Waverley off to a flyer
Season opener brings eight wicket win...
Waverley's first game of the 2015 season was played in fine, but deceptively chilly weather (which prompted one or two grumbles throughout the day, despite the ever-present threat of the Pink T-shirt). Huddling together for warmth were James Wright ("Mongo"), Russ Golding ("Raoul"), Sam Greensitt ("Viagra"), Simon Brewer ("KV"), Matt Du Gay ("Doogs"), Kyle Moxham ("Foxy"), Sam Tempest ("Troy"), Chris Beanland ("Beanie"), Matt Pride ("Pride of Waverley"), Peter Brewer ("Mr B") and Adam Carmichael ("AC").
Doogs allegedly won the toss and wasted no time in asking the home side to bat first in this 40 over game. Beanie and Troy were tasked with opening the bowling and the early signs were promising, with both bowlers giving the batsmen something to think about the early exchanges. The breakthrough came from Troy, a fielding change luring Dontiboyina down the track and enabling Raoul to complete the stumping. Beanie should have bagged his first wicket of the season, but AC chose an inopportune moment to demonstrate his new Jayne Torvill impression and the ball looped harmlessly into a gap. AC then rubbed more salt into the wound by dismissing the same batsman with a simple return catch, having been introduced into the attack for the luckless Beanie. Two more quick wickets followed, with Troy and AC dismissing the two Smiths in successive overs (including KV grasping a looping, one-handed catch at slip). Torrey and Critchell steadied the ship with a partnership of 53 for the fifth wicket, although a couple of jaffas from Pride of Waverley almost brought it to a premature end. However, a measured return throw from Viagra enabled AC to complete the run out of Critchell and reduce Shalford to 115-5.
Further bowling changes saw Mr B and Foxy introduced into the attack to try and end the home side's resistance. Initially it didn't look like it was going to be Mr B's day, some early season "rustiness" in the field seeing a high catch go to ground early into his spell. However, he soon bagged the prize wicket of Torrey (whose 71 runs had ensured a competitive total for the home side) - a good catch in the deep by skipper Doogs. Foxy then got stuck into the tail, with good catches from Troy and Mongo dismissing O'Brien and Waterson in the same over. Mr B wrapped up the innings shortly thereafter with a further two wickets, with Waverley requiring 155 to win from their 40 overs.
After an excellent tea (par for the course at Shalford), Mongo and Raoul exploded out of the blocks with some aggressive batting. No bowler was spared and after only ten overs, Waverley were about halfway to the total and travelling at a healthy seven runs an over. The big question was who would reach their half-century first and the answer was Mongo... but just as the visitors began contemplating the possibility of a ten wicket victory, he misjudged a delivery from Critchell (the younger) and dragged onto his own stumps for 51. Raoul continued on his merry way and with a little assistance from Viagra (no chuckling at the back please), he also brought up his half-century. Unfortunately he went the same way as Mongo, being bowled by Torrey soon after for 54. But in truth, Waverley were looking comfortable at 132-2. Viagra and KV kept the scoreboard ticking over and the win was secured just three overs later - a booming four from KV delivering an eight wicket victory, with Viagra not out on 25.
The first awards of the season saw the Man of the Match Hat awarded to Troy for his performance with the ball and two catches. However, he was also awarded the *Anchor Hat for over-celebrating a straight-forward catch when he had dropped a sitter not long before. There were several candidates for the Pink T-shirt; however the stand-out winner was Pride of Waverley - for running around the boundary to greet his girlfriend after he thought he'd been abandoned... just the sort of behaviour the Pink T-shirt was designed to discourage.
In other news, the inaugural "Captain's challenge" saw £2 added to the Awards Night charity fund: KV and Viagra unable to produce a unique pound coin each.