News & Events 2019

 

bat

We welcomed Rowledge Casuals to our season opener on Sunday May 5 with unhelpful advice – ‘You should have been here two weeks ago.’ I guess most of us had been pretty excited during the Easter heatwave; surely it would stretch into the first weeks of May? It didn’t. Cold, horrible batting conditions and a stodgy outfield made Crondall skipper David Rook’s decision on winning the toss easy – after you, Casuals.
When I’d put the stumps in I noticed how solid the pitch felt. The ground is usually like putty at this time of year but following a long hot summer and relatively dry winter, it hadn’t altered much from the concrete of last season. Rowledge’s openers Will Roberts and Steve Bailey found the wicket to their liking and despite the odd skidding ball from Ollie Godden keeping low, began to score quickly. Steve eventually fell to a great slip catch by Julian Ranger off Dan Steele for 38 and Will went on to hit 51 retired.
Meanwhile, Richard McKinley had stepped up at number 3 and piled on a quick 32 before hoisting a ball off David Rook. Julian Ranger managed to get underneath it and take another great catch, unfortunately cutting his finger in the process. Reader, there was blood but did Julian leave the field? Did he heck. 
Hugo Young, unfazed at losing three of his partners cheaply, batted throughout the remains of the innings for 39 and was joined by Mark Stevenson who serenely added 22 not out. Jon Wills made 6 before he top-edged a ball into his mouth and retired with a cut lip: he seemed to be fine and won’t have to face a massive dentist’s bill.
Crondall took four wickets, one for myself and Dan Steele, and two for David Rook who finished with 2 for 14 off 2. The Rowledge batters couldn’t get to grips with Tim Watson, who bowled a very tidy six overs for just 15. Tim and David prevented the Casuals from overwhelming us, but our guests still posted an impressive total of 219 for 6. We were joined by a new player, Harry Devonshire, who hadn’t played for five years but was very sharp in the field and undoubtedly saved a good many runs.
Crondall’s reply got off to a disastrous start as Ollie Godden was caught and bowled by Clive Hartless without scoring. Fellow opener David Rook had a better time, finding the wicket helpful before a shortish ball from Hugo Young kept lower than he’d anticipated and he was bowled for 28. Julian Ranger’s injured digit didn’t seem to hold him back as he bludgeoned four fours before being caught for 19 off Steve Riglar.
The father and son partnership of Tim and Angus Watson gave Crondall plenty of cheer even though by now we were too far behind to have a realistic chance of turning the game around. Tim dominated the bowling and never looked in trouble as he hit an unbeaten 52 which included six fours and three sixes. Watson Junior had impressed us last year and looked equally comfortable today, hitting six fours and also remaining unbeaten on 30.
Tim and Angus were Crondall’s mainstay and Ricky Gunner provided good support for Tim, patient as ever and making 11 before being bowled by Craig Jones. At the close Crondall had made 167 for 8, drawing the game.
A draw when you’re 50-odd runs short isn’t a great draw but Crondall had plenty to smile about, particularly the great contribution with bat and ball by Tim Watson. Rowledge were ahead throughout the afternoon; batting solidly, bowling accurately and fielding superbly. We look forward to our return game in August and maybe a T20, if we can do it.

David Twibill