 9 bowlers used. Even Shiv and Scott got tossed the ball and both went for 15 of their singular overs. Not so easy is it lads? Despite this, the “actual” bowlers kept it tight and ICCB only reached 133-9 off their 20 overs. This all meant an 88 run winning margin against the league leaders which is huge in T20 terms, and we gained full bonus points.
Scott’s Curry Report: “No mid-game curry but I scavenged some leftovers from the generous spectators after Game 2. Was well short of my 4000 calorie target tho”
As the temperature soared past 35, Skip lost the toss and we were fielding again (Thanks Skipper ). Once again ICCB started well with 29 off 3 overs but Scott’s sharp catch at gully got their skipper off Atif’s bowling. However, the runs still flowed for ICCB who were soon at 75–1 after 8 overs and this match could then have gone either way. The Skip then turned to his choice of four spinners and soon 3 quick wickets for 2 runs then turned the tide of the game. Some good catches in the deep and a run out meant we were back on top. Marcus and Tony then bowled well together only going at 6 an over with regular wickets meant we were back in the game and with the smart work of Advyth, ICCB were restricted to 152 all out. So, 153 runs would secure top spot in Division 2 as the heat continued to rise. Managing such chases are not always easy but Scott and James returned to the centre to show how to get things done. Smart calling, running and punishing the odd bad ball and another good powerplay was completed at 45 without loss. Scott then chipped out and was quickly followed by Saransh which meant that Vikram and James needed a bit of focus to see us home. James succumbed for yet another fine fifty whilst Vik played smoothly for his classy 44 not out before Tony joined the fun to hit 14 off 6 balls to secure the win by 7 wickets in 18.2 overs.
These two wins, in such immense heat, against the league leaders, show the quality and quantity of T20 skills now on show at PWCG. The 2 wins were achieved by taking 19 wickets compared to conceding just 5 and also secured 49 of the available 50 points to lift the 1st XI to the top of the league! Now we must await the news of other fixtures in the coming weeks. Superb effort fellas!