A massive six from number 11 Charlie Dale was enough to see Falkland climax by 1 wicket in a thrilling encounter against league leaders and unbeaten Cookham Dean on Saturday, in the process bagging a much needed 25 points for Falkland.
The day started well for Falkland with Jason Williams winning his 6th straight toss and asking Cookham Dean to bat first on a very flat track and short sided boundary.
With Sam Trumper and Charlie Dale opening the bowling, both bowled excellent lines without giving too much away and causing increasing frustration on the Cookham Dean batsman.
Trumper first removed opener Miller, well caught by Langmead at slip and then had marrow removed a couple of overs later to leave Cookham Dean at 60-2.
The introduction of Nigel Trumper and Bobby Malik caused yet more trouble for the Cookham Dean batsman as a mixture of frustration and bad shots allowed wickets to fall with not overly big target on the board. At 145-7 Falkland would have fancied their chances of wrapping the tail up but a partnership of 50 was beginning to derail all the good work that Falkland had done.
A suicidal run led to Williams removing Qureshi for 23 and although green remained unbeaten on 47, Cookham Dean were seemingly very short at being bowled out on 220.
Bobby Malik with 3-48 and Nigel Trumper 4-58 were outstanding for Falkland and with Sam Trumper 2-39 also chipping in, Falkland bowlers had a really good afternoon.
So now it was left to the Falkland batsman to show what they could do with a very small boundary on one side and a track that was looking even better to bat on. Unfortunately for Falkland, they could not have got off to a worse start with leading league run scorer Will Langmead perishing 2nd ball with a wild wave of the bat and James Bloodworth following not long afterwards with Falkland 7-2.
What turned out the be one of two winning partnerships now saw the returning Paul Jenkins returning to the fray and partnering Dave Bloor in an excellent partnership that showed the rest of the batsman just how to play the pitch. Anything loose was despatched, anything straight was blocked and single’s were taken. Jenkins passing 50 without any cause for concern and being well supported by Bloor. Unfortunately, Bloor was next man out for a well grafted 24 in a partnership worth 82 and Jenkins soon followed for a well made 58.
So at 89-4 it was now down to Kologula and ben piper to deliver and again a mixture of good shots and boundaries took Falkland well past the 150 mark and in site of victory. A rush of blood from Kologula saw home caught at deep mid wicket for a seasons best 45 and as before, it was not long before another wicket fell with Piper lbw for 30.
Falkland really needed the tail to wag and with Williams joining Malik they looked to take the game away from Cookham Dean. Sadly for Falkland a bad mix up saw Williams run out for 15 and Malik following an over later for 21 it looked like Falkland had yet again blown any chance of victory.
Cookham Dean were probably thinking along the same lines as at 201-9 with 4 overs remaining they kept the spinners on in an attempt to buy the last wicket. Eventually it boiled down the last over with Falkland needing 9 for victory which eventually ended up being 7 needed off the last 2 balls.
Nanayakkara bowled the only place he could ill afford to bowl with Dale smashing him over his head and into the adjourning field for a monumental 6. Taking a long time to find the ball probably helped Dale out as it gave himself time and composure to work out his next shop. With all the fielders up saving 1, Dale calmly clipped the ball to mid wicket to give Falkland a much needed boost and a massive 25 points. Dale ended up on 14 not out and was well supported by Trumper senior (2 not out ) in a partnership worth 21. A thrilling encounter ending on the last ball of the game. Updated 13:23 - 11 Nov 2018 by Falkland CC