Chigwell & Hainault Synagogue CC started off their season in disappointing fashion with a 32-run loss against Old Parkonians Sunday ‘B’ side.
Despite the loss there were a number of positives to be taken from the bowling and fielding performance in particular.
On a green-topped pitch that had not had too much attention to it during the wet weather, the decision to bowl first was an easy one for Chigwell & Hainault captain Danny Myers, with nine potential bowlers in the ranks.
Alex Katseph and Ghaz Khan opened the bowling and despite a number of loud appeals and edges that landed in no-man's-land, an early breakthrough was not possible.
Intelligent bowling kept the run rate low, with the Parkonians' openers displaying a mixture of luck and caution, but the decision to bring Matt Murray on to bowl had an almost immediate effect as he managed to put the pressure on to the batsmen with some miserly overs. Murray struck in his second over to dismiss Simpson for 15 with a ball that cut in to the batsman off the seam.
New batsman Umar looked to play aggressively and up the run rate above five runs per over but he soon fell attempting an ambitious straight drive and not getting enough elevation to avoid Dan O’Shaughnessy who took a very neat catch from Stuart Kaye’s bowling.
It was Myers who claimed the key wicket of opener Nick Thorpe (47). Myers bowled an almost immaculate line and length to extract the inconsistent bounce that the wicket was providing. His six overs went for a very lean 18 runs and he managed to pick up three wickets, all bowled. This included two in two balls, although he somehow managed to spray the hat-trick ball down the leg-side.
The fielding levels were generally high despite the lack of practice. Debutant Richie Jay dropped a couple of very difficult half-chances but showed some energy and commitment in the deep, stopping some vital boundaries. He also impressed with some useful bowling, which is showing some potential. Three wickets came through run-outs, including a direct-hit from Murray, fielding at mid-wicket.
A few big overs towards the end stretched Chigwell and Hainault’s chasing target to 136 from the allocated 30 overs.
In reply, Michael Myers and Lloyd Duddridge opened the batting and found it difficult to get the ball away, especially given that the Old Parkonian’s bowlers were bowling consistently good lines and lengths.
After Nav removed Michael Myers for 2 in the 7th over, Chigwell were already behind the required run-rate. Duddridge and Murray looked to up the scoring rate and take more risks with running quick singles. Murray was dropped on 2 from what should have been a regulation catch but he set out to punish Old Parkonian’s for their mistake.
Duddridge fell in the 12th over for a very useful 18 runs but Joshua Rose fell very shortly after that. Murray and O’Shaughnessy managed to bring Chigwell back into contention with a quick-fire partnership of 33 before Murray lost his off-stump with an attempted hoik off the off-spinner Umar and this created a collapse when O’Shaughnessy was bowled off the bowling of Thorpe for 15. Khan offered some defiance with a speedy knock of 13 runs, but he became another of Umar’s five victims with a successful LBW appeal.
Ultimately a combination of match rustiness, a bowler-friendly pitch and some lack of match practice took its toll when attempting to chase this target but hopes are high for the next game and Chigwell & Hainault will look for revenge when the two sides meet again later in the season.