Edenbridge Cricket Club Saturday 2nd XI v Haywards Heath on Sat 26 Jun 2010 at 2.00
Edenbridge Cricket Club Won by 8 wickets

Match report On what was comfortably the hottest day of the year so far, stand in skipper Phil Matania once again lost the toss and Haywards Heath skipper thought about it for half a nano second before deciding to ask us to field.

With Haywards at the top of the table (ahead of us by 18 points) and a record of won 4, lost 1 and no drawn games it would take a massive effort by Bridge to pick up the win that we needed to make sure we stayed in contention at the top.

Despite the unusual (this year) experience of seeing a couple of catches go down, Bridge did an excellent job of restricting Haywards to 181 for 9 and managed to send down 47 overs in almost exactly 2 hours 40 minutes. the attitude in the field was once again excellent with the ground fielding exceptional and the "hustle" between overs meaning that we found ourselves constantly waiting for the batsmen to be ready at the start of an over. It is the pressure that we exert on batting sides by our fielding that has been a consisitent positive all year and is so valuable. As usual, Lewis Warburton was outstanding but particular mention must also be made of Dave Putman and Zahid Khan for their ground fielding (although Zahid really does need to avoid doing a "Gordon Roser" and disappearing mid over) and Toby Fuller for two superb catches - one in particular at very long on with the sun in his eyes was the fielding highlight.

Toby Fuller, sharing the new ball with Zahid showed signs of returning to his late 2009 form and could easily have had a couple of wickets but it was Zahid's first spell of 1 for 39 that really caught the eye. Bowling in tandem with the miserly Gareth Fuller who bowled unchanged for 18 overs returning 4 for 63, the boys did a fantastic job of containg Haywards top order especially considering that the outfield was so quick that batsmen got full value for their shots. Gat went at 3.5 an over whilst Zahid gave up only 3.3 and as captain, I want to say that the control that this allows makes the job a very easy one indeed.

One other point worth mentioning is that it took the skipper quite a long time to realise why George Bantin wasn't moaning about fielding at cow corner. At first, I thought it might be because he was enjoying a close look at the lovely Harley Davison parked up by the skate park but then, my eyes are not what they were and it was only at tea that I realised that the lady pillion rider was enjoying the sunshine to the full!

Phil elected to use only four bowlers throughout the innings and the 4th, James Gardiner once again delivered, picking up the wickets of the dangerous HH captain nicely stumped by Kieran and HH's young lady prompting the question: Is this the first time that James has picked up a girl?

So to the batting.

Phil Matania opened with Dave Putman and the luck was very unevenly distributed with Phil surviving a very close LBW shout first ball but Putters seeing the ball trickle back on to his stumps from a simple defensive shot. Dave has been desperately unlucky with two or three dismissals this year which helps explain why his run return on Saturdays is so different to his record on Sundays. At some point soon, an opposition bowling attack is really going to suffer!

Tim Fuller looked to be in absolute control until an uncharacteristic loss of concentration cost him his wicket for 13.

Enter the Bantin.

George hasn't picked up a bat since the end of last season and his rustiness showed quite clearly in the way he smashed his first two balls to the boundary for 4s. Obviously an in form George would have hit both for sixes.

The best way to describe George's innings is to give some statistcs:

111 not out from 71 balls in 97 minutes including 17 fours and 5 sixes but one chance. His first 50 coming from 39 balls, the second from only 29.

The unbroken partnership with Phil (34 not out) of 151 was our biggest of the year. Just about the only time he looked anything other than majestic was his first over against the leg spinner - in short, this was just about the most destructive innings I have seen (I missed seeing Putters 200) and remarkable for a first knock of the season.

A look at the table this morning confirms the "cost" of failing to pick up the extra 2 points we would have gained had we taken the final HH wicket - we are now third by a single point behind HH and Horsted Keynes.

Edenbridge now stand alone in the table as the only team yet to be beaten.

Champagne moment: George's fantastic innings
Pint of exceptional Guinness moment: Toby's catch at long on
Pina Colada by the pool moment: Surviving my first ball
Glass of flat warm coca cola moment: realising that Zahid had nipped off for a drink as the ball trickled over the boundary at fine leg
Fish head in a trifle moments: the running commentary by the HH northen monkey wicketkeeper.

Palmers next week - the game that if it was any further away it would be an international - if by some strange miracle the England football team manage to nick past Germany this afternoon, at least their club house has a big screen!!

Haywards Heath Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
for 9 wickets
181 (0.0 overs)
Ruhul Choudhry ct  Lewis Warburton B Gareth Fuller 36
Sam Newsome b  Gareth Fuller 32
Jeff Boardman lbw  Gareth Fuller 2
Neil Lucey+ b  Zahid Khan 14
Paul Newsome* ct  Toby Fuller B James Gardiner 25
Mark Smith st  Kieron Peters B James Gardiner 4
Hannah Phelps ct  Toby Fuller B Zahid Khan 11
Charlie Amey run out  (Lewis Warburton) 4
Richard Evans b  Gareth Fuller 8
Mirza Baig Not Out  15
Nick Gracie-Langrick Not Out  9

Edenbridge Cricket Club Saturday 2nd XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Toby Fuller6.003000.005.00
Zahid Khan16.0453226.503.31
Gareth Fuller18.0263415.753.50
James Gardiner7.0028214.004.00

Edenbridge Cricket Club Saturday 2nd XI Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
for 2 wickets

(0.0 overs)
Phil Matania Not Out  34
David Putman jnr b  Nick Gracie-Langrick 4
Tim Fuller b  Nick Gracie-Langrick 13
George Bantin Not Out  111
Jonathan Watts  
Lewis Warburton   1 1
Gareth Fuller  
Zahid Khan  
James Gardiner  
Kieran Peters   1
Toby Fuller   2

Haywards Heath Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Nick Gracie-Langrick7.0039219.505.57
Hannah Phelps6.506400.009.37
Paul Newsome4.001700.004.25
Charlie Amey5.003000.006.00
Mirza Baig2.002700.0013.50