The weather was perfect as we rolled up to the Mortimer ground, sun was beating down it certainly was a bat first kind of day. A quick inspection of the pitch confirmed this as it looked like it was destined to crumbling throughout the day. W.Avrili strode out the middle with the oppo captain looking as stylish as ever, baggy green finishing off an expertly put together ensemble. The toss was expertly won by W.Avrili and immediately elected to bat, putting Mortimer into the field in the blistering heat (A decision that would prove crucial later on)
A.Cluett and N.Mehta strode out to the middle looking to build a solid base, and so they did. N.Mehta took on the openers scoring some quick fire boundaries cashing in on some loose deliveries. We cruised to 40-0 before Mehta ran out of patience and eventually being caught but a useful 25 nonetheless. Slight change to the batting order saw M.Brundish stride out to the middle, after a flurry of 4’s we looked set to post a big total Brundish cruising to 19 off just 20 balls! However, the pitch was starting to come into play and the Mortimer spinners were beginning to get a grip of the game and this saw the end of Brundish with another healthy 40 partnership. This only brought the in-form ONES skipper to the crease boasting a near 50 average at the start of the day he was looking to make amends from last weeks poor show. The spinners were still making an impact but Avrili and A.Cluett were doing their best to keep them at bay with some aggressive play, but one too many big shots from Cluett saw him pick out the man at long off for 33. This brought in J.O’Loughlin, the Crows were in the middle of a serious battle with he spinners and for Jules it was a terrible to come to the crease and was only able to make 3. Enter D.Cartledge, dropped down to 6 for tactical reasons he was looking to find some form that has eluded him of late. Spin had been our achilles heel so far, but not for Cartledge, he began strongly biffing the ball to all corners of the ground. Meanwhile W.Avrili was looking to accelerate after a scratchy start, boundaries began to come and W.Avrili passed 50 for the second time this season, with 10 overs to go it was time to let the arms loose, Avrili was eventually caught after a mistimed lofted drive for 62 thus ending a crucial 80 partnership for the 6th wicket. D.Cartledge would follow shortly after for a brilliant 46 off 30. M.Vogel and J.Cluett were now ready to finish off the innings, we were looking at around 190 to 200 which we knew was a little short. However little did we know that M.Vogel had be itching to tee off, boundary after boundary followed and we finished the innings with 231 after M.Vogel smashed 20 off just 11!
It was time for the bowlers to take centre stage, we knew 231 was good but not great for the pitch, 250 would have been a more desirable target. Was W.Avrili worried? No. The Crows started with the tried and tested opening bowling partnership of J.Cluett and S.Chandran, looking to keep the run rate high for the first 8 overs. This was dutifully done, with the runs kept to a minimum, J.Cluett with figures of 4 overs for just 15 runs. C.Emes, a ONES regular these days came into the attack with J.O’Loughlin operating at the other end. After a scary moment where J.Cluett tried to stop a boundary down at fine leg saw him crash into the crowd the first wicket came. The opening bat flirted at one off C.Emes’ bowling taken expertly at 3rd slip by the injured J.Cluett. A steady partnership for Mortimer followed, only to be broken by J.O’Loughlin trapping the number 3 LBW. This would start a steady flow of wickets for the Crows and we quickly had Mortimer 130-4 at drinks. O’Loughlin and A.Cluett were starting to take the game away from Mortimer and fantastic spell of bowling form the pair operating from opposite ends really began to take it’s toll.
Although wickets were falling the Mortimer captain was sticking around and starting to cause the Crows a headache. W.Avrili was thinking how to get the man out, he needn’t of looked further than the Earl of Crowthorne, the King of Medium pace Mr R.Godbole, back from injury, he was raring to go. At 203-6 Mortimer only needed 28 runs to win, the Godbole took matters into his own hands and expertly cleaned bowled the captain, the game looked like it was beginning to sway the Crows way. S.Chandran was picking up wickets at the other end but runs were still be leaked, but Godbole was there till the end and managed take the last wicket with Mortimer stranded on 221 giving the crows a 10 run victory.
A hard fought win for the Crows, an expert batting, bowling and fielding display did it for the ONES, M.Vogel and D.Cartledge finding some crucial runs towards the end of our innings R.Godbole and S.Chandran keeping it tight throughout the innings and a MoM bowling spell from J.O’Loughlin was enough to give the Crows a crucial win against a team that was threatening to move away from us in the League.
Next week we return home still seeking our first win of the season at St Sebs. We go against a semi bottom feeder in Stratfield Turgis but this means nothing in this league.
Well done to all involved on Saturday and thanks to A.Long for your surprise visit.