We had another lovely evening of late afternoon warmth and sunshine, although there was a strong breeze whistling across Kenbworth Park this time, in our first meeting against Weston & Baldock this season. Kyle was captaining the team, and as Weston lost the toss, he elected to bat first.
The batting order was generally reversed in this match in an effort to give some of those players who haven't batted high up the order, the opportunity to spend time at the crease. While this approach has it's inherent risks, I felt it was a risk worth taking given that we were fielding a very strong bowling attack. The Williams took to the wicket and despite some great shot making, we soon lost William H who wasn't able to continue his excellent efforts of the previous evening. William P settled into his rhythms, played several elegant leg-side glances all of which earned him 4 runs. Jonathan came to the crease and - entertainingly - didn't waste anytime taking the bowlers on at every opportunity, which sadly would lead to his downfall, caught attempting to loft the ball over mid-wicket for 4. James came to the wicket and again began his innings in steady fashion.
With the score board looking a little light at less than 40 runs after 10 overs, my concerns over reaching a defendable total were beginning to play on my mind, so despite William P's excellent innings, I asked him whether he'd mind retiring, and he gracefully accepted with a very respectable 18 runs to his name. Henry G replaced William P, and like Jonathan, set about taking the bowlers on with every delivery. Some wonderful on-drives came and went unrewarded due to some very sharp fielding by Weston, but sadly Henry finally found himself caught attempting to loft the ball over mid-off. Harry D came to the crease with an equally aggressive mindset, knocking his first delivery through mid-wicket for 4. The run rate began to accelerate but the momentum stalled briefly when an unusually poor call from Harry D led to James being runout, well short of his crease, though credit is certainly due to the Weston fielder at long-on who collected James' firm on-drive, and sent it straight back to the bowler's stumps for a direct hit. Kyle, Tom and Henry W all spent short periods of time at the crease in the dying overs of the game, with the home team finally taking the score up to a reasonably defendable 81-6.
Weston's opening pair came to the crease to face Henry W and Kyle in the opening pace attack. And as in all our games so far this season, it wasn't long before the bales were being scattered about the keeper. Kyle took two wickets in his first over, including a great catch from young Dan Orchard (standing-in for Ollie) off a slower ball. Henry W cleanly bowled the only Weston batsman to trouble the scorers in his second over. Kyle then added another couple of wickets (including a fantastic direct hit runout from Tom) in his second over (a double-wicket maiden). Henry W bowled a maiden for his 3rd and final over, with Kyle taking yet another wicket in his 3rd and final over. Not surprisingly, Weston were in all sorts of trouble, so the Orchard Bros were invited to carry-on with the attack, Tom taking his season's tally to 8 wickets with another 2 in his first over (including a superb stumping by Harry E - back to last season's form already!). Younger brother Dan - not wanting to be outdone by big brother Tom - bowled the last two tail-enders in just 7 deliveries for 3 runs! Weston were all out for just 28 runs in 9.1 overs!
Well done boys. A thoroughly outstanding bowling and fielding attack!