Burghclere (A) - 24 June 2006
Won by 87 runs.
CATCHES, DO INDEED, WIN MATCHES

Idlers 184-7 beat Burghclere 97 all out by 87 runs

With one of the best fielding performances of their five year old history, the Idlers, playing away at Burghclere, grasped every ball hit in the air at them to prove the age-old cricketing adage that catches, do indeed, win matches.

Put into bat on a lively pitch with a fast outfield, Idlersís openers, Jack Bettenson and Will Kay, started well putting on 48 for the first wicket. Kay in particular looked in good touch scoring 39 and punishing any width provided by the bowlers with his trademark shots square of the wicket. A misfiring middle order left the Idlers 98-5 despite a promising start from Alex Richards (16) and the momentum was beginning to swing back in favour of the home side. A timely, if unspectacular, 24 from Max Biles helped steady the ship for a final swashbuckling onslaught from Martin Clements who achieved his top score for the Idlers with 27* and helped add 65 runs during the last ten overs with a variety of partners. H.Martin was the pick of the Burghclere bowlers with economical figures of 12-4-31-3.

Defending an attainable total, Idlersí paceman Nick Lawrence got proceedings off to the perfect start with a wicket with his third ball. He fired in two shortish deliveries to soften up his victim then slipped in a fuller ball which re-arranged the recipientís stumps. In their tightest opening spells of the season Lawrence (10-3-13-5) and Clements (8-2-20-1) continually pegged their opponents back and the sharp fielding and exceptional catching left Burghclere stuttering at 21-5 off 15 overs. Lawrence pouched a caught and bowled when P.Martin forcefully returned one of his own deliveries at him and from that moment on the Idlers snaffled every chance that came their way. Idlersí keeper George Shepherd palmed an edge skyward into the waiting hands of the skipper, Andy Harms; Dave Brown calmly took a lofted shot whilst back-tracking at mid-off; and Tom Aiken plucked a tracer out of the air one-handed at short cover.

R. Robison proved to be a thorn in the side with the dayís highest knock of 42* but around him wickets continually tumbled as Clements also got in on the catching act and Lawrence caught his second when he took a fiercely drilled drive from the big-hitting G.Stuart both off the bowling of Harms. Excellent work between Clements and Shepherd resulted in a sharply taken run out. Jo Frampton clinched the game after H.Martin was caught by Harms at second slip with a one-handed, lightning-reflex, diving catch that capped off what had been the young sideís best ever display in the field which restricted Burghclere to a mere 97.
TEAM : William Kay, Jack Bettensen, Andy Harms, George Shepherd, Alex Richards, Max Biles, Dave Brown, Martin Clements, Jo Frampton, Nick Lawrence, Tom Aiken

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