Bringing you two reports in one!!
Normal Service Resumed (vs. Overstone Park IV 5th August 2017)
A weather forecast of early afternoon showers heralded the visit of Overstone Fourths to Compton Park. Skipper Mark won the toss and you guessed it, invited the opposition to bat. The innings only lasted 3 overs until the predicted showers forced a 40 minute delay. On the resumption the Overstone struggled for runs with tight bowling from Junior James Bushell and typical guile from Senior Tony Bird. The breakthrough came in the 10 over with James Bushell claiming the opposing skippers wicket courtesy of a calm reaction catch from Alfie Wreford. James and Tony both took wickets leaving Overstone three wickets down at the drinks break for miserly 34.
The theme of bowler domination continued in the second installment of the Overstone innings with first change bowler Mark taking four wickets all clean bowled in his first two overs including the first ball of his spell. Ryan maintained a tight control on run scoring at the other end however stubborn defence by the tail meant that the innings lasted a further 12 overs, giving the Cooks a small target to chase of sixty three runs. All the batsmen young and old found the entire Cooks attack challenging with Mark leaving the field with career best figures 5 for 11 in almost 10 overs with the oddity of all victims being clean bowled.
The Cooks started their reply with an enforced change in opening partner for Russ Coleman. Junior batsmen Alex Bushell stepped up the order and the pair added exactly a third of the target until a mini-collapse of three wickets for 4 runs gave the middle order a little food for thought. Ryan, fresh from his miserly spell of 1-11, joined Jack Quennell and with typical signature batting the Cooks were soon sprinting over the finishing line with no further wickets falling. Ryan closed the innings on 38* with a flourish of shot making including a six to complete the victory.
A solid performance by the Cooks with a much changed team. This was the fifth game this season where the seconds bowled first and dominated the opposition to ensure a target of less than 100 runs which in the end was reached quite comfortably.
Seconds Unbeaten Record Falls at Islip (vs. Thrapston III 29th July 2017)
The Cooks were enforced to make three changes for the visit to Islip to play Thrapston Thirds. The ground at Islip now boasting impressive facilities, though this had one drawback as land required for this development made for short straight boundaries which required netting to protect players and spectators from becoming “sitting ducks”.
Skipper Mark won the toss and predictably opted to bowl under overcast skies. The Bird’s again put the opposition under pressure with solid bowling spells that the seconds have come to rely on. Two wickets in successive balls from first change Jack Harris adding to the three claimed by the Bird’s restricted Thrapston to 59-5. In past games this season, the Cooks have usually gone on from this position to sweep aside the lower order. On this occasion the opposition fought back with the help of a captains innings and impressive shot playing from their younger players. A challenging target of 173 was posted given the Cooks were missing two key top order batsmen.
After tea the Cooks openers Adam & Russ batted sensibly against tight bowling. The pair added 46 at a good rate before Adam departed. Russ again showed a determined attitude but no other batsmen was able to stay at the crease long enough. This was due to the impressive Thrapston young spinners (the same who had impressed with the ball earlier), who between them bowled 15 overs and took 8 wickets, with the last six wickets falling for just 20 runs.
This defeat meant that the unbeaten 2 month sequence had well and truly been broken. In common with most sides at this time of year the Cooks fielded a team influenced by unavailability. Despite that Thrapston deserved their victory and hopefully this rare defeat will spur the Cooks on for the final five games of the season.