Birchanger v Matching Green Cricket Club Matching Green 1st XI on Sat 24 Jul 2004 at 1.30
Matching Green Cricket Club Won 1 wicket

Match report oooh a close one lovey.Ash 'Nics' it for Matching in a Cliffhanger at Birchanger.

Aussie star smashes 13 year batting record scoring 23 not out at number 11

Australian overseas player Ash Nichol brought MGCC back from the brink of a humilating defeat with a match-winning batting performance at number 11 on Saturday.

Teetering on 129-9 chasing the home sides 159, Matching looked a million miles away from getting anything from this low scoring affair at the 'Changer - until Nichol arrived at the crease. Hitting 3 vital 4's to the boundary and sending the OAP's shuffling for cover with a mighty 6 into the ajoining bowling club, he and 14 year old James Ambi (10 not out) inched Matching to their most unlikely victory of the season so far.

But it started all so well for the Green against the Division Two strugglers.

MGCC's opening bowlers Brown 1-20 and Hobbs 2-35 made early inroads into the hosts until Leavers (48) and Squires (20) got Birchangers' total moving again. Leavers on the brink of his 50 must have thought he had made it when he smashed Nichol over deep midwicket - Unfortunately for him, the safe bucket-like hands of Matt Muggleton snaffled a stinging vicious catch inches from making a 6.

Matching, without key bowlers Matt Hartnell and Bashford bowled far tighter than last week on the Green against Buntingford without reaching their sensational early season form. Fielding was tight apart from a Laurel and Hardy moment when Junior Bibby decided to spill a donkey drop off the bowling of the luckless Brown.

At tea, Birchanger closed on 159-7 - A low total, but it almost proved to be good enough for Birchanger to notch up only their second league win of the campaign.

MGCC oldpro Byford (19) started well before walking in front of his stumps to fall LBW for the 000th time in his career. Tom Figg (21) played some wonderful shots in an entertaining innings until skying a catch to mid-off. Captain Spider (5) looked out of sorts and got himself tied down before getting the death rattle from his mate Ahmed. Matt Eames (20) brought some stability to the Matching innings - David Brown Junior (37) continued his fabulous batting form with a priceless innings before running himself out, the pratt.

At that point the home crowd realised a shock was on the cards and the noise level went up a notch.

Up stepped Nichol and Ambi to set up a tense finale. Players and crowd alike - even a few of the 'blue rinse brigade' from the bowls club hobbled over to witness the final five overs. Nichol spotted a gap at third man and with a flick of the wrists, sent three delightful late cuts over the ropes. Ambi (10 no) at the other end proved again what a sensational prospect he his for Matching with two stylish boundaries of his own.

Victory was sealed with a wide. Admittedly not the best way to win a match - But they all count.

With victory so close, the Birchanger players trudged off with heads down staring relegation in the face - stunned to have lost a match that was in the bag for so long. There was just about time left for Spider to have his steering wheel stolen, Hume to parade around the boundary in Ambi's Manchester United Shirt and a few text messages fired off to the Hartnells to tell them their services were no longer required.

Matching Green Cricket Club Matching Green 1st XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
for 9 wickets

(0.0 overs)
Steve Byford Lbw  19
Tom Figg Caught  21
Graeme Bowerman Bowled  5
Matt Muggleton Bowled  0 1
David Kilbey-Brown Run out  37
Junior Bibby Bowled  0
Matt Eames Bowled  20
Thomas Hobbs Caught  5
Steve Hume Caught  1
James Ambepitiya Not Out  10
Ash Nichol Not Out  23 2

Birchanger Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Birchanger Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 7 wickets
159 (0.0 overs)

Matching Green Cricket Club Matching Green 1st XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
David Kilbey-Brown10.0220120.002.00
Thomas Hobbs10.0235217.503.50
Ash Nichol10.032438.002.40
Steve Hume7.003800.005.43
Junior Bibby8.0037137.004.62