Raining Runs at the Gloomy Green in Opening Parents match
Team Sudbury bt Team Tebb by 5 wickets
A record-breaking run chase saw Team Sudbury pip Team Tebb in the season opener for the Parents of Colts at Twickenham Green on a Friday evening in May which felt a little more like October, in contrast to the scorching temperatures earlier in the week.
The 'home' team for the day chased down 189 to win by 5 wickets with an over to spare in an exciting match, featuring strong innings on both sides, and some old limbs only just beginning to limber up in the bowling department.
Skipper Liam Tebb won the toss and opted to bat first under leaden skies, with the likelihood of light problems later in the evening making chasing potentially more challenging. Previous Parents matches have tended to see bowlers struggle, but Team Sudbury got off to a great start, with Richard Evans getting a wicket with his very first ball (in the second over of the match), and following that up with another to conclude his second over.
Combined with the early run out of Steve Victory, Team Tebb looked in big trouble. However, over the next few overs, things were turned completely around with the powerhouse middle order all going big, aided by a patient knock of 35 from James Step.
Jonty Hunt quickly found his usual groove, launching the bowling to all corners - although not hitting any buses on the Hampton Road this time around - before retiring not out. He was followed by Ben Wiseman, who contributed 28 before being pegged lbw by opposing skipper Mark Sudbury. His opposite number, though, upped the rate, Liam contributing a quick-fire unbeaten 40 with 7 fours and a six.
Some tighter overs at the end pegged things back a little, with Richard Evans claiming another wicket to finish with 8-3, but the total of 188 looked like a tough ask, particularly with the light closing in.
The openers for Team Sudbury didn't agree with that assessment, though. Pete Burke and Dhiren Darbar launching into the opening bowling with relish, largely foregoing the need to run and test those early-season hamstrings as the boundaries rained.
Dhiren was the first to retire not out on 40 with 8 boundaries, with Pete following suit on 41, with 7 4s and a maximum. The home team seemed to be cruising around half way through, but Team Tebb pulled things back with some excellent bowling particularly from Ben Wiseman and Steve Victory, both using their height to generate some pace and bounce from the usually placid astroturf.
Things were beginning to look a little tight as wickets tumbled, but in strode Ahmad Rabbani at No 8 who started to feast on some tiring bowling. He was joined by Richard Evans, and between them , the pair attacked ruthlessly as the light began to fade badly, making it as tricky for the fielders as the ball flew off flailing bats.
20 were required from 3 overs, which could still have been tight, but Ahmad and Richard saw the chasing team home with a full over to spare. Ahmad contributed 39 not out, and Richard capped a Man-of -the Match performance with 25 not out , following his earlier bowling heroics.
With nearly 400 runs scored in 39 overs, it was clear that it is easier for batsman to click back into groove early in the season than for bowlers. Thankfully, there were no major injuries to report, which hasn't always been the case with Parents matches in the past, with ageing limbs not used to responding to the particular challenges of the mechanics of bowling.
Overall it was a close and enthralling contest throughout, played in the usual excellent spirit which extended into the post match discussions in the dark outside the pavilion and in the bar.
Thanks to everyone for helping to set up and sort out the square after the game. The series resumes next Friday.