Match Report – Wick 4s vs. Woking & Horsell June 10th 2017

Close, But No Cigar

For the second week in a row the 4s suffered defeat in a match that could have been won; Woking & Horsell scoring 168 and the 4s replying with 154. The game had been close throughout with both teams feeling confident and in trouble at various points. All 22 players had played a role and all agreed that it had been a super game to be involved with.

The match started late due to issues for the visitors on the M3. It was agreed that the Wick 4s would take the field first. Five 4s bowlers produced an excellent innings of consistent line and length which troubled each of the Woking batters. The bowlers were backed up by a superb team performance in the field; noise, enthusiasm, excellent ground fielding and improved catching. Amongst this team performance were individual highlights worth noting:

· Simon Boughey producing his best bowling for the club to date; his return of 2 wickets does not do him justice for the number of wicket-taking opportunities created

· Ross Cathcart bowling a miserly second spell which increased scoring pressure of the Woking batters at a key point in the innings

· Sam Blank making his first appearance for 2 seasons; very tight bowling up hill and into the wind

· Joe Harrison taking 2 key top order wickets to stop Woking accelerating their run rate; fast, aggressive bowling which was great to watch and field to

· Phil Miles taking a slip catch above head height from the bowling of Harrison, which was travelling like a bullet

· Ben Houghton faultless display behind the stumps; having taken on this important job only 5 matches ago

· Rob Ritchie running out a Woking batter who was trying to take a second run

· Charlie Higgins for the stand-out display. Making only his 2nd appearance in senior league cricket U15 Charlie bowled two 5 over spells, taking 3-32, his first senior wickets. He also held an amazing diving left-handed catch to close the innings. Charlie displayed great control and the ability to move the ball against the breeze. He has earned himself the opening role in his next outing for the 4s.

The Woking innings closed on 168, which represented a fair return for the batting team for their efforts against the 4s bowlers. During tea, it was acknowledged that this was a ‘gettable’ total for the 4s. The King’s Field wicket held some irregular bounce but the outfield was very fast and one boundary a little short.

During the first 30 overs of the 4s reply a victory seemed possible. Despite the loss of 2 wickets to balls that didn’t bounce, Tom Simcock held the innings together with a patient and well-judged 43. He was ably support by Abdur Rehman and Rob Ritchie in stands of 40-odd. After the dismissal of Simcock (again to a ball that shot along the deck) the 4s struggled to keep up with required scoring rate. Woking tightened their fielding and bowled better lines and Ben Houghton was the only batter who managed to get ‘in’. With wickets falling at regular intervals at the other end, Houghton took the attack to Woking before finally being dismissed for 37 in the last over of the match. Quite correctly, the 4s had played to win the match rather than shut-up shop for a losing draw.

It had been a valiant effort by the 4s batters, but ultimately the team had fallen 15 runs short of their victory target. Close, but no cigar.

Two losses from two close games left a feeling of deflation. However, reflection has led to a far more positive state of mind which all 4s players should feel:

· Our superb displays in the field. The team ethic in any cricket side is born from fielding; we are now developing an excellent team spirit because of our out-cricket

· Bowling resources are many and varied. The 4s attack has been stronger than our opponents in each game we have played

· Colts making an immediate impact. The club development plan for Colts players is being put into action and each Colt who have played 4s cricket this season has made a positive contribution

All we need now is for team to get an extra 20 or 30 runs with the bat ……..