Thatcham Town Cricket Club Thatcham 2XI- Saturday v Boyne Hill 3 on Sat 18 May 2019 at 1.00pm
Thatcham Town Cricket Club Won by 3 wickets

Match report Boyne Hill 3rd XI : 252 for 8 (Miller 151*)

Thatcham 2nd XI : 253 for 7 (Lewis 67, Krishnan 50)

Thatcham won by 3 wkts

As tea time loomed, new skipper Nathan Redmond must have wondered why on a wet night in November last year he'd raised his hand at the TTCC AGM and volunteered to be 2nd XI Captain for the forthcoming season. However 3 hours later a push to cover signalled the end to an epic game of cricket and the first realisation by Redmond that his decision late last year may not have been such a regrettable faux pas.

Preparation for the fixture was not ideal with the late withdrawal of a key player as a result of a parental enforced grounding for a GSCE related misdemeanour. Newly retired Tim Mahoney (1 for 32) was crowbarred in and along with debutant Swapnil Bagwe (2 for 39) provided Thatcham with an excellent start as the Boyne Hill openers Greene (8) and Tirana (2) struggled with the accuracy of Mahoney and the pace of Bagwe.

It wasn't long before both openers were back in the pavilion and things should have got even brighter as Miller miss timed a short delivery from Bagwe, directing the ball straight to square leg who unfortunately spilled it. The Boyne Hill batsmen never looked back as he became the backbone of the Boyne Hill Innings.

Thatcham's bowlers struggled to contain Miller as he took full advantage of a short boundary which seemed almost taylor made for his style, as the left hander punished anything on middle and leg stump. The home side continued to take wickets with Wylie (2 for 37), Taylor (1 for 35), Reddy (1 for 37) all pitching in but at a cost of 7 runs per over as Miller remained resolute, passing the 100 mark on his way to a final well deserved 151 not out.

Things could have been worst for the home side as Reddy, with 4 balls left of his penultimate over broke down, unable to finish and having to leave the field. With Miller in full flow, the home side down to 10 men and a score of 260+ looking likely Redmond gave Bird, last weeks unlikely wicket taker, the unenviable task of completing Reddy's spell, which would start off with a free hit.

Bird's near serene demeanour didn't reflect the true pressure of the situation as he became one with the 5 3/4 ounces of cork, string and leather in his hand, sending 10 sublime deliveries down the 22 yards of lovingly prepared wicket allowing the visitors to add only 4 runs to the total. Boyne Hill finally ending their innings on 252 for 8 from their 45 overs with Redmond and his players trudging off the field pondering the what if!

As another fantastic tea was taken Thatcham's skipper Redmond, not unlike lieutenant Gonville Bromhead at Rorke's Drift, set about devising plans to prevent the statistically inevitable defeat, commencing with the manning of the number 1 and 2 spots by the Lewis boys, father and son, Simon and Rhys.

Both Lewis's lifted the home side moral with a near perfect start, 14 year old Rhys's momentary loss of concentration when on 28 the only mistake in a partnership of 74. Lynch joined Lewis senior and continued to maintain a run rate that, although not spectacular, would keep the home side in good stead later on provided wickets were kept in hand.

As Lynch fell for 19, Captain Redmond's decision to change the batting order, would unbeknown to him bear fruit. With Bird injured from his mentally and physically demanding bowling spell, Redmond promoted number 6 batsman Eddie Wylie to 4 and Wylie (35) did not disappoint.

Lewis with Wylie in support passed his 50, and looked in imperious form as he struck anything loose to the boundary for 4. However, as with his son earlier in the innings, his only mistake cost him his wicket as he tried to take advantage of Boyne Hills slowing of pace by attempting to slog sweep Abraham over the short leg side, unfortunetly missing the ball and being bowled for a fine 67.

Satheesh Krishnan joined Wylie at the crease and although the pair took Thatcham pass the 200 mark Boyne Hill, based on the balance of probability, were still favourites, as the home side slowly began to fall behind as the run rate rose to just over 9 an over.

As Thatcham looked to deal with the deficit, Boyne Hill skipper Abraham removed Wylie (35) and then his counterpart, skipper Redmond in consecutive balls. Bird came to the crease and survived the hat-trick ball, but was soon heading back to the pavilion as he was run out looking for the elusive runs.

Krishnan had, during this problematic period for the home side, continued to maintain his cool and when finally joined by Reddy, who had recovered from his earlier shoulder injury, set about chasing down the remaining 42 runs.

With no more points available unless they won, it was win or bust for the home side and Reddy started to strike the ball with venom and renewed purpose. Boyne Hill's spinners ended their spell with Abraham finishing 4 for 75, the best return. When Tiwana (2 for 46) returned to the frame it did not take him long to remove Krishnan for a well worked 50, Thatcham still needing 28 from the final 3 overs.

The final over loomed with both sides in with a shout, Thatcham requiring 7 runs to win. Tiwna had the ball in hand and the responsibility of ensuring the home side would not prevail. After 5 balls, including a couple of tired looking swings and misses from Reddy, Tiwana had held his nerve, leaving Thatcham requiring 3 runs off the last ball for victory. But as the Archbishop of Boston, Richard Cushing once said "Always plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark." Tiwana's planning for the finally delivery was not executed duly as he unleashed an above waist beamer, which resulted in 2 runs and a free hit.

With the 2017 'Bishop v Aldershot' incident still fresh in the memory's of many Thatcham players and supporters not a word was spoken or a breath taken as Bagwe took strike. As assured as the UK's last place in the Eurovision, or Rhys Williams ability to win 'Dick of the day' Bagwe calmly placing his left foot forward, pushed the ball no further than 20 feet in front of himself and set-off for the winning run.

What a day, what a victory, up the trouts.

Boyne Hill 3 Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
4nb 18w 5b 7lb 
for 8 wickets
252 (45.0 overs)
J Greene b  Mahoney 8
R Tiwana lbw  Bagwe 2
G Mlller Not Out  151
M Carter ct  Taylor 13
A Vasa b  Reddy 23
C Goode b  Bagwe 4
S Hayes ct  Wylie 13
J Fourie Run out  1
I Greene b  Wylie 2
S Abraham Not Out  1
D Goodman  

Thatcham Town Cricket Club Thatcham 2XI- Saturday Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Swapnil Bagwe10.0339219.503.90
Tim Mahoney10.0332132.003.20
Matt Taylor5.0035135.007.00
Nathan Redmond8.005900.007.38
Venkat Reddy6.2037137.005.84
Eddie Wylie4.0037218.509.25
Stephen Bird1.40400.002.40

Thatcham Town Cricket Club Thatcham 2XI- Saturday Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
3nb 7w 8b 6lb 
for 7 wickets

(45.0 overs)
Rhys Lewis b  Tiwana 28 3 1
Simon Lewis b  Abraham 67 11 2
Kieran Lynch ct  Abraham 19 3
Eddie Wylie b  Abraham 35 4
Satheesh Krishnan b  Tiwana 50 3 2
Nathan Redmond b  Abraham 0
Stephen Bird Run out  3
Venkat Reddy Not Out  24 3
Swapnil Bagwe Not Out  2
Matt Taylor  
Tim Mahoney  

Boyne Hill 3 Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
M Carter6.012200.003.67
A Vasa5.012800.005.60
R Tiwana9.0046223.005.11
J Greene5.012600.005.20
D Goodman10.014300.004.30
S Abraham10.0075418.757.50