1s Edge Nail-Biter
By James Heavey
Henry Jonscher 47*, Shaun Gomes 41, Charlie Scutt 28, Ed Kiddle VC
The 1s travelled to fellow strugglers Berkhamsted last Saturday looking win a crunch game in the bottom half of the table.
Losing the toss and being asked to field on a sultry afternoon, the 1s looked to for another one of their good bowling performances to set up a chase later in the game.
Busby and Gomes kept it tight, drawing a number of play & misses before Namay and Holland were introduced to continue the good work. Holland (0-33) continued the good work but was the unluckier of the bowlers as he found the edge of the bat several times only for the ball to evade the outstretched hands of slip and gully. Namay (2-44) on the otherhand profited from the pressure applied by the other bowlers, getting the breakthrough as he removed both openers.
Wickets did not come easy but the 1s bolwing attack kepy perservering and gave nothing away. Kazi was introduced to the attack and removed Berko's number 4 with his first ball, his ten overs returned figures of 3-44. Busby and Gomes returned to finish their allocation excellently with some expert death bowling, finishing with 1-25 and 2-32 respectively.
Over to the batsman, who it's fair to say have found it difficult this year. Both Jimmy & Vish were removed early, knicking off to each of the openers and caught the Berko keeper, who stood up for the full 50 overs #ToughWork. It would have been easy for the 1s to panic, but Shaun Gomes (41) returned to form and scored a brisk pace, including four huge sixes to move the score on to 84-2. Unfortunately, the team suffered a few setbacks as Shaun, Kazi and Amit fell in quick succession. This brought Henry and Namay to the crease to set about a rebuilding job, the pair added 19 before Namay was caught brilliantly at short fine-leg. This left the 1s 108-6 needing 79 runs off 22 overs with 4 wickets in hand. Not an impossible task, but one that would require some disciplined batting and some luck along the way. Scutt (26) joined Henry at the crease and they set about setting a base to take the innings deep. The pair battled early on as Berko turned the screws not allowing any loose runs. The game changed just into the last 10 overs, with the 1s needing a run-a-ball, Henry was dropped in the covers and this moment changed the momentum of the game, both batsmen began to pierce the gaps and the runs began to flow. With just 9 runs needed to win off 9 balls, the game took another turn as Scutt fell with the partnership ended on 70. Busby joined Henry and they took just 1 run from the next 3 balls, so the 1s needed 8 to win off the last over.
The first ball was a leg-bye which brought Henry on strike, the second ball was manouvered for 2 leaving 5 needed off 4. This was the moment, Henry hit a lofted on-drive towards the watching croud and everyone collectively held their breath as the Berko long-on circled underneath the ball... it burst through his hands and dropped just inside the boundary before going over for 4 runs. One run was now needed from the remaining 3 balls, the next was a dot ball but with the field closing in, Joncs jabbed one into the leg-side and before he got halfway down, Busby had completed his run wih a dive to send the 1s to their second and much needed win of the season. Henry with marvelous innings finished 47 not out.