Dahl takes 5-8 as VI-Kings slay Tonbridge
By Chris Hudson
After a few seasons of the hike to West Kent to play Tonbridge, the VI-Kings were looking forward to finally playing them at home and putting behind us the epically disappointing task of trying to bowl out their obstinate tail in a tedious timed game (which is the norm at their gaff). The weather was good, the selection was good and thus the omens were good. That was, until some cricketing god somewhere decided that things were going too well. In the end the VI-Kings had to beg to play in Tonbridge as their ground was usurped by a fixture stuff up that saw the 5s homeless and needing an overdue win. Mynthurst was duly sacrificed (at least for a good outcome) and the 6s went on the road.
Sure enough, Tonbridge won the toss and (you guessed it) put the VI-Kings in with two and half hours to bat out before the interval. ‘Barnacle’ Wilson and Hudson opened up and started a pattern of 5 dots, boundary, 5 dots, boundary. While the rate was ok it wasn’t spectacular and arguably there were a lot more runs to be had and several others left in the shed to help out.
The skipper did his part by losing his wicket to a misjudged faster ball for 10. This brought the in-form Sam Parker to the crease who started well but never looked comfortable. He went for 22 playing over top of a slower one (slow motion comes to mind in fact). Kyle Haughton was in next and slapped a few loose ones before sky-ing one back to the bowler for 35. He was vociferous in his complaint about the lack of called no-ball (for height) but seemingly failed to notice he was 15 feet down the track when he hit it. Bloody amateur umpires! chris dahl had got the memo about urgency and tried to force a few shots over the ring but got snagged in the process for not many. Young Seth McDowall arrived in the middle and started hitting it much harder than the oppo were expecting (don’t let the size fool ya). When he tried to manufacture a pull shot it was caught off his glove but the strong wind made it virtually impossible for the umpire to hear it. Luckily he is a mature fellow for his age and he chose to walk which saved a potential diplomatic incident. Yapahugedaralast weekend’s hero, came in and setup for another big innings but ran short of time. Supathi Panchal, back from a long recovery from injury, had one ball to hit at and made the most of it for a boundary. Meanwhile, Wilson had been plugging away at the other end and nearly completed yet another entire innings but was ultimately bowled by a yorker for 60. He had achieved his maiden half century but was deprived of his rightful celebration by a lack of indication from the sideline. To be fair, the scorer had a full time job just maintaining his book in the blustery conditions and was somewhat distracted. Well done James- you can raise your bat at the start of the next match instead. A mention must go to Richard Boon and Mark Waine who were not able to either bowl or bat in this match and the Captain will forced to don his hair shirt for the rest of the week accordingly. After 41 overs Reigate was 169-6 and the news was that this might be above par even if it didn’t feel like it.
Tonbridge were not without ambition for once and made a positive start with the bat. Unfortunately for them Supathi Panchal was in a sinister mood with the ball and was achieving some ridiculous turn. Before long he had 3 wickets and the bragging rights over the opposition top order. At the other end McDowall provided some very tidy line and length that no doubt contributed to his partner’s success. Yapahugedara (Suranjan) dropped an incredibly stiff chance at midwicket only to have a second go at the same batsmen (with more success) a few overs later. Great Karma. Kyle ‘K-rage’ Haughton was industrious in his few overs but struggled to find the right line. The danger man, from Tonbridge’s perspective, was Chris ‘father of’ Dahl. His left arm over-the-wicket darts proved virtually unreadable by the oppo and each time the VI-King’s skipper considered a further bowling change Dahly seemed to come up with another scalp. As a result he bowled eight straight and finished with what must surely be his career best figures of 5-8. Honourable mention to Geoff ‘Caveman’ Chay behind the sticks who grabbed a terrific edge virtually inches from the bat. The Tonbridge batsmen had been decimated and it only took a late wicket (and then a run out) from McDowall to wind things up. Victory by 45 runs defending a lowish score. The captain was very happy indeed. The third straight win for the VI-Kings this season and each one seems to taste better than the last.
Men of the match were chris dahl (5-8) and James Wilson (60). Joint honours chaps.
Ultra posse nemo obligatur