Vice-captain George Walker reports on the EAPL victory at Copdock.
An 8.45am meet at the common on Saturday meant for a wet start as the forecast rain had well and truly arrived, however by the time we had reached Copdock the rain had all but stopped and the pitch was looking in good condition.
We were delayed by half an hour to allow the slight drizzle to stop and the groundsman to do his work, but Swardeston went out to field at 11.30 after captain Mark Thomas won the toss and had no hesitation in deciding to bowl. The lads have done very well this season chasing down totals after a simple game plan of keeping it tight in the field and getting through the overs quickly.
A hard surface with a small bit of grass suited both bat and ball but Swardeston got the upper hand as Sam Thelwell had Essex player Jaik Mickleburgh well held at second slip by Peter Lambert. Progress was then a tad slow for Copdock as a partnership was slowly developing but the introduction of some spin saw the advancing Chris Swallow stumped by Steve Gray off George Walker, leaving them 74-2. A third Copdock wicket then fell quickly to spin with Walks getting a little tickle from the batsman which was well held by Graysy.
Swardeston were keeping the pressure on well and the run rate was not great for Copdock on a surface which should have yielded a few more runs and when the dangerous Chris Warnes was bowled offering no shot to Cal Taylor then we were well on top with the score at 116-5.
The departure of Martyn Cull for a patient 57 LBW to Walks left Copdock needing to bat out the overs to get up to a defendable score but with wickets still falling and the captain rotating the bowlers well at the end of the innings, Copdock left the pitch on 175-9 off their 60 overs. Sam Thelwell returned figures of 3-54 off 17 overs and George Walker 4-22 off his allotted 17.
As is the Swardeston way we normally get off to a quick start and Lambo hit a lovely cover drive and then a pull shot to get the scoreboard ticking. One shot too many though, saw the ball fly miles in the air and was well held at cover off Matthew Waring. Graysy soon departed LBW not long after leaving us 16-2 but then the Taylor brothers put on an excellent 94 run partnership for the 3rd wicket which took the sting out of the Copdock attack and fielders.
Wanting to make sure most people get a bat in a run chase, the Taylors decided to get out with Jordi snicking behind for 49 and Cal choosing the wrong ball to pull and being caught mid on for 41. These two wickets left us 114-4 with still another 61 needed although overs were never going to be a problem. 22 runs were added for the next wicket before Jeremy Elliott was caught at mid-off and then Jason Reynolds was LBW for 4 to a decision he was not too pleased with. The score at this stage now 148-6.
Lewis Denmark had been in bat since the departure of Callum and had been batting patiently and without giving a chance finished on 32 not out and George 13 not out to see the lads over the line.
A good team performance has left the first team with a good lead in the EAPL and the lads are keen to extend this over the next few weeks. The bowlers seam to be doing well as a unit and the batters are finding some form which is great with a busy period of cricket coming up.
See the match scorecard here.
Hopefully we will see a few people at The Common on Saturday 12 July for our home match against Bury St Edmunds.