Catching prowess wins the day
Umpiring prowess leaves a lot to be desired...
You’d have got long odds on this game being played at the start of the week, but mercifully the atrocious weather predicted for the weekend didn’t materialise. Out seeking Waverley’s first win of the season were James Wright (“Mongo”), Marcus Carmichael (“MC”), Sam Vass (“Sausage”), Simon Brewer (“KV”), Barry Stovold (“Baz”), Matt Du Gay (“Doogs”), Sam Tempest (“Troy”), Chris Beanland (“Beanie”), Peter Brewer (“Mr B”), David Stockwell (“Stockrates”) and Adam Carmichael (“AC”).
Thursley were a little light on players, having only nine available, but with last season’s defeat still fresh in some memories the visitors elected to bat first in this 30 over match. Mongo and MC got stuck into the bowling attack and had the score ticking over at a healthy rate, exploiting the gaps in the field. They put on 58 for the first wicket before MC holed out in the covers, going for the expansive drive. Mongo and Sausage (making his first appearance of the season) continued to build on Waverley’s good start and it wasn’t long before Mongo reached his half century. He was looking fairly comfortable and set for a second century of the season before “the incident”. Mongo was facing the patented moon-ball of Thursley’s Fuller, a flighted delivery that tends to show up on local air traffic control radar screens. Attempting to smash this particular delivery into the next county, Mongo mis-timed his shot and edged the ball into his pads (around ankle height). Players and spectators alike were left baffled as the unfortunate Stockrates (umpiring at the striker’s end) attempted to call it no ball, but then decided to trigger Mongo for 65.
There were then brief cameos from KV and Baz, but Sausage continued to score nicely, eventually jug-evading on 44. By this time Waverley had amassed 181 runs and with contributions from Doogs, Troy (providing the first of two comedy dives of the day) and Beanie the home side were left needing 184 to win from their 30 overs.
Despite only having nine players the home side nevertheless boasted some capable batsmen in their ranks. Waverley needed a good start and Beanie and Troy were given the job of providing it. Both followed their instructions to the letter as Beanie struck in his first over, a high catch bagged by umpire-extraordinaire Stockrates. If that was a tentative step towards redemption then his second catch saw him not only absolved, but recommended for a knighthood in the New Year Honours list: a lofted shot from Olley looked to have cleared him at mid-on, until he pulled off a remarkable one-handed catch to give Troy his first wicket of the day. Troy found himself on a hat-trick thanks to a slip-catch from Mr B and in true Waverley style, the hat-trick ball was a jug-evading comfortable distance outside of the off stump. Troy helped himself to a third wicket when A Smallbone played onto his own stumps and he could have had a fourth, but he put down the chance off his own bowling.
Beanie was still steaming in at the other end and he was rewarded with a second wicket, Waverley’s catching prowess continuing with an excellent diving catch at gully by Sausage. With the home side on 18-5 the skipper shuffled his pack, introducing AC and Stockrates. The latter struck in his first over thanks to another catch, this a regulation chance to AC at short fine leg. An economic spell from AC didn’t yield a wicket and Thursley put together their most productive partnership for the seventh wicket (47). Mr B was introduced into the attack for Stockrates and his bowling produced the second comedy dive of the day from MC (fielding the ball and then diving, rather than the more conventional method). A catch to Beanie brought Mr B his first wicket of the season and victory was sealed by Troy, returning to pick up his fourth wicket with a catch to Doogs. Thus, the visitors secured a 119 run victory.
The Man of the Match Hat went to Mongo for his batting, with Stockrates being awarded the *Anchor Hat for his umpiring antics. Beanie picked up the Pink T-shirt for foolishly hopping out of the way of the ball whilst fielding. A 30 over-aside match meant there was plenty of time to unwind in the bar after the game, with topics of conversation including Doogs’s impossibly tight trousers and Rachel’s review of the latest series of Game of Thrones…