Trav’s 2nd XI pulled off possibly their best win of the season to date on
Saturday, pipping Totton and Eling 3rds by 22 runs in a thriller at
Lordshill. Featuring more fresh faces than usual in the starting 9, Trav’s
put on a sterling team performance with everyone contributing under the
astute stewardship of Captain Noton, augmented by their former leader
Phillips who even put in a match winning shift at 1st slip to aid the cause.
Travs batted first on a very dry surface, U. Khan and Banerjee showing
promise as a new opening partnership. It soon became clear that there was
to be a trial by spin, T&E utilising various combinations of colts bowling
legspin, left arm spin and off-breaks, coupled with more experienced
campaigners bowling tight lines. After a couple of belting boundaries, Khan
was first to fall on his sword, well caught at slip for 10, followed soon
after by Banerjee who showed further evidence of his promise with the bat
before falling for a patiently acquired 5.
Sign then teamed up with S. Allen to show levels of application and
determination that were fully required on the raging Bunsen. Sign mixed
watchful defence with measured attack, moving smoothly on to 16 before he
was done for by Perrin. Meanwhile, after accumulating 6 from 43 balls,
Allen’s stroke making instincts could eventually be restrained no more, and
he proceeded to wallop 3 boundaries off his next 7 deliveries with
before somehow missing a straight full toss next ball, much to his chagrin.
The new look middle order looked wobbly from the off, Nicholls swinging
wildly at his first delivery and lucky not to be stumped. Payne failed to
build on recent promise and was out for 1, while new boy Jonny “J-Lo” Rowe
perished for 0, unfortunately getting a leading edge before he was able to
demonstrate his ability with the bat. With the score on 85 for 6 at the end
of the 28th, and only Noton left in the hutch, the situation was perilous.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Out to the crease strode Trav’s Stalwart
D. Allen, to be greeted by encouraging words by Nicholls who was yet to
scratch a run either. In a rare example of “game management”, the pair
appeared to realise that with the youthful spinners tiring in the heat, if
they could just occupy the crease then extras alone would contribute 4 an
over to the dodgy total.
In a midst of dust, sweat and moderate ability, 40 were added in 8 overs
before Allen was bowled swishing across the line at Stevens, only to be
reprieved by Eagle Eyed Perry (Umpire Nigel) who called a front foot
no-ball. After delivering an appropriate chastisement to Allen and
reminding him of his responsibilities, Nicholls proceeded to try exactly
the same shot 3 balls later and was out for 17. At this point the match was
on a knife edge, Trav’s knew that 160 would be a good score, and so it was
that Noton and especially Allen managed to add a further 33 for the last
wicket, leaving Trav’s handily placed at 158/7 at the break. Particular
highlights of the partnership included Allen smashing 14 from an over, and
Noton narrowly avoiding being stumped off a wide from the last ball of the
innings, only to crash the extra delivery over long on to finish with a
boundary (much to the inappropriately expressed annoyance of the oppo’
keeper). Allen finishing unbeaten on 36, Noton on 6.
It became apparent at Tea that Phillips was not averse to the idea of
mucking in as an official substitute for the second innings, so with the
agreement of the opposition Skipper Trav’s took to the field with 10
fieldsmen, although strictly speaking only 4 bowlers. Knowing that early
wickets would be crucial, Noton started with U. Khan from the David Lloyd
End bowling at a lively pace, and Banerjee twirling away from the Academy
End. They quickly made headway, with Khan impressively bowling the grumpy
keeper for 0, before Banerjee got just reward for a probing spell by
enticing Fine into a loose drive that was gobbled up by Buckethands
Phillips at 1st slip. Game on.
With the heat continuing to make it hard work, Noton began to show his
nouse as Skipper, rotating his bowlers to bring himself and Rowe into the
fold. Rowe made a particularly impressive start to his Trav’s career,
bowling with pace and accuracy. He got his just rewards in similar fashion
to Banerjee, Phillips snaffling another at 1st slip to leave T&E looking
decidedly shaky. Meantime Noton was delivering his usual brand of innocuous
looking deadly deliveries. The highlight was enticing the impressive
looking Bungay into a false drive off only his second ball, Sign taking a
screamer running around from long off to cling on and give Trav’s a serious
scent of victory. With Noton taking a neat caught and bowled and Rowe
removing the obstinate opener Perrin for a gutsy 36, under normal
circumstances Trav’s would have been home and hosed. But unbeknown to the
opposition, there was a pressing question of finding up to 8 overs from
somewhere else, and with Phillips not allowed to bowl. First up was D.
Allen, usually a capable back-up bowler but lacking confidence at present.
After a sound first over went for just 3, a rather more chaotic 2nd over
was dispatched for 22, mostly in the direction of S. Allen at deep square
leg who hopped and leapt around with great athleticism, if little effect.
With increasing desperation, Noton turned to Nicholls for his first ever
bowl in a Trav’s shirt. Again his first over was surprisingly re-assuring,
every ball landing outside off stump and only 3 runs taken. Again, the
second over proved one too many, a mixture of head high full tosses, wides
and general tripe somehow bleeding only 10 runs and unbelievably reaping
the wicket of a colt who is believed to have subsequently retired from the
Sensing the opportunity to finish the game off without need for further
experimentation, and with the emergency services gathering in the corner
waiting for an imminent helicopter delivery, Noton returned to the
mainstream bowlers with great effect. Khan struck again, bowling a colt off
an under-edge, while Noton himself continued to chip away, courtesy of
another fine catch from Sign. With the last pair still needing 30 to win,
the field came in and sure enough, it was all over when the no. 11 played
forward to a Noton jaffa and popped it up to Rowe at silly mid-off.
Highlights from the bowling column were Noton with 6-1-23-4 and Rowe
4-3-7-2, with great support from Banerjee and Khan.
In what was a superb all round team performance played with great spirit, a
good time was had by all Travs. Long may it continue…