Raoul Runs Riot.
Raoul shines with bat and ball.
A combination of computer issues, miscommunication and unavailability meant that Waverley travelled to Purbrook with just 9 players. The band of talented crickets who made the trip were James Wright (“Mongo”), Russ Golding (“Raoul”), Simon Brewer (“KV”), Nick Hales (“The Bubble”), Matt Du Gay (“Doogs”), Sam Tempest (“Troy”), Matt Pride (“London”), Laura Brewer (“Loz”) and Peter Brewer (“Mr B”).
Doogs loss a third conversation in a row, giving some weight to the idea that he is a useless tosser. The home side elected to bat on what is normally a very good batting track. The early overs showed that today’s pitch was no different. Raoul and Troy had been tasked with opening the bowling, with the former giving his seam-up action a go. It was obvious that anything slightly short or wide was going to be punished by the home batsmen, as they made an aggressive start. Troy was particularly targeted by the openers, Purbrook reaching 50 within 8 overs. Raoul had been bowling well, and was unlucky not to have a wicket with the first ball of his 5th over, a full length divning attempt from Mongo not quite sticking. Raoul did pick up a wicket with his very next ball, with Doogs holding on to a much simpler chance at mid-on. Doogs brought himself into the attack, and he and Raoul did well to restrict the flow of runs for a few overs. Raoul reverted to leg-spin and picked up a second wicket shortly after, KV stumping Hamson as he looked to attack. Raoul had a third wicket a few balls later, clean bowling Wilson with an absolute beauty which pitched on leg and clipped the top of off.
With Raoul bowled out, Mr B came into the attack to keep the pace off the ball. The home side were hitting cleanly at this point though, crashing the ball to all parts of the ground. A muscular injury to Mr B brought London in to the attack, and he kept the run rate down well in his first few overs. With Doogs and Troy also bowled out, and Mr B injured, Waverley were running out of bowlers. KV removed the gloves and had a go from one end, and Loz also came into the attack Spiers sportingly retired after he reached his century, but Holder was still dispatching the ball from the other end, Loz in particular being targeted for some big hitting. A brave caught and bowled attempt from Loz resulted in a second Waverley bowler injury, the ball cracking back into her hand. With Loz unable to continue, Bubble finished off her over. The home side eventually finished on 261 after their 40 overs.
After an excellent tea, Waverley looked to chase down a big total with Mongo and Raoul opening up the batting. A peculiar first over saw 10 runs and two wickets, as first Mongo then KV found the boundary before being caught. Raoul had watched from the far end as the madness unfolded, but it didn’t seem to faze him, and he and the Bubble set about making up for a poor start from the Waverley batsmen. Raoul was striking the ball beautifully, and showed great composure to steady the innings. Well assisted by the Bubble, Raoul reached his half century quickly, before looking to kick on. And kick on he did, with any loose deliveries being dispatched. He reached three figures in double quick time, bringing up his ton with another boundary. Bubble had been going along well, supporting Raoul and being unselfish with the strike. When he was eventually caught for a selfless 45, Waverley were on 196 with wickets in hand. With Raoul going along like a small train, there was always a chance of reaching the total. However, Raoul was eventually caught for 128, leaving Waverley with around 60 runs needed. Doogs and Troy looked to try and keep the run rate going, but a lack of communication between the two resulted in Doogs being run out. London joined Troy in the middle, and despite some big swings, returned to the pavilion without scoring. Loz bravely strode out to the middle, despite a badly bruised hand and added a couple of runs before being run out for the second time in two days. With Mr B unable to bat, Troy was left on 14* and Waverley fell short of the total, despite a brave chase.
The W Anchor hat was again awarded to Mr B, for sending his daughter out to bat ahead of him, on Father’s Day, despite being injured, then refusing to bat himself. Man of the Match hat went to Raoul for his imperious ton and 3 wickets. He also won the pink t-shirt for twice evading the ball off his own bowling. Proof that nothing can redeem poofery in the eyes of the Waverley hat committee…