2nd XI Match Report 16th July 2016

STEEPLE LANGFORD II – v – ALDERHOLT

Another week, another defeat for Langford seconds and yet again a feeling of so near and yet so far.

The Alderholt pitch was hard and dusty and the home skipper was delighted to win the toss and bat first.  Langford’s opening bowlers kept things tight with Raj Kumar bowling straight through his 10 overs (2 for 27).  The first of a number of contentious decisions by the home umpire denied him a caught behind but the umpire seemed to make amends a few overs later giving Chris Miles (2 for 31) a leg before decision which, judging by the batsman’s histrionics, he thought may have been straying down leg side.  As always it seems, Langford were well in the game at half way with Alderholt only on 65 for 4.  Darren Harvey (3 for 43) kept the pressure on after drinks and the bowling was generally good throughout with Nathan Hill and Jamie Crosier also chipping in with a wicket each.  Langford had six overs at the last two batsman but couldn’t quite manage to finish things off with Alderholt eventually finishing on 165 for 9.  At tea there was a sense of what might have been as a number of shots had been in the air but, such is Langford’s luck this season, most cleared the fielders by inches or fell agonisingly short.

The last couple of weeks had seen Langford’s batting improve so there was some confidence at the start of the innings that the modest total could be knocked off.  However, losing Raj Kumar in the first over somewhat dented this confidence.  Adi Hughes and Darren Harvey dug in and re-established Langford’s position in the game before Harvey went when the score was on 34.  Chris Miles looked to be seeing the ball well playing a couple of expansive shots but fell victim to a deteriorating pitch when a ball reared off a length, caught his thumb, and looped nicely to slip off the wicket keeper’s shoulder.  The next ball also reared off a length when Luke Emm was caught at gully off the shoulder of the bat.  Not helped by five ducks, Langford were eventually 86 all out with only Adi Hughes (41), extras (13) and Chris Miles (10) making double figures.

Another match where Langford were in the game for long periods but couldn’t quite find that key wicket at the right time, or to develop a decent batting partnership to put the pressure back on the bowling team.  Maybe next week.