Tommy Bates does it again with 73 but Abinger get the last laugh
By Mark Waine
On yet another sunny day the VI-Kings went on a raid to Abinger Hammer.
Stand in skipper Mark 'Snapper' Waine won the toss and elected to bat, feeling his team had some real batting depth. Opening with Waine was VI-King Alumni Alex Stewart who quickly showed his quality with some steady runs. Waine looked comfortable and managed a few off the bat but in the 6th over middled what was supposed to be a defensive shot lifting it comfortably back to the bowler. James 'Barnacle' Wilson came to the crease and protected his wicket steadfastly, clearly dreaming of lasting to day five at the MCG.
While Wilson worked mainly on his dots, Stewart kept adding to the total, being bowled eventually for 39 and making way for our star player- 13 year old Tommy Bates- who continued Stewart's work and then some. But by second drinks, the players in the shed were grumbling as it was apparent the run rate was insufficient. Word was sent to the square to 'get going' and lo and behold two balls later Wilson was [going going] gone LBW and sheepishly made his way back.
With Wilson out, chris dahl and Kyle Haughton gallantly slipped down the order to allow Chris Bates (for it was he) to pad up early and bat with his son. The pair scored quickly making a partnership of 70 until dad Chris tried to emulate his son once too often and was stumped on 43 trying to put the ball in the stream. chris dahl was next in. And quickly out - swinging wildly at one too far outside off; it took a thin top edge and should have gone for 4 but was amazingly held at shoulder height deep in the slips. Dahl conjured up some agricultural language to match his shot, marched off and tried to bury his bat behind the boundary rope. Kyle Haughton went to the crease and efficiently added 20 or so and along with Tommy's 73 (his maiden half century at senior level) got the score up to 231 but would it be enough?
The chase was on, Tommy Bates and Charlie 'CC' Chovil worked hard but couldn't break their openers. First change after 10 overs saw spinners Mahesh 'Suranjan' Yapahugedara and Kyle 'K-rage' Haughton come into the attack but they fared no better than the seamers as Abinger's runs accumulated. Second change brought on Dahl and JJ Stewart; Dahl looked the most dangerous but it was JJ with, of all things a full toss, that finally brought the first wicket followed by Dahl deservedly taking two wickets from the South end. JJ got his second but it was at a heavy cost so eventually CC was brought back on. Meanwhile, Dahl was starting to suffer serious runs and he finally boiled over when he saw one fired back over his head into the next field for six prompting him to again slip into a rather colloquial response. At the other end Chovil picked up a twinge so Tommy was brought back and took two wickets but it wasn't enough and Abinger won by 4 wickets with several overs to spare.
The raid had failed but it was concluded to have been an enjoyable tight game.
Ultra posse nemo obligatur"