Glenrothes 2xi v Tranent & Preston Village 3xi
By Ian Green
Close Finish to an enjoyable game
After finally getting the game on, following some poor weather throughout the week, the Glens have had an enjoyable outing at Gilvenbank against Tranent & Preston Village 3xi.
So onto the cricket - Skipper Green going out to the middle for what is becoming a pointless toss, having won the toss only twice over the whole of last season, and the luck clearly not changing for 2018, and T&PV deciding to take a bat.
So opening with the dynamic duo of N Salt and J Smith. Things were going to plan for once, with a tight start from both bowlers and by the time the first wicket came in the 6th over with Smith clean bowling Mcinnes (from Jordans very unique slow ball) , and only 15 runs on the board, just what the Glens needed, and just 3 balls later he trapped Siddalingham LBW with both opening batsman now back in the hut with the score on 16.
Out came Barker to bat who was looking to take it to our bowlers. Nathan finishing with 0 wickets for 21 runs, but it doesn't really tell the whole story, as he regularly had the batsman in trouble, and Jordan finishing with a fine 2 for 18 off his 4 overs, neither of which came back on to bowl.
Onto the 2 ever reliable bowlers of Snook and Brian Morris. The runs began to dry up at this stage with only 7 runs off the next 4 overs and putting pressure on the 2 batsman. However by the time Brian clean bowler Booker (S) having changed angles going round the wicker, T&PV worked their way up to 59 runs. Snook tempting Haran to lift the ball straight into the safeish hands of Jay Lewis. The panic had set for the batsman when Bullet arm Burton (Joe) destroyed the stumps to run out Booker (J) with a great throw in leaving T&PV struggling on 67 for 5, but with a dangerous looking Barker still in, Glens still knew they had their work cut out. Snook finishing his bowling for the day after his 5th over having taken 1 - 24 and B Morris finishing 6 overs 1-15 (11 of which came off the last over).
Last years 2 leading wicket takers for the 3s came on to bowl in both J Lewis and G Morris and both in their competitive nature, keen to beat each other with wickets this year, and they continued with the great bowling we had seen throughout the day. Jay initially getting the first wicket, having clearly come with a plan for his bowling which was great to see and getting some extra bounce out of the wicket which we hadn't seen through the day. He got one into the surface and with Beveridge fending it into the air, Nathan took a safe catch. His next over he took an amazing catch hit straight back at him (with what seemed unnaturally long arms) to take out the danger man Barker, who had batted to a fine 49. In the middle of the 2 wickets Greg had N Snudden caught at slip, with Snook rolling back the years to take a great low catch with Greg moving the ball nicely (although it was windy). Greg then getting the final 2 wickets of J Snuddon and Mcintosh (both youngsters who played well today) of which Qasim put it best when Greg celebrated "I hope your proud of yourself"
Ali King also coming on for a couple of overs before the end keeping it tight throughout, having ran about the field for the previous 28 overs.
A great day in the field, and it would be impossible to single out players as in my mind, as all 11 players on the field put the effort in today, and T&PV were made to work for all 94 of the runs they got.
Teas had and Q Ahmed and N Salt sent out to open the bat, and the team using the advice from the captain that there is still a long way to go in the game (as we found out last year against T&PV, having been in a strong position and lost). Well no need to see the shine off the ball as Qasim and Nathan had us initially at 24 off 2 overs, then 40 off 4. Some great shots played by both players round the park to get us to this stage. In the next over Nathan adjudged to have been caught behind going for a fine 20 off just 12 balls. In came Joe to do his usual and try to boost the run rate. Eventually getting clean bowled for 2, having tried to take it to the bowlers. Glens now on 60-2 with P Culleton joining Qasim. Next over Qasim then getting trapped LBW for a fine 30, and only 12 overs down at this stage and 35 required. Green making the comment to Ali King that he would look to take the advice he had provided to all batsman at this stage just to stick about at take it through the innings and we can win this comfortably. The skipper completely forgetting his own words 3 balls later swiping wildly at the straight one that destroyed his stumps (thanks for coming). All of a sudden the Glens were 60-4 with 0 runs in the last 2 partnerships.
Brian Morris joining Paul out in the middle to look to steady the innings and see of the current bowlers, who were looking dangerous. They were seeming comfortable before Brian tried to work one round the corner but top edging it to the fielder, now 70-5.
Greg Morris joining Paul to continue the steady progress (or go out swinging, as he decided would be the best approach), Paul worked hard for his 7, but in the mean time used up a lot of the opening bowlers overs to support the remaining task. Greg was going for it, and actually looking good getting regular 4's and Jay coming out to join him. Over were never really a problem and Jay dug deep for his 0 not out, and Greg made a fine 25 taking the Glens 2s over the line for the win in the first game of the season.
A real team performance which was great to see from my point of view, and although we got the win, the enjoyment was a great factor of the day. We hope T&PV have a good season and hope you enjoyed your day in the sunny (at times) region of Fife.