P&Js watch on as Tom and Jonny M share a century opening stand
P&Js 2019 season came to a close against old adversaries OA Cavaliers at Woolams with over 400 runs coming in the day. Sadly, it was not to be for the chasing Jesters as they came up 53 runs short after being up with the rate at the half way point.
It had shades of our 2018 game as Thorpe and Harris got Cavs off to another good start. It was good to see Nathan KM step up to open the P&Js bowling for the first time and he and JT kept the openers in some kind of check as the 50 approached.
JT manged to get Harris to sky one high towards point, only to see the chance go down. Poor Oli’s day got worse, when we realised that Cav’s square leg umpire had been videoing and had posted his drop in all its glory on Twitter. Don’t worry Oli it happens to us all (esp. PJs!).
Skipper Tom changed things up with the introduction of ‘spin-twins’ Dave L and Josh KM and it soon reaped rewards and P&Js got back Cavs under control.
Skipper Tom showed everyone else how to catch as he took Thorpe in the covers and then Josh got reward for a great spell as he bamboozled Harris with his leg spin.
Sadly Cavs seemed have a very strong batting line this year as Fowle took the Cavs score past the hundred, however the rate had slowed and PJs remained hopeful. With Dave and Josh bowling out, Skipper Tom turned to Oli and Aaron to change things up. It worked!
Bowling round the wicket Aaron yorked Foster in his very first over to great celebrations. However, looking back it was probably the worst thing we did all afternoon!
It bought in Thompson, who evidently hadn’t had a great year batting at Studham, so cue a great innings. Seeing him despatch his first ball from Aaron into the pavilion was a sign of things to come.
I don’t think Woolams has ever seen many more destructive innings as sixes and fours became commonplace, most hit with great force. He took a liking to poor old Aaron’s three overs and even Tom had the ignominy of being ‘ramped’ for four. It was dispiriting stuff as the 200 came up.
Tom got a well-deserved wicket by castling Fowle but the carnage came to an end with 238 at the 40 over mark.
On the plus side there was tea…always a plus when we play Cavs, although the Lemon Drizzle cake didn’t make an appearance this year! P&Js eating tea can always go two ways, we have been known to ‘over-tea’ in occasion but this time despite tucking in, it all turned out pretty well.
Tom and Jonny M strode to the middle and as usual had to cope with the fast but erratic Muir. With Tant not finding his radar either the openers tucked in with a pleasing array of cuts and drives plus a couple of almighty pulls from Tom who looked in top form.
The scoreboard rattled along at 6 an over and P&Js were up with the rate. Tom reached an excellent 50 and at 20 over drinks, P&Js were well placed at 109-0. The thought of chasing 239 became a possibility with big hitters Jack and Roddy still to come.
They couldn’t, could they? A lot would depend on the Cavs second string bowling. Sadly, it was decent and Tom holed out to a skier at cover (somehow the fielder held and juggled it even though by his own admission he never saw it coming out of the sun). It was a crucial wicket.
Jack came in and hit a couple of cracking shots, but he followed a wide one and toe-edged one high to point. Again, Cavs manage to catch it although non-too convincingly.
The ever-dependable Dave L came in and he and Jonny M got the scoreboard ticking again although at a slower pace as before as the bowling became tighter.
‘Spinner’ Gregory took the first of his five wickets as he got a good one through Dave’s defences and Foster from the other end sent down a couple of overs of ‘hand grenades’ that had Jonny M in two minds what to do with him because of the slowness!
Sadly, Roddy succumbed LBW to one of the ‘grenades’ as he looked to turn it to legside and Cavs started to take control.
The rate was now climbing to 9 an over as James KM came in to join ‘anchorman’ Jonny M, who completed a well-made 50 before he tried to get into the returning Muir and despite given himself room, lost his middle stump to a Yorker.
With the departure of Jonny M with the score on 168, the wheels rather came off a as James KM couldn’t find a partner to stay in with him, as Nathan, Josh, Aaron and Oli departed not having troubled the scorers.
It was left to Jonny T to bat out the last couple of balls to leave P&Js on a respectable 185-9, but slightly disappointed after being 133-1. Oh well!
So, the season ends with a defeat, but overall an encouraging season for P&Js. After struggling for numbers over the past couple of years, numbers and availability this year have been excellent and all the games played both competitive and enjoyable.
Special thanks to skipper Tom for all his efforts in getting teams out. The future’s bright, the futures P&Js pink, yellow and blue!