Ansty Match Report 24.07.11
Having convincingly thumped WG Gracefully in a midweek match, the Mighty Greys continued a fine run of convincing victories on a sunny day in Ansty. With Brasher missing, the fearsome opening pair of Biff Line and Derek Covill found themselves clanking down the metal pavilion steps and, pausing only to remember the sight of a prone and helpless Partridge trapped by all four limbs in the Ansty nets, strode purposefully on to face the Ansty opening attack.
Covill immediately announced himself with a ground-singeing drive up the hill to mid-off, followed soon after by a lightning fast pull through square leg. It took a few more square cuts through point for Ansty to realise what they were dealing with and eventually more and more fielders were pushed back to the boundary. This is the challenge Covill enjoys most. Choosing two or three gaps to aim for, he played a series of premeditated shots, piercing the boundary in all directions, although he was badly dropped at midwicket on 59.
At the other end Line initially struggled and was dropped a few times early on before gaining confidence in the pitch and launching into a few meaty shots aimed towards the Tim Greaves memorial sightscreen. Boundary followed boundary and Ansty’s heads dropped and their shoulders sagged lower and lower.
As the score reached 159 another Greys record was shattered as Line and Brasher’s first wicket partnership against Urbans was surpassed. Runs continued to flow, ooze and rain until, on 195, Line ran for a single that Covill didn’t believe was there and was run out by 22 yards at the non-striker’s end for 62. That’s all I’m saying about it, except to point out that this pair of batsmen now hold the highest partnerships for the first and second wicket, the second of which is also the highest for any wicket (195 plus 238 – 433 for 2 ain’t bad!), so let’s celebrate all the things that these two have got right, and forget the things that go wrong.
It was time to bring on the Wall, who delivered a mixture of careful forward defensives and well-placed boundaries, and the field temporarily resembled a druid’s barn dance, in for the Wall and out for ASD. It didn’t stop Delboy delivering his 15th century for the Greys, a spectacular mix of timing, placement and power.
Covill finally fell for a 141 when he tried to hoick a straight one out of the ground and missed. With the fall of his wicket – very much Sehwag to Burgess’s Tendulkar – , the packed and expectant ground finally got what they had queued overnight for, and were immediately rewarded with a trademark tickle to the fine leg boundary from the veteran Greysman. The Greys innings finally closed on 269 from their 40 overs.
After tea –which was adequate, if unadventurous – the atmosphere around the ground changed completely. The skies blackened, the crows shrieked as they circled the pinetops and a chill north wind started to sweep across the ground as Hoare marked out his run up from the Sepulchre end. Slowly but surely, the Mighty Greys administered the kiss of death to the Ansty top order, with Partridge netting a couple, before the Greys’ spin twins strangled the life out of the opposition. Even Dave McHugh got to show us what a first class tosser he really is, killing off three (one well caught by the Scum at forward mid on), and Ibu’s flight and guile taking out another three. Sewell put the final nail in the coffin and Ansty were dead and buried on 90.