With autumn chills in the air, the Green
soon dug themselves a hole in this 45 overs Sunday League match. Redditch
won the toss and sent Fowkes and Jabber to enjoy a mix of errant bowling and
generous misfields. Hill’s opener was a dreadful long hop; though he
tightened both length and line, and induced plentiful false shots, there was
no clear chance. Kingsley Warren was accurate and sensible and also
wicketless. The replacements had better fortune: McMillan’s legspin lured
Fowkes (21), then Sherliker’s was serene and economical, and at the other
end Longmore’s medium pace claimed Jabber (39) and three younger victims.
Onlookers puzzled over the batting order, as Freeman arrived at no.5, made
an undefeated 91, and looked the only player in control.
Redditch’s 211 was helped by an extraordinarily widespread and continuous
demonstration of non-fielding. Goodman and Longmore were guilty of
inappropriate footwork, kicking the ball near and at times over the
boundary. Higgs had the prize for easiest dropped catch in his grasp, but
then Rogers fumbled a complete dolly. Shouts and disbelieving squawks came
from all corners as the dry pitch and outfield contributed to multiple
Some successful leaders emanate calm and poise. Green skipper Marek Wajzer,
very successful this year, thrives on chaos. He led from the front by
hurling or shinning the ball wherever possible. The transfer from
wicketkeeper to bowler, a routine drill for eight-year-olds, caused
insuperable problems and much chasing at deep mid on. The Green went to tea
subdued, aware that both the pitch and the runs against looked awkward.
They triumphed, with very little in reserve, because Redditch were even more
generous. It is unusual for no batsman to reach 40 in a winning score of
over 210. Extras did best with 58, followed by Higgs with 39 and Rogers with
an exhausted, limping, crucial 38 no. Things looked bleak when Goodman and
McMillan went cheaply and Hill, prodding forward, was lbw. They looked very
bleak after Nasser removed Adam Price, Higgs and Sherliker, and while Wajzer
was failing to hit the ball during a ten-over stay. Redditch were full of
confidence and loud appeals. But Higgs had raised the pace with seven 4s,
and Rogers was now clipping useful ones and twos plus the odd heave to leg.
Just in time Wajzer hit a couple of fine drives then ran himself out. He
feared this might have lost the game. Colleagues had another opinion. Dave
Price swished at air a few times then found his range. A paddle, a swipe for
4 and another prompt single brought Rogers (a 6 and four 4s) on strike, and
he produced a final cover drive with 8 balls left. This match was memorable
in several ways, and was the Green’s eighth win of the season.
Redditch 211 all out (45 overs; Freeman 91 no; Longmore 4-30); Barnards
Green 213-7 (43.4 overs; Higgs 39, Rogers 38 no; Nasser 3-17)