Epic Jambo scripts incredible scenes at Sandford
Sandford won the toss, and predictably chose to bat first on a really hot June afternoon. The conditions looked pristine and the Cees were well aware of the hard work that awaited them. Skipper MJ and Jambo found some early assistance and troubled the Sandford batters in the early exchanges. However, things quickly settled down and the Sandford skipper – Steven Dobson and Thomas Hill punished anything remotely loose. The pitch played true and the outfield lightning fast meant skipper MJ and the Cees had more than a little cause for concern. The introduction of spin with Bim introduced a sense of calm to proceedings, but wickets were in short supply.
At the first drinks break, Sandford were 91 for none off 17 overs. Even the introduction of the leading bowler in the league in Jake Godders, or the extra pace of Matt D didn’t stem the flow of runs. MJ was running out of options, and turned to himself for a second spell. He found some luck straight away, with MD taking a good catch on the long on boundary. A few overs later, Bim got Tom Hill to do the same and hole out at Long on to Jambo. Sandford were 157 for 2 off 34 and still in a great position to reach a commanding 270+ total. But the Cees were not done fighting and really dug deep to keep prizing out Sandford wickets. Matt D got 2 quick wickets in his 2nd spell to inject some hope to the away side.
MJ returned for a 3rd and final spell. He picked up another wicket with the first ball of his new spell, and when Bim cleaned up the big hitting Imran Younis, the Cees knew they were right back in the game. Between MJ and Jambo they closed out the Sandford innings in a hurry. Despite some resistance from the last pair, Sandford were bowled out for 230 in the 53rd over. MJ ended up with wonderful figures of 5 for 41.
Sandford as expected, came out all guns blazing with the ball. Armed with the quickest bowler in the league, and a sudden change in overhead conditions, they set about trying to make it hard work for the CCC batters. Beano was the first to depart, caught at covers for 1. David was looking promising with a couple of early boundaries, but was cleaned up by the experienced Mark Robey. Martin ‘Bean’ David, playing only his 2nd 1st team game for CCC, was calm and re-assuring. Between him and Jambo, they set about building a partnership to get the Cees back into the game. CCC reached 53 for 2 off 17 overs, and 100 for 2 off 30.
The 231 winning target seemed a long way away with only 17 overs remaining. But runs started to flow quicker and you could sense the urgency of the Cees batters. Martin David was out for an invaluable 53 – his maiden Cees 50. CCC were 120 for 3 off 35 when Big Matt Lyver joined his good mate and kept the momentum flowing. At the 40 over mark, CCC were 157 for 3. The immediate target seemed to be the 205 for a winning draw. Young J Bush was prowling the edge of the boundary line, and no one dared telling him that a draw was fine. Jambo was striking the ball well and was well past his 50 by now. But he had bigger fish to fry.
A few good overs meant that CCC were 183 for 3 at 44 overs. 3 overs to go, the smart money was on the winning draw number of 205. Jambo had other ideas in the next over as he plundered 15 runs off it. 198 for 3 with 2 overs to go. Winning draw almost at hand. Big Matt hit the first ball of over number 46 for a boundary, but was run out off the next.
Bushy walked out like a man on a mission. He went 4,4 and a huge 6 off his first 3 balls against one of the best death bowlers in the league in Younis. A hard run 3 off the last ball meant his strike rate ‘dropped’ to an insignificant 425! An incredible 21 runs off the penultimate over got the Cees dreaming.
12 off 6 to get, with Bushy on strike and Jambo on a monumental 91 not out at the other end. A dot ball first up! 12 off 5. A scampered single off the next left Jambo on strike with 11 off 4 to get. Next went down the ground, and 2 runs ensued. 9 off 3 needed. Jambo smacked the next ball for 4 to move to 99! The Cees on the sidelines were getting slightly excited – (look up delirium!). 5 off 2 needed. The next ball was edged behind the keeper to bring the scores to a tie. Jambo had reached his 100, but didn’t even bother looking at his mates who were shouting their throats hoarse. The rapid Tom Goffe charged in for the last ball of the epic encounter. Cees needed 1 to win. It was predictably short, and Jambo got a good connection to it. The whole ground thought that was the win. Imran Younis was hovering around short 3rd man. He’s not the tallest guy, and this should clear him comfortably. But no, he stuck a left mitt out, and the ball sticks for a great catch! A barely believable tied draw!
An incredible 103 from Jambo took the Cees to an inch from a barely believable win. However, the Cees walked away with a well-deserved haul of 20 points and touching distance from being top of the league. Tune in next time!