Derby Day Win For 2s
By Larry the Llama
Written by Dick Belcher
While the horses were having their “Classic” on Epsom Downs; the Llamas were running playing in the Surrey Championship 2nd Eleven Premier Division Stakes away at Spencer.
With Ali Raja, Sakes, Hutch & Jonny Flanders out to pasture not available, the runners and riders included a 2nd eleven debut for Fraser McGuiness, promoted after scoring a ton for the 3rd eleven last week, as well as first appearances of the season in the 2nd eleven for Ollie Simms & Wilbur Tiley and an appearance from thoroughbred Toby Briggs.
The race distance was 1 mile 2 furlongs. The match was 50 overs a side, being the last of the early season limited over matches, before we move into mid season timed matches.
With each way bets not accepted for winner takes all limited overs, and with no one admitting to any handicaps; the form guide showed Spencer as favourites having won their opening 3 matches, with the Llamas as outsiders. I did hear 10 to 1 bar mentioned but I’m not sure it had anything to do with the odds.
The going was good to firm and the toss was won by Galer. The Llamas had lost their last 2 games chasing targets and given the hot day Galer chose to bat and having put on their silks whites and paraded around the paddock outfield the players saddled padded up and made their way to the stalls wicket where they were under starters orders & “they’re off”.
The early running was made by the Spencer bowlers before Rory & Jonathan Smith both got underway with boundaries before Smudger (11) became the 1st wicket to fall when he was caught at short extra cover off the bowling of Nomi Bashir (31-1 in the 8th over).
Rory (10) soon followed when Nomi Bashir got one to came back to clip Rory’s off stump (33-2 in the 10th over). Henry (9) was then caught & bowled by spinner Jay Barclay (45-3 in the 16th over-drinks) and Galer was next to go caught for 5 off Jay Barclay (65-4 in the 22nd over) quickly followed by debutant Fraser who gloved one to slip, again off Jay Barclay (67-5 in the 23rd over). Toby Briggs joined Luke Haughton and the pair made steady progress with Luke settling in to provide the bulk of the Llama runs. The score had reached 111 (you know what’s coming ?) before, on 46 with a 50 in his sight, Luke smashed one straight at James Smith at short mid wicket off the bowling of Barbar Hussein (111-6 in the 37th over).
The tail would have to wag if the Llamas were to get to a defendable total on what was turning out to be a difficult wicket to score runs; although that shouldn’t take away from some good bowling from the Spencer attack. Toby and Ollie Thilo took us to 125 before Toby (19) hit off spinner James Smith to cow (125-7 in the 40th over). Then youngsters Ollie Thilo & Wilbur Tiley batted well before Ollie (23) played one from returning opening bowler Connor Greyling onto his stumps (150-8 in the 47th over). Wilbur (9) was the last wicket to fall, again to Connor Greyling (161-9 in the 49th over) before the innings closed at 166-9 with Mobeen (9 no) and Ollie Simms (4 no) at the crease.
At the start the Llamas would have said 166 wouldn’t be enough but having seen the surface the Llamas felt they had something (albeit 20 or 30 short) that could be defended.
6 runs off both the opening overs got Spencer off to a good start before Ollie Thilo made his customary early breakthrough bowling opener George Roberts (20-1 in the 5th over). Toby joined in with a wicket maiden getting Tom Oldershaw (11) caught by Henry in the slips (20-2 in the 6th over). Fraser then took a nick to take Jay Barclay (12) off the bowling of Ollie Simms (46-3 in the 13th over). Another Henry Tye and Toby Briggs combination (Toby the bowler by the way) brought the 4th wicket (46-4 in the 14th over). Toby who had already had an excellent spell, saved his best ball for last when he bowled Spencer captain Adam Caddy with the last ball of his 10 over spell to finish with figures of 3 for 30 (57-5 after 20 overs).
The Llamas continued to take wickets with a run-out getting injured keeper Godrich for 6 (71-6 in the 23rd over). Galer had Wilbur taking over from Toby but then decided to introduce Mobeen instead and it brought immediate success when Henry (again) took his 3rd slip catch to dismiss Nomi Bashir for 2 (71-7 in the 26th over). In his next over Mobeen gets Charlie Hiram for 11 with Rory taking the catch at short cover (81-8 in the 28th over). The Mobeen/Haughton combination then gets Babar Hussein when Luke takes a catch in the covers (83-9 in the 30th over).
The score had progressed from 71-5 to 83-9 from overs 21-30 and it looked like the Llamas had the game all but won but with a furlong 20 overs to go Cameron Ponsonby had other ideas and with fellow tail-ender South African Connor Greyling they proceeded to frustrate the Llamas and moved ever closer to their target. The whips were not used just words of persuasion from Galer and after the last pair had taken the score from 83-9 after 30 overs to 129-9 after 39 overs, Mobeen took his 4th wicket to finally get Cameron Ponsonby bowled for 37 to see the llamas home by (also) 37 runs.
There was no photo finish on this occasion, not even a short head; but a good day for the bookies with the Llamas overcoming the favourites to claim their place in the winners enclosure pavilion bar.
In the frame for Man of the Match were Luke (46) with the bat and Ollie Simms (10-3-18-1) ,Toby Briggs (10-1-30-3) & Mobeen (7.2-3-16-4) with the ball and Henry with 3 slip catches; but this week it has to be the all round team performance that wins the honours.