Why we all play cricket.
Following four consecutive abandoned games due to excessive rain TABS 1st team finally got a clear perfect summer day to host Sessay. With everyone keen to get the season going the warm up was completed with enthusiasm by the squad. The head Groundsman Andy Jones had done a sterling job preparing a fair wicket with the outfield looking in tremendous shape, all was set for what was to be a hum dinger of a game.
Sessay won the toss and elected to bowl first. Opening with a combination of experience and youth Sessay started well soon taking two early wickets, with George Slack and Niti Kasaana both falling LBW.
Enter the long term TABS pairing of Ollie Riley and Captain George Gibson who despite both finding the fielders on occasions pushed the score along before Riley fell just before drinks for a solid 33. Eshaan also pushed the score along prior to a top edge which saw him back to the bench. Eddie Mac played another cameo innings falling with score on 141, before Gibson despite being at his absolute best finally went for a solid 65, with further cameos from Sam Smith, Ed Westmoreland and Gibson senior taking us to a slightly below par 211.
After the break and a pep talk from the skipper the second half began. The openers began slowly with tight lines bowled by both Niti and Ollie. However, the score moved past 50 prior to the first wicket falling to Niti with the second shortly afterwards to Ollie Walsh. There then followed the typical ebb and flow of a competitive 50 over match before Ollie claimed his second wicket. 92/3 off 24 was an even balance, who would ultimately triumph?
A terrific partnership then ensued despite a tough chance going down it looked plain sailing for the visitors at 174/3. Toby Wells replaced Eshaan who had a rare off day with the ball, and what a spell followed as the newly married part time goalkeeper got the vital wicket that of Sam Able very well caught at mid on by Eddie Mcnicholas. The very next over Ollie grabbed yet another wicket and suddenly with the score 174/5 the hosts had a sniff of a win. TABS veteran Dale Gibson kept the revs up in the field with encouragement throughout alongside James Locke (a one man Barmy Army) for the home side on the boundary.
Despite a mini revival by Sessay at 196/6 with thoughts of ordering their beer, within 4 overs it all changed. The revs were up with the home side bowling wicket to wicket and tight fielding the pressure was on the visitors. The small crowd of mainly parents, family and locals had a fabulous final 15 minutes of entertainment to round off a great game.
Niti swapped ends and grabbed two more wickets as did Toby Wells, with captain George Gibson taking three catches in the same period. TABS winning by four runs in a pulsating game of cricket.
Great team effort played in the right spirit, against an evenly matched side who made a significant contribution to the day. Thanks to the Wells family for scoring, Matt Harris for umpiring and neutral umpire Andy McEvoy.
With the second team winning at Westow the beer and stories flowed as the players celebrated long into the night.