To everyone’s surprise the wicket was bouncing consistently and playing well despite the early rain
|Opposition:||Valley End CC|
|Man of the match:||Ben Houghton|
|Prat of the match:||TBC|
Clearly last week’s match report went down well enough for me to get a repeat gig. This weekend we were pitted against Valley End CC at the mighty King’s Field. Rain all day Friday and a heavy downpour in the morning had left prospects of play in doubt. However, with the sponge roller and the best efforts of sun and wind we were able to get going at 14:30 with 30 overs a side.
Skippering the side again this week, Ben won the toss and stuck the opposition into bat. The opening partnership of Longhurst and Povah persisted and once again successfully with both taking wickets. Mark Steans took a great legside catch off Jacob’s bowling to get the ball rolling and Sam Kemp’s plan to bring in a second slip proved successful as not long after the other opener was walking back as Abid took a low catch in the slips off the bowling of Ben. Ben Longhurst ended with figures of (5-0-10-2) and Jacob (4-0-17-1). To everyone’s surprise the wicket was bouncing consistently and playing well despite the early rain. Ross Cathcart came on first change, running up the hill. Their number 3 played his shots against Ross, but it was our Scotsman who held his nerve and won the battle, bowling him for 18. The ever-consistent Ross ended with (4-0-17-1). Graham bowled from down the hill with his typical accurate line and length. Despite their captain performing something resembling the hokey-cokey in the middle of the pitch, Graham removed him after he was caught in the covers by Povah. He didn’t enjoy the celebration that ensued, which in my opinion was relatively subdued given his unsavoury innings in which he laughed at miss-fields and danced around at the crease. We were fortunate that Imran Tahir had not got him out otherwise things may have kicked off! Graham struck twice more bowling one and Sam Kemp catching the other. Graham’s figures were (6-1-16-3), a brilliant performance. Conor bowled with pace up the hill and was rewarded with a wicket, beating the batsman for pace and castling his stumps. He could have had a second if a sharp chance was held at second slip. Conor took 1-22 off his 5. Keith replaced Graham down the hill and completed an all-round bowling performance taking the wicket of their number of six who played a loose stroke straight up and was caught by the captain. The performance in the field was excellent with Sam Kemp mercilessly running out a child and Mark Steans ending the innings with a brilliant throw with only one stump to aim at. 97 the target. Easy right?
It certainly looked that with Abid Ikram and Dillan Goss at the crease. The pair put together a 50 stand before Dillan was caught on (22). Dillan had hit some lovely shots through the onside in an aggressive knock. Steans came and went for (6) after he honourably walked after a slight nick was brilliantly taken down the legside by their keeper. Abid’s important innings was brought to an end on (33) as he was caught behind charging their spinner, and to make sure he was really out he was stumped as well. At 65-3 we were not in trouble due to the lack of scoreboard pressure and the chase still seemed regulation. Sam Kemp and the skipper were brought to the crease, but the former was removed for (13) having played some strokes which even he had to stand and admire. Hewitt gave his wicket away for (2) and Ben Houghton was caught behind on (7), leaving us in the midst of a mini collapse at 87-6. The opening bowling pair of Povah and Longhurst were given the task of completing the task. Fortunately, they were up to the task with the bat, despite their best efforts to run each other out with only 3 runs left to win! Both ended with red inkers, Jacob dominating the scoring of the partnership with (9*) but that’s not to say Longhurst’s (0*) was not important as he blocked and left well, playing the perfect foil and steadying the ship. The Wick ended victorious, a 4-wicket win. Up next is Malden sit top of the league. Let’s dream of promotion.