Long Itch Midweek XI do themselves proud in plate final
On a glorious afternoon in Barby, Long Itch lined up against Walcote in a hotly anticipated plate final for all. Captain McKenna won the toss and elected to have a bat on a pitch that looked like a road with a speedy outfield with Finn Peacockeand Sam Green-Armytage opening the batting.
Sam and Finn set about their work as they have in previous T20 Wednesdays by going after the bowling from the off accompanied by some quick running. After a slightly slower first few overs the pair accelerated in the 4th over as after being 15-0 from 3 overs they smashed the trash to get Long Itch to a rather healthy-looking 65-0 in the 8th over. Green-Armytagecalled his partner through for a second run which he misjudged ending up with Finn’s demise for a fantastic run-a-ball 22 – including 3 boundaries – which had helped Long Itch set a platform.
This brought the ever-reliable John Lidster (5) to the crease who helped make a 14 run partnership with Sam before smacking one that unfortunately went straight down mid-off’s throat to take Long Itch to 79-2 off 9.3 overs as drinks were taken. This is when the game turned…
In… and out went Lewis Dodds and Ben Pratt off Miles’s next 2 deliveries as he bowled the pair with a couple of great deliveries to grab himself a finals day hat-trick. The eventual man of the match winner finished with figures of 4-0-21-6 which in T20 cricket is quite something!
Number 6 Jake Butler was rather surprised to be at the crease this suddenly and was batting beautifully. Green-Armytagebrought up his fifty before Butler seemingly creamed one over cover’s head until he stuck his hands up and took a top qualitycatch leaving the Itch 5 down with Jake walking back to the hutch for 8 although he deserved more.
Ben Wilson was unfortunate to be bowled which brought in the swashbuckling Captain McKenna who was looking as though he was getting back into form with a few great shots before he was bowled for a well-needed 10 off 9 which had us 101-7 in the 14thover with Sam and Aaron Sutcliffe at the crease.
Some very tight bowling along with clever field setting from Walcote left Long Itch only taking 13 runs from the next 21 balls, although one of these was a superb lofted straight drive from Aaron over Kalym’s head who along with Miles was in the pick of the bowling (4-0-26-1).
The 18th over came along and Green-Armytage decided to tee off. Supported by Aaron (10), Freddie and at the end Dan McCarthy with their tireless running, he hit 30 off his final 14 balls with a 6 and a 4 to finish off the innings.
147-9 with Sam carrying his bat for 87 not out off 56 balls looked to have set up the game up for an exciting second half.
Jake and Freddie opened the bowling for the Itch as Helm and Dunkley came out to bat. The bowling pair formed a great partnership as Hart managed to grab a wicket from his first legitimate delivery bringing the danger-man Kalym to the crease. Previously in the season he had hit us all round the park in a humbling defeat against the same opposition. He didn’t look as potent on the day as Jake Butler was unplayable at times to finish on figures of 4-0-21-0 after his spell. Fred supported this with his opening spell ending on 4-0-25-1.
First change bowlers Aaron Sutcliffe and Dan McCarthy looked threatening throughout with McCarthy painfully unlucky not to get a wicket from his impressive 4-0-34-0. In his 3rd over Aaron got the hard-hitting Kalym and the steady opening bat Helm out. The former being caught by a brilliant diving catch on the boundary from Finn Peacocke.
After these 2 wickets Walcote needed 58 from the next 48 balls with 2 new batsmen at the crease, leaving the game evenly poised after it was slowly starting to slip out of Itchington’sgrasp. The bowling partnership ended after the 15th over with Walcote needing 28 from 24 with Aaron picking up figures of 4-0-35-2.
This led to a gripping final few overs as Green-Armytage found the energy from somewhere to go for 5 from his 1st over putting the ball into Walcote’s court, to which they responded resoundingly in the next over as they heaved 16 off it to leave them needing a mere 8 from the final 3 overs. Sam managed to extend the game another over but unfortunately Walcote took the win from the final ball of the 19th to take an extremely well-deserved plate win.
The day’s Long Itch side with 5 juniors against a men’s team, more than did themselves proud as everyone played to 100% for the whole game with the whole team’s fielding deserving a standout mention which kept us in the game right up until the end. The future looks bright for the club and as Long Itch sit 3rdin the midweek league we can still end the season strongly by pushing for promotion.
What a day out and what a game.
Sam Green Armytage 87* (56)
Finn Peacocke 22 (22)
Aaron’s innings stopping the collapse
Jake Butler (4-0-21-0) (deserved a wicket)
Aaron Sutcliffe (4-0-35-2)
Pete McKenna (0.1,0,4,0) lol, thanks for coming 😊