Dunmow II v Eight Ash Green Cricket Club Two Counties 2nd XI on Sat 16 Jul 2016 at 13.00
Eight Ash Green Cricket Club Won By 1 Run

Match report EAGCC II (210 all out) beat Dunmow CC (209 all out) by 1 run

From the depths of an early innings batting collapse to the heights of a last ball win by one run with the clock heading towards 8pm – did this day not just sum up the joy that is cricket?

EAG arrived at Dunmow in glorious sunshine and high spirits despite the daunting unbeaten record of our hosts – perhaps the respective warm-ups displayed the relative successes of the teams thus far: Dunmow, well organised and focused on their skills; Greenies happy to just have a chat with their mates or in the case of one unnamed individual, trying desperately to sleep off a hangover!

Skipper Matt Norris got the call right at the toss – the wicket looked like a belter, the outfield a bowling green, so to bat was the natural choice. Four overs in it looked anything but, as the (so-called) cream of the batting line-up sat disconsolately in front of a scoreboard that read 5-3: ducks were suffered by Ollie Stovell, Jack Smith & Jonathan Purser, two of whom had enjoyed a lengthy coaching session with Kem the day before; money well spent there then! All three fell in the same over which was a good cure for the aforementioned hangover of the EAG number 5.

Chairman Richard Polley had watched the carnage from the other end, taking 40 balls to get off the mark, but my, were we thankful for his presence as he did his utmost to blunt the new ball attack. He was joined by Luke Keeble, woken from his slumbers, but Luke was not content to defend, combining a positive approach with some powerful strokes to reach 35. Unfortunately he succumbed to the Dunmow skipper, trying to decide which garden to plant the ball in before settling for the bowler’s hands. Nevertheless, Luke’s contribution had given EAG a platform to build the rest of the innings. Alex Hammond joined Chairman Polley in a steady partnership only for the latter to fall to a catch at midwicket as he sought to increase the run rate. Alex then made the fatal mistake of thinking he was in for a long innings after a drinks break – perhaps he lost concentration as he trotted back to the pavilion for some of that ‘special’ drink of his; either way, first ball after the break somehow slipped behind his legs, the timbers were rattled and EAG were 107-6 with under 15 overs remaining.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. In-form skipper Norris was joined by one European we all voted for, Jens (aka John) Wair, and EAG took the attack back to Dunmow. Jens hit four boundaries in his near run-a-ball 19, but Norris was the man – 10 fours and 2 sixes were bludgeoned from his blade as he reached 66 off a mere 43 balls in a James Parker-esque display of controlled hitting. Tony Lee’s positive 21 both supported the skipper and shepherded the tail through to the end of the innings, which was embellished by one sumptuous cover drive by Matt Murray. A word, too, for young Troy Collins who stayed with Tony to ensure that no additional overs were given to Dunmow.

At tea, the feeling was that EAG had posted a competitive total, but given Dunmow’s form this season, it was going to be a significant challenge to contain them. Norris decided to open the bowling with what he hoped was an angry and pumped-up Jack Smith coming down the slope, with young Troy at the other end. After a probing opening Troy made the first breakthrough as the skipper clung-on to a catch, setting the tone for what was to follow. When Jack upended the stumps of the Dunmow number 3, they were 31-2 and thoughts of victory started firming in the mind. JP’s first wicket, that of their left-handed opener who had looked well set before being providing Ollie with perhaps the most straightforward of his four catches, left the home team at 69-3. The Dunmow middle order then set about accumulating the required runs, but with Jack keeping things reasonably tight during a marathon 15 over spell (in that heat!), the required rate started creeping up towards a run a ball.

We wondered whether an eventually unsuccessful juggling act by Jens in the field may come back to haunt us, but then the man himself struck as Ollie plucked a one-hander out of the air at mid-off. Scoreboard pressure accounted for two more: firstly JP castled the home skipper then Jens enticed a huge shot from the big opening bowler and Alex pulled off a fabulous catch on the longest boundary – no one was more surprised about that than the man himself! That left Dunmow at 160-6 in the 38th over, but with one of two half-centurions still there, they remained marginal favourites.

As Jens & JP toiled manfully in the boiling sun, Dunmow edged closer to the target and palms became sweatier. One of many critical moments came with a comedy yes-no-yes-no-oh dear moment – JP kept his cool at midwicket, threw down the stumps and the in-form batsman was on his way; was panic setting in? Off the last ball of the next over (the 43rd) the JP-Ollie combination worked again and Dunmow were 200-8, but as the requirement came down to 5 needed off the last over with two wickets in hand, surely Dunmow would find the gaps in the field and squeak home. A scrambled single came from the first ball, but then Ollie pouched another skier, giving JP his fourth and suddenly EAG were favourites. Could JP hold his nerve for the last four balls? Oh yes he could. As the scorer’s heart pounded louder and louder it came down to two needed off the last ball. JP got it through the batsman allowing Luke to display his (unheralded) agility in racing up to the stumps and effect the run out for a one-run win. What a fantastic finish to a thoroughly enjoyable match, played in excellent spirits. Well done to all involved; I hope I’m around to see the return fixture later in the season.

My apologies if it appears that I have sought to rival Tolstoy in the length of my report, but this match had all that I love about the game, bar some runs for my son!

Eight Ash Green Cricket Club Two Counties 2nd XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
4nb 16w 7b 4lb 
for 10 wickets

(44.4 overs)
Richard Polley ct  W. Pascoe b A. Pascoe 23 109 76 4 30.26
Ollie Stovell ct  Callingham b W. Pascoe 0 14 2 0 4
Jack Smith ct  Swanston b W. Pascoe 0 2 2 0
Jonathan Purser ct  Sedman b W. Pascoe 0 2 3 0 1
Luke Keeble ct  & b Callingham 35 61 45 7 77.78 1
Alex Hammond b  Rix 10 34 34 2 29.41 1
Matt Norris b  Swanston 66 55 43 10 2 153.49 1
Jens Wair ct  Rix b Swanston 19 15 21 4 90.48
Tony Lee b  Swanston 21 42 24 4 87.50
Mathew Murray ct  Callingham 5 8 7 1 71.43
Troy Collins Not Out  0 9 5 0

Dunmow II Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
J. McLaughlin11.053400.003.09
W. Pascoe5.0131310.336.20
M. Callingham10.0039139.003.90
A. Rix9.0235135.003.89
A. Pascoe4.0031131.007.75
J. Swanston5.402947.255.12

Dunmow II Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
1nb 7w 5lb 
for 10 wickets
209 (45.0 overs)
M. Cross ct  Norris b Collins 6 20 18 33.33
R. Johnson ct  Stovell b Purser 38 66 49 7 77.55
B. Sedman b  Smith 3 12 7 42.86
A. Brown ct  Stovell b Wair 54 86 68 9 79.41
T. Coupe run out  Purser 56 104 76 7 73.68
M. Callingham b  Purser 12 22 16 2 75.00
J. McLaughlin ct  Hammond b Wair 3 10 5 60.0
J. Swanston Not Out  12 38 16 75.00
W. Pascoe ct  Stovell b Purser 6 8 8 1 75.00
A. Rix ct  Stovell b Purser 5 6 5 1 100
A. Pascoe run out  Keeble 1 4 1 100

Eight Ash Green Cricket Club Two Counties 2nd XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Jack Smith15.0056156.003.73
Troy Collins5.0021121.004.20
Jonathan Purser14.0272418.005.14
Jens Wair11.0055227.505.00