After winning the toss the PCC skipper Salman decided to bat first on what looked like a dry, bouncy and hard piece of matting. Richard Holt was promoted to open with John G in what was a calculated gamble (if there is such a thing).
The Southerners, fielding a young side, were rewarded with Johnnie’s wicket very early when he mistimed a drive and was caught at mid off. After that the gamble paid off as Richard Holt unleashed a flurry of strokes and took the bowlers apart, hitting 4’s in nearly every over. He also managed to hit a beautiful six over mid wicket.
Salman on the other hand was trying to play the anchor and take singles to give Richard Holt most of the strike until Richard Holt refused to take a sharp single that Salman wanted. Will wonders never cease? Result: Salman run out.
Mithu joined Richard and played a cameo innings, hitting 30 before he holed out at deep square leg. Richard followed soon after having made 35. After that the middle order collapsed, quite literally in the case of Sajid Ali as the debutant all-rounder suffered severe cramps without facing a single ball.
PCC went from 70 for 2 in ten overs to 114 all out in 23 overs. Worth mentioning here is Richard Grunwell’s stellar resistance in actually taking the score past a 100. He was ably supported by Robert Young and together the two put on 24.
It was always going to be tough to defend a 114 but the team talk before PCC took the field was honest, determined and the fight back was always going to be on. Salman got the first break when he removed the experienced Thommo, skipper of the Southerners in his second over. The spinners Mithu and Gonzo then took over and it was complete domination of the ball over the bat.
At 10 overs the Southerners were 32 for 4 and struggling. An effective attacking field was set ans was backed by some good fielding efforts. Richard Holt was given the ball along with John G. and they bowled really well and strangled the Sotherners for runs while taking wickets.
18 runs were required by the Southerners off the final six balls with Salman left to ball out his last over. It was curtains for the Southerners as their last wicket fell and they were bowled out 16 runs short.
Mithu, Gonzo and Richard Holt had the best figures with 2 wickets a piece and Richard Holt was deservedly awarded the man of the match award. A great opening victory for the PCC B-league team.