A blustery afternoon in Mattishall greeted LECC's first game of their 2004 tour campaign. Mattishall CC with a club history dating back to 1887 is set in the heart of Norfolk and they play their cricket in South Green which has an excellent ground/wicket and good facilities.
Sennen was voted Captain for the day and decided to bat having won the toss in a timed "rain interrupted" game! Openers Jim and Steve buffeted by strong cross winds negotiated the first over without any problems. However, the second over was a different experience altogether! Luke Fitzsimmons is their Aussie overseas fast bowler, at well over 6 foot, Fitzsimmons' bowling was seriously quick and both openers did well to survive the first few fizzing overs, which Luke bowled at three-quarter pace!
Anyway, with 13 on the board, Jim was first to depart in the 7th over, LBW to their opening bowler Smith. Sennen joined Steve and gradually began moving the score along. Against Luke, Steve decided to adopt the strategy that the best form of defence, is attack! Sennen wasn't quite sure of that as he didn't want to upset the quickie! Steve ignored the advice and went on the attack against the quickie - Luke's 7th over conceded 12 runs - 2nd ball, smack, four to the mid-off boundary - 3rd ball, this express delivery cut both Steve and w/keeper in half and shot to the fine-leg boundary for another four. Two balls later another clout, this time over the bowlers head, four more! The sixth ball, another hit, unfortunately slightly mistimed with mid-off taking a catch. 58 for 2 and 31 well deserved runs to Steve.
Andy Jenaba was next in and did well to play out a maiden of the quickie - which also turned out to be Luke's last over. Andy played well, given this was his first game of the season - some nicely struck fours and some quick running saw Andy progress to 18 before being bowled.
Jeff, our Canadian overseas player was next in. The traditional baseball shots have mellowed and some cricket like shots are beginning to appear. Unfortunately this wasn't Jeff's lucky day and he was caught without troubling the scorers.
Anthony came in and his first scoring shot was a well struck six over long-on that would have gone into the tennis courts had we being playing at Leighton Park! On 16, Anthony played a full blooded uppish drive that was going like a tracer bullet - unfortunately it went straight to long-off and was well caught on the line. 132 for 5 and 1.5 overs before tea.
Jack joined Sennen for the final heave-ho...and a heave-ho it was! It was unusual to see Sennen going down the wicket on numerous occasions to get LECC to 147 - 5.
Mattishall cunningly provided a superb "Delia Smith" class of tea that was enjoyed and appreciated by all, however, this meant it was really hard for LECC to take to the field!
But take to the field we did and after Chris's tight 1st over Jack did us proud by bowling the opener with his first ball. Unfortunately and despite both Chris and Jack bowling a tight line, LECC were unable to make further in-roads into Mattishall's batting line-up. The rain interruptions didn't help - with the ball getting very wet and the gale force winds, it just wasn't cricketing weather. Numerous good balls were bowled by Chris and Jack without any reward, even Jeff's dropping a catch at 1st slip of Chris didn't dampen his spirit.
George replaced Jack and also bowled some good balls. With batsmen in hand the Mattishall batsmen opened up and began scoring more freely. 80 runs on the board - George produced a good delivery that had Impey LBW. George completed his 5 overs conceding 33 runs with one wicket.
During this time Chris bowled unchanged for 11 overs and very unlucky not to pick any wickets. With 35 runs to get in 7 overs Andy Gilbert and David Maynard were called into the attack. David had the opener caught on the mid-wicket boundary by Sennen, albeit after the opener had scored 59. Unfortunately David's 2 overs cost 20 runs and with Andy not having much luck with a damp ball runs were being picked off.
With four over left Chris began his 12th over and soon picked up a wicket. LECC did try very hard to hang in there for a draw, but with 10 balls remaining Mattishall reached the final post.
In summary, a really good "close-ish" match, played in the spirit of the game - thanks to all those in Mattishall CC who made our visit a memorable one.