12th August 2017 saw the Travellers’ 1’s taking on a strong Verwood side
chasing promotion. With mid-table safety all but secured, the 1’s were
playing for pride.
Opening from the David Lloyd End was Ian Burrows, who started as he
intended to carry on: metronomically. Utilising the westerly breeze and no
little skill, it was an exhibition in controlled inswing bowling. Although
he was unfortunate not to take a wicket, Burrows controlled the scoring of
the capable openers remarkably well, conceding only 7 runs in his spell of
10 overs (the Chairman was to later ruefully reflect on the needless single
he conceded in his 7th over that dented what were otherwise excellent
From the Oasis End Matt Brown conceded a couple of early boundaries to the
dangerous looking Tatchell, before finding control, mixing his away
swingers with some fuller deliveries. Although he beat the batsmen on a few
occasions, he again was not able to make the breakthrough in his opening 7
overs. Brown was replaced by Bob Kinnear, twirling away with his leggies,
and at 20 overs Verwood were at a modest 43 for 0.
Inevitably the Verwood openers began to play more shots following the
drinks break, although chances continued to be hard to come by. Shiv
Skipper Choudhury replaced Burrows for 4 overs, while Bill Stroud came on
for Kinnear initially from the Oasis End. Stroud again showed the benefit
of Experience, pitching it up and often straight, making the batsmen play.
He was finally rewarded with Trav’s first wicket, winning an LBW appeal
against Tatchell as he advanced down the wicket, the opener out for an
accomplished 56. Fall of wicket 89 in the 30th over. Stroud was rewarded
again in his next over, McLeonards getting a feather through to Baker
behind the stumps who made no mistake, the opener out for a more chancy 37,
fall of wicket 101.
At the other end Febin George bowled 4 overs of left arm spin. Although he
struggled at times for control, when he did pitch it in the right areas he
beat the batsmen on several occasions and was rewarded with Trav’s third
wicket, bowling Hancock for 7, fall of wicket 105.
Although Trav’s continued to bowl and field with effort, Verwood
accelerated effectively through the last 15 overs, with no. 4 C. Gajic
playing well for 51 not out. There was one more wicket for the home team,
Stroud switching ends to snare Andrew O’Neill (not The Andrew O’Neill) LBW
for 24, but with Verwood adding 100 in those last 15 overs their final
score of 192 for 4 seemed above par on what was a pretty slow outfield.
Trav’s fielded gamely until the end, and it was unusual that not one catch
was offered to the outfield by Verwood’s batsmen in the entire innings,
perhaps a sign of their quality. The pick of the bowlers for Travellers
were Burrows for his economy and Stroud who finished with 3 for 41. Special
mention should also go to Kev Sims, Dave Allen and Prath who supported from
the sidelines, occasionally offering useful advice to Nicholls on his first
team debut, but mostly just heckling him.
After an appropriate Tea, Trav’s set about their challenging target,
sending in Roshan Radhakrishnan and Nicholls to open. Nicholls didn’t last
long, beaten for pace bowled for 3. Unfortunately in a sign of things to
come, wickets thereby continued to tumble frequently and unremittingly.
Radhakrishnan suffered a similar fate, bowled by one that stayed low for 9
before Choudhury suffered an even worse fate, run out for 0 after a mix up
with Abhijit Jagadeesh. Jagadeesh did at least have the pleasure of hitting
a couple of nice boundaries (a rarity in this match) before also succumbing
to Gajic, caught fending to slip a delivery that leapt off a similar length
to the one that shot past Rodhakrishnan’s ankles. Jamie Simpson, George and
Brown all followed in dramatically quick fashion for 1, 0 and 0
respectively, leaving Trav’s in an almighty mess at 28 for 7 in the 11th
Baker and Stroud then showed some resolve, putting on 30 for the 8th wicket
before Baker was bowled, uncharacteristically missing a straight one as he
tried to lift the spinner over mid-on. Kinnear followed soon after for 3
before Stroud was last man out, caught for 14 at mid-off. On what was
ultimately a thoroughly disappointing day for the 1s, they were all out for
63 in the 22nd over to lose by 129 runs. The sun shone, but there was no
mistaking that Verwood proved to be the stronger team on the day in all
departments, Trav’s finishing with just 2 points and a slight dent to their