Business played K2 for the second time this season, hoping to perform much better than the first time. There was a new Basher (Scoop) and a number of players stepping up from D2 including Pleasure captain Swoop and Business debutants Ringer and Hollywood. Sir Dick was also there for his first game in two years as a late replacement for the injured Tubby.
The toss was lost for the third time this season, Stats proving to have no greater levels of karma than Filthy last year, and we were sent out to field. The opening overs contained one of the better Bashers Business displays in recent times. Paps bowled full and straight with more movement and pace than he has had for a couple of seasons, sent down two maidens, and deservedly got a wicket off about the only bad ball he bowled, well caught by Tiny at mid-off. At the other end, Poppy was probing and accurate, with the odd chinaman thrown in to keep the batsmen guessing. Somehow he didn’t get a wicket despite looking likely in each of the eight overs he bowled on the trot.
Tiny came on to bowl and, after a couple of wides, got the benefit of the pressure the openers had created and had one edged to Korean lunging forward with the gloves, then followed it up with what must be one of the best balls he has bowled for the Bashers – it started outside leg, swung towards off, then straightened off the pitch to clip the top of off stump. Tiny’s big outswingers were complimented at the other end by Ringer’s in-hoopers, which constantly threatened the stumps and soon produced a chance which Poppy scrambled forward from mid-on to claim.
Other fielders supported the bowlers well: Sir Dick threw himself around, Swoop pulled off a couple of good stops, Lunchcutter threw well from the boundary, and Stats cut off everything he could get to in a straight line. At the drinks break, Business were on top with fewer than eighty on the board.
The second half of the innings wasn’t poor, and it never seemed the batsmen were really on top, but K2 kept up the pressure with some sharp singles while getting a few away to the boundary, and there were too many wides. Ringer picked up his second wicket with an edge to the almost airborne Korean, Tiny got an LBW, Scoop bowled some whippy left-armers, and Stats gave himself a few overs which kept the batsmen and the wicketkeeper guessing. No catches were dropped, but a few chances just missed hands and the ground fielding gave away a few runs and struggled to prevent the short singles. Nevertheless, it was a better effort by the bowlers and fielders than 213 for 6 might suggest.
Stats and Lunchcutter went out to start the chase of what looked a challenging but achievable target. Stats was soon trapped in front while thinking about his drive for four the previous ball, then Hollywood came in and looked classy before being run out. Sir Dick’s batting technique hasn’t changed much since 2012, but after a short stay he displayed added footwork in his post-dismissal routine. Ringer stuck around for a while before being cleaned out by one which kept low. Lunchcutter hit the ball well, and was beginning to find the gaps when he got out. Poppy was looking good, putting the short balls away well, before holing out. Paps looked positive but used his feet once too often against their dolly bowler, and Tiny didn’t stick around long.
Newest and youngest player, Scoop, showed us how to do it as the lower order kept fighting. Ably supported by Swoop, he batted more fluently as his innings progressed, highlighted by a scoop-sweep shot near the end of his innings. He reached 50 with a boundary, then departed trying to hit for victory in the penultimate over. It turned out to be the last over bowled because, after Korean was dropped off his first ball, Swoop holed out for a battling 23 to end the innings
Business drop to 1 and 2 for the season. The bowling and the way the new players stepped up were positives to take from the match, but it was the third sub-standard batting performance out of three this season.
K2 214-6 (Tiny 3-33; Ringer 2-48; Paps 1-31) beat Bashers Busines 182 (Scoop 50; Swoop 23; Lunchcutter 22; Poppy 21) by 32 runs.