Beaven's Magnificent 7by Vince Reddick
Saturday saw the 3rd's in search of their fourth straight win in a row, and as we arrived at a sun drenched Bicton all looked set fair for a good afternoon's cricket. The wicket looked good, rock hard but a bit greener than usual after the recent rain. Skipper Reddick fancied batting first, but would need to break is coin toss hoodoo to guarantee that! Seaton skip Pete Anderson called right and Reddick had lost another one! No biggie though, as Seaton asked us to bat.
For the second week running our batting line up looked strong, and for the second week running we lost early wickets. 11 for 2 was about 100 runs light of where the skipper wanted to be at 2 down, but opener Lucian Cawthron was still there and he had found a willing parntner in John (Fleetwood Lad) Hay who started to show what he could do with a bat. The pair batted well and Hay made 35 including 8 four's before being caught with the score on 48. So, once again, the redoubtable Naj Choudhary strode out with the game delicately balanced. For the second week running Naj set about re-building our innings, working well with Lucian, as the pair added 41 before Lucian was bowled for 35. There was enough in the pitch for the odd ball to nibble about, and a stiff crosswind made the ball 'wobble' a bit, but Naj was up to the task as he was joined by Theo Thomson for what was to be our best partnership. The pair batted sensibly, taking no risks, and adding 83 before Theo went for a solid 27. The mighty Naj was starting to run out of partners. Naj stepped on the gas, and as four of us came and went cheaply, it was left to Yodhan Sachdev to support Naj for the last wicket. Yodhan batted with purpose and produced some classy strokes on his way to a brisk 20, before being the last wicket to fall with the score on 230. This left Naj on 83 not out after his superb and chanceless innings. Once again, he had put us on track to chace 20 points, now it was the bowlers turn.
Taking 10 wickets was not as straight forward as it might have been. Having lost Brian Bosomworth in the morning to a bout of food poisening, and Jim Wenley and Paul Jordan still out injured, seam bowling options were limited. Reddick gave the ball to the ever enthusiastic, ever energetic, Ant Beaven and he struck in his second over. With Yodhan bowling leggies at the other end, we kept things tight at the beginning. Indeed, Beaven was inspired as he ran through their top 3 with 27 on the board. Yodhan was getting a bit too much out of the pitch as the Seaton batsmen couldn't touch him. It wasn't until Toby Tucker arrived at the crease that skipper Reddick had much to worry about. He immediately decided that the best form of defence was attack, and bludgeoned his way to a rapid 57, including 11 fours and 1 six. With the fielders spread far and wide, Reddick hoped it would only be a matter of time before he 'holed out'. He obliged in the 14th over, having scored 57 of the 65 runs on the board. Taking Ant on once too often, he was caught on the boundary at long off by Vince (Skip / Jake's Dad) Reddick, much to the delight of Beaven. Normal service resumed for a while as Ant ran through 3 more wickets to finish with figures of 7 for 66 from his 14 over stint. What a great return from a man who hadn't bowled for a few weeks due to back pain. At the end of Ant's spell Seaton were 107 for 8 and everyone thought the end was nigh! How wrong we were - Applin and Collins put on 74 for the 9th wicket before Reddick threw the ball to Naj who broke the partnership in his second over. It was left to the returning Yodhan to finish Seaton off and they were eventually all out for 184 in 43 overs. Far closer than it looked like it was going to be. Another great team effort form the 3's, this takes the team 11 points clear of Seaton and 31 clear of Kilmington. Promotion gets closer week by week. Exeter Civil Service next week, where we will be chasing 99/100 points in 5 games.