Slow and steady holds the key
Beanie approves of romp...
By far the best day of the year so far greeted Waverley's arrival at Oakley. Looking to secure back-to-back wins were Adrian Day ("Mog"), Russ Golding ("Raoul"), Nick Hales ("the Greek"), Marcus Carmichael ("MC"), Simon Brewer ("KV"), Matt Du Gay ("Doogs"), Sam Tempest ("Troy"), Chris Beanland ("Beanie"), Matt Pride ("Pride of Waverley"), Peter Brewer ("Mr B") and Adam Carmichael ("AC").
The home side won the toss and elected to field first, something that came as a surprise to the purists (given that Waverley traditionally field first on the warmest day of the year). Despite a flat track and perfect overhead conditions, the home side possessed a very competent bowling attack that proved a challenge to Waverley's batsmen throughout the innings. Mog and Raoul therefore did well to put on 45 for the first wicket, Raoul posting 27 before going through a shot too earlier and dollying one up to short mid-wicket. Mog and the Greek maintained a composed pace (certainly not "slow", as mentioned by a couple of uncharitable observers) but, as both were starting to pick up the pace with some expansive shots, Mog chopped on for 37. Although MC followed two balls later without troubling the scorers, the visitors had wickets in hand and 14 overs on their side.
However, there soon followed a Waverley wobble: the Greek holed out for 36; Doogs with triggered by MC without scoring and Troy followed not long after, also for 0. Reduced to 128-6, the visitors upped the ante and KV started dealing in boundaries. His 25 gave Waverley's score an air of respectability and with contributions from Beanie (5), Pride of Waverley (8), Mr B and AC (a whole run each), the bowlers had a total of 157 to defend.
Waverley opening bowlers Beanie and Troy had the task of not only getting some early wickets, but also keeping scoring chances to a minimum with the required rate less than four an over. They got off to a perfect start, Beanie opening with a maiden and Troy seeing Brundle chop on in his first over. Troy then removed both of the Lethabys in short order, B Lethaby also playing onto his own stumps and G Lethaby being castled outright. From the other end, Beanie bowled a very economical spell that was not rewarded with a wicket. Doogs elected to keep the pace off the ball by introducing AC into the attack. The home side seemed to fancy his flighted deliveries, three times attempting to hammer the ball into the next county. But three times the batsmen were through the shot far too early, AC making full use of the old adage "you miss, I hit". Pride of Waverley has been improving with every game and was finally rewarded with his first Waverley wicket, a snorter to dismiss Bright.
The home side were reeling on 70-7 but Sumner and Holbrook started building what was potentially a match-winning partnership. Oakley started scoring some much needed boundaries, also providing an excuse for the Greek and Beanie to disappear under the covers for a few minutes under the guise of "retrieving the ball". Mr B soon put an end to the blossoming partnership (Oakley's, not Beanie and the Greek) thanks to a catch from Doogs in the covers. Mr B claimed a second wicket via a stumping from KV; however the scoreboard had continued to tick slowly over. Doogs took it upon himself to bring matters to a conclusion, sticking with the tried and tested lack of pace by bowling off-cutters. Once again the lack of pace proved decisive as Brown was trapped LBW, sealing a 22 run win for the visitors.
The Man of the Match Hat could have gone to any of the bowlers; however it found its way to AC for the timing of his wickets. The *Anchor Hat went to Mr B as a result of an angry outburst, while the Greek was awarded the Pink T-shirt for making the schoolboy error of complaining about a wounded shin whilst fielding. And that, really, is all there is to report... other than Beanie and the Greek leaving in separate cars...