ROUND AND OLPIN MAKE HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES
RAMSBOTTOM 2nd XI beat Norden 2nd XI by 49 runs May 30th 2021
Statisticians were sent scurrying for the record books at Acre Bottom on Sunday as Nick Round and Alex Olpin put on 238 for the first wicket against title chasing Norden. Faced with a flat pitch on a blistering hot day with a team who may or may not have used Saturday’s blank slate to eschew alcohol and other poisons, the pressure on the home skipper to call correctly was huge. He did and after a nanosecond of thought decided to bat.
The Rammy openers started tentatively in the face of tight bowling but gradually increased the tempo, mainly by running hard and smart. Norden rotated their attack but there was air of inevitability about the outcome as the two amigos ploughed on at steady five an over. Olpin was first to a collection with Round Major not far behind but he gradually caught up so that the board showed both on 99 with two overs to spare. They each tried to run themselves out and Norden may claim the Pin actually did but finally a large and thirsty bank holiday crowd were able to rise twice in appreciation they took turns to reach their century.
A run rate of 5.3 isn’t daunting in itself but it makes the total look a million miles away and stares at you every ball, every over. So much so that the fundamentalists amongst us (Me? No) can think of no reasons including plague, pestilence, famine and civil disobedience to ever bowl first.
Norden attacked the task with vigour but could never get going as the bowlers took wickets at regular intervals with Josh Dentith, taking 2-18 off 12 miserly overs, helping to turn the screw. Coming in at 73-6 keeper James O’Neill (48) stuck to the task well and kept Norden in the hunt but Jack Thomond (3-66) finally got his man and Norden, nine down and sensing a fellow challenger for the title, dug in to deny the bonus points. Olpin had a final trick up his sleeve however as, finally free of the cramps, he roared in and drew an edge which Dack plucked out of the air one handed at first slip to seal maximum points.
At the time of going to press the statisticians are still out scurrying but this may well be some sort of record. Ian Bell and Keith Arthurton both scored centuries in an opening partnership of 221 at Enfield back in 1993 with an image of the two in front of the scoreboard immortalised in the long room. Nick’s other second team hundred in 2019 also included a monster stand of 196 with the Angel Gabriel. Whether it does or doesn’t make it into the annals, this was a high-quality effort from both men. What Jason Pyke makes of it all is anyone’s guess. In second ball last week; sat with his pads on for three hundred this.
Back by popular demand – Running Total of Extras Conceded* by
RCC 2nd XI 172
Opposition 2nd XIs 148
* 6 league & 1 Cup matches