Sidbury win last over ‘thriller’ thanks to ‘Fitz’ knock

PUBLISHED: 09:07 25 July 2018

The Sidbury CC team

The Sidbury CC team

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Sidbury hosted perennial visitors Old Grammarians from South West London on Saturday, in a 30 over contest, sponsored by St Johns International School and NDM Architects, writes Simon Rowe.

The conditions were pretty much perfect and the visitors didn’t hesitate to elect to bat after winning the toss. Sidbury opened the bowling with Steve Crick and Olly Paget, Steve bowling with unerring accuracy and proving extremely economical, making it very difficult for the away side to get any momentum on the scoreboard. But it was Olly with a little extra pace that provided the breakthrough with two wickets in short succession, both falling to catches behind the wicket and first change bowler Dave Higgs trapping the next batsmen leg before wicket that got the home side off and running.

After the first 10 overs Sidbury had dislodged three top order batsmen and managed to keep the run rate down and at this stage it was looking like the Old Grammarians would be posting a fairly modest total, but they managed to build a partnership and gradually grow in confidence. The wicket appeared to settle down, after a fairly lively start, no doubt due to the overnight rain and the picturesque Millfield ground with its small boundaries and lighting fast outfield soon become a much more appealing place for batsman. Sidbury, rotating the bowling, introducing Chris Fitzhenry, Henry Williams and Lester Curnow into the attack, all bowling tidily enough, but were unable to break the partnership. At this stage the visitors had passed the 20 over mark but had yet to pass a 100.

Sidbury, welcoming back Will Foster (son of club founder, Mick Foster) was then brought on to bowl. An imposing figure who bowls wrist spin, his extra height saw him get plenty of bounce and turn out of the wicket. His first two overs had the batsmen in all sorts of trouble and he was finally rewarded with a wicket enticing one of the batsman out of his crease only to be stumped, this triggered mixed fortunes, it dislodged one of the inform batsmen for 61, but it brought a new batsmen to the crease with plenty of power and attacking intent.

In fact after two excellent overs from Will, his third was treated with contempt by the new batsman. Striking a hugely impressive 37 from the next over, yes 37, due to a no ball he had managed to bludgeon four 6’s and three 4’s from the over.

This changed the complexion of the game and gave the away side much needed impetus. Sidbury’s final bowling pair of Martin Miller and Jack Marchant managed to pull things around in the final few overs but the home side were left with rather more runs to chase than expected 203.

In reply, Sidbury openers Martin ‘Windy’ Miller and Phil Grove made a great start, putting on 50 for the first wicket in no time and barely appearing to break sweat, until Windy got a leading edge and was caught and bowled.

Marcus Bennet, in at three, started cautiously, but soon found his feet and made sure that the run-rate was maintained.

Grove, not looking troubled throughout his innings, was finally caught for 24.

Paget entered the scene and struck some powerful shots, but in the space of couple of overs both Bennett and Paget had hauled out.

The home side, though still well on track in terms of run-rate, lost wickets quicker than they would have liked.

At this stage it was Will Fosters turn to show his metal with the bat, he established himself at the crease and started to play shots all around the wicket, for a period the runs were coming easily and the 200 plus target was looking well within reach.

A couple of calamitous run-outs didn’t help and before Sidbury realised they found themselves at 150-6. But with Will still at the crease a home victory was always on. The scoreboard continued to tick along until Will was finally bowled for 40, with the score then 172-9.

The last pair at the wicket, Chris ‘Fitz’ Fitzhenry who had just started to play himself in and hitting the ball sweetly and Sidbury’s capable number 11 Steve Crick, but they had it all to do, over 30 runs required and quickly running out of overs.

But they had hatched a plan, Steve would play the supporting role and Chris would take the attacking role, Steve courageously playing the 27th over out for a maiden having total faith in his partner and rightly so as Chris took to the attack and striking boundaries to all corners of the ground.

They had played themselves into a position where 12 was needed from the final over.

The Old Grammarians turn to their strike bowler to make the task that much tougher…, the first ball of the final over yielded no runs, it was now 12 from five.

This didn’t faze ‘Fitz’, who hit went on to a two and then three consecutive fours to wrap the game up on the penultimate ball, taking his match winning innings 32 not out. A cracking game, played in an excellent sprint.

Sidbury have two games coming up this weekend, away to Branscombe on Friday night and home to another touring side on Sunday.

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