There are few things in life that can bring unbridled joy: the smell of a new book, the smile on a new-born’s face, and winning a tight cricket match. In truth, when EUCC played Teesside, on Tuesday the 3rd October, the match should not have been as tight as it was. Put into bat by the flippant decision of stand in captain extraordinaire Gareth Bevan – who was replaced as captain by Louis Green when he arrived – EUCC struggled the slings and arrows of time and came out with a decidedly under par score.
The innings started well enough with openers Louis Green (Captain and Wicketkeeper) and fresher debut maker Will Redpath. Getting 15 off the first over with some lovely indoor cricket strokeplay, and quick running, it seemed that EUCC were on for a sizeable total. Unfortunately, Redpath in the second over missed a straight one that clattered into his middle stump. The next man in, Jacob Birkenshaw, did not fare any better making a two ball duck that the always precocious Bevan was later to describe as abysmal. Nevertheless, with the dismissal of Birkenshaw there was a slight steadying of the ship as fresher Terry Hutley came in to aid Louis Green in making his retirement. Green had batted magnificently to his 25 finding more gaps in the field than in a fishing net. Unfortunately, other than Green, no batsman was able to make a score as both Hutley and another fresher Harry Badcock missed straight ones. Inevitably this led to the final partnership of Bevan and Green (thrust once again into the fray rather suddenly) to try and eek out as many runs possible in the remaining overs. Again misfortune struck the EUCC side as Green decided that a run was on only to misjudge the closeness of the fielder who ran him out with a direct hit. Bevan last man standing decided to go into stand and deliver mode hitting one 6 and then striking out caught to the man at midwicket. EUCC all out for a paltry 57 and would need a strong bowling display to win the game from here.
Louis Green confident in his bowlers opened with Bevan and Badcock to great aplomb, Bevan scalping wickets twice in the match and Badcock once. Bevan struck first with a delicious inswinging ball that ripped into the Teesside Batsman’s middle stump. Badcock next over kept things tight and trapped another Batsman in front absolutely without question plumb. The EUCC boys buoyed by this opening spell kept things tight from there on. Redpath twirled down some delicious off spin that confined the Teesside Batsman to singles, and when the pressure told they tried to hit out to no avail. Hutley took three great catches at mid-on through the match, the first and second diving to take the ball. Teesside needing 12 from the last two overs could not get Redpath away and only scored 3 in the over requiring 9 from the last. Up stepped Birkenshaw who was bowling a fluid spell of leg spin that was going for little runs. It was convenient that the umpires had forgotten about the front foot no ball rule, but in hindsight the umpire’s call is always right. Birkenshaw kept things tight and got the final wicket of Teesside when the batsman flashed at one that just nipped away. There was some confusion as no audible nick had been heard by anyone but Green who took the catch as wicketkeeper. However, Green’s emphatic celebrations encouraged the Teesside Batsman to walk. Thus relief had been given to the whole team as the nerves of the final over were assuaged by Birkenshaw’s cool bowling and Green’s excellent game management behind the stumps.
Match Report by Jacob Birkenshaw
Updated 13:36 - 18 Sep 2018 by Edinburgh Uni Cricket