We went away to Broxbourne in our first league game of the season. Broxbourne are an excellent side making it to the semi-finals last season, and have often gotten the better of us in the past few years. We went there knowing a win would be vital to our chances of qualifying through the group stage.
Our captain, Ben Foster, won the toss and elected to bowl. That proved to be the right decision on a pitch offering a lot to seam bowlers. Our opening bowlers set the tone excellently with Paddy Ainsworth-Ledwidge and Lucas Dordoy bowling very economically, before Lucas took the first wicket of the season, bowling their captain for just 5. He quickly followed that up with 2 more wickets in the next over. We continued to keep pressure on the Broxbourne batsmen getting two run outs in 2 overs. Broxbourne wrestled some momentum back with their number five hitting Thomas Greenhill for two 4s and a big 6 off before Thomas responded by bowling a beauty to clean bowl him. It was a procession from then on with Daniel Laskey and Ben Foster taking 2 wickets each, finally bowling them out for 76. Lucas Dordoy was the pick of the bowlers taking 3-17 in a fantastic group effort from the whole team.
We knew 76 wasn’t going to be an easy target against an excellent bowling attack on a pitch that offered a lot of movement. Ben and Charlie Laking went out to open the batting, with Charlie starting brightly hitting two excellent shots for 4, before getting a ball that swung in a lot to bowl him for 8. We knew we couldn’t afford to lose anymore early wickets so Ben and Henry Hawkins came together to build a steady partnership. It was slow going with both players demonstrating great technique and patience, with Broxbourne getting frustrated at their lack of wickets. As the innings progressed, our scoring rate did too, with Ben and Henry putting on a 51 run partnership in 12 overs. Henry eventually departed to mis-timed shot into the leg side for 18. It seemed that their partnership had done enough to get us over the line, however Broxbourne fought back. They quickly took the wickets of Jamie Ward (2) and Paddy A-L (0) to put us under pressure. We went into the final over needing 4 to win with Ben on strike. The first ball was a dot, followed by a lovely leg side flick that was excellently stopped on the boundary, with us running 2. Then another dot. Then a no ball meaning we needed just 1 to win from 3 balls. Ben decided to try to win the game then and there looking for a big shot over the top however he was bowled for 26! That meant Matt Reader on BSCC debut came in needing 1 to win from 2 balls. Thankfully Matt showed great comosure dropping the ball into a gap on the leg side allowing us to make the final single, winning the game with a ball to spare!
It was an excellent win over a fantastic opponent! The boys should be very proud of themselves, in particular Lucas + Paddy for setting the tone with the ball and then Ben + Henry for putting on 51 together in extremely bowler friendly conditions.
We will hope to continue this great start at home to Hertford next Thursday!