Arriving at Sheffield Park, the Buccs were intrigued to see the light mower hard at work removing two inches of very green grass from the playing surface. Sadly, the outfield mower had not wintered as well and the lush greensward swayed gently in the breeze. Thus, the skipper concluded that boundaries were going to be hard to come by. Having won the toss, it was an easy decision to field (even though this meant that the grass would be even longer when we batted).
Rydon and Moules opened effectively and both found lateral movement off the pitch. Moules beat the bat regularly but failed to get a nick. Rydon, belying his years and showing a spring in his heels – possibly the result of a sharp new pair of boots – quickly opened his account with a ball that hit pad then bat before dribbling feebly onto the stumps. His next wicket had the purists purring as a good length ball cut in off the seam and hit the top of middle and off (of the pimped up stumps), splitting the bails.
Hobson and Bjorn were on next. Hobbo took some early stick from tank commander, Ben Langman, who launched a couple of howitzers into the woods (where he considered a machine gun nest was likely). But Hobbo soon found his nagging length and got great “hang time”. Hobbo was back. Two wickets swiftly followed, both caught, as the batsmen failed to cope. Bjorn meanwhile got his in-duckers working beautifully and quickly got the important wicket of Langman for 37 as well as figures of .
With the middle order exposed it was time to go for the jugular so on came Woolfries and Berry. Woolfries’ pace (or lack of it), completely bamboozled the Dills. Figures of 3-14 were well deserved, his third wicket earned with a sharp catch at silly mid off after the youngest Dill smashed his very first ball at Hobson who showed no mercy pouching it with glee. Berry meanwhile did a rather better impression of Alan Mullaly than Mullaly ever did, bowling accurate left arm medium pace over the wicket. Kandampully, with an eye for the dramatic, fell gracefully onto a catch at mid on to give Berry his first wicket. A clean bowled then wrapped up the tail.
Despite a modest target of 116 to win, the Buccs were careful to avoid complacency. However, openers Kandampully and Greenish (on loan from the Dills) were clearly in no mood to hang around. Greenish smashed three fours, before perishing to a reverse sweep off the Dills’ opening quick bowler. Kandampully looked comfortable until he smoked an on drive at grass height level (admittedly, now quite high) which the bowler somehow managed to snaffle.
Stringer duly anchored the innings from this point and for the most part avoided succumbing to the red mist despite the advent of some tempting slow stuff.
His batting grew in fluency as decent running between the wickets kept the run rate up at four an over.
He formed a useful partnersip with skipper Leefe and their running between the wickets belied their now middle age.
With Leefe falling to the Dills’ youngest bowler, an impatient Berry stepped in and duly crashed a couple of fours. A good win with all Buccaneers contributing.
Innings of Armadillos
Q Onkarknot b R Rydon 11
Y Colville b R Rydon 8
H Ostler ct S Leefe b P Hobson 16
B Langman b F Bjorn 37
J Colville b S Woolfries 17
R Taylor ct and. P Hobson 1
A Skrypel ct F Bjorn b S Woolfries 0
J Willaly ct V Kandampully b A Berry 3
T Bourne not out 6
L Bebb ct P Hobson b S Woolfries 0
T Bebb b A Berry
Total 116 all out
R Rydon 9-3-20-2
S Moules 8-1-25-0
P Hobson 8-2-28-2
F Bjorn 8-2-10-1
S Woolfries 6-2-14-3
A Berry 5.4-3-5-2
Innings of Buccaneers
V Kandampully ct and b Willaly 3
F Greenish ct Colville b Willaly 20
J Stringer not out 30
S Leefe lbw b L Bebb 31
A Berry not out 13
J Willaly 4-0-26-2
R Taylor 5-2-11-0
O Onkarknot 4.4-1-11-0
B Langman 5-0-11-0
T Bebb 3-1-18-0
A Skrypel 3-0-18-0
L Bebb 3-0-13-1