Waverley snatch victory
Fielding display sees Waverley win with two deliveries to spare...
Despite a very bleak end to the preceding week, Medstead's pitch seemed to have survived remarkably unscathed. Arriving for Waverley on a blustery but otherwise fine day were Adrian Day ("Mog"), Russ Golding ("Raoul"), James Wright ("Mongo"), Simon Brewer ("KV"), Matt Du Gay ("Doogs"), Sam Tempest ("Troy"), Peter Brewer ("Mr B"), Chris Beanland ("Beanie"), Dan Litwin ("Chuckie"), Matt Pride ("Pride of Waverley") and Adam Carmichael ("AC").
Waverley were invited to bat first and openers Mog and Raoul set about trying to build a total, whilst those watching from the sidelines were treated to President Herb Scarth's latest anecdote about an advert for a Samsung fridge (which actually turned out to be a washing machine). A slowish outfield resulted in a sedate, yet steady run rate in the early overs. But just as it appeared that both openers were settling in for the long haul, Raoul was dismissed LBW for 25. Mongo and Mog maintained the run rate for the next few overs, but two quick wickets once again stifled the visitors' building momentum as Mog (23) and Mongo (32) were both triggered by Pride of Waverley trapped LBW. When skipper Doogs was also sent back to the pavilion without really troubling the scorer, Waverley looked less than healthy at 89-4 with just under an hour left before tea. However, runs are always on the cards with KV at the crease and some much needed boundaries improved Waverley's outlook immeasurably. He was ably supported by Troy during this vital 47 run partnership, but Troy was eventually lured down the track in search of further runs and stumped. KV reached 50 soon after, but was then bowled without adding to his score to leave the visitors on 143-6. With only a handful of overs left and the score looking on the low side, Mr B and Beanie added a few extra runs to the total along with Chuckie and Pride of Waverley. By the time the declaration arrived, Waverley had inched onto 156-8.
Beanie and Chuckie opened the Waverley attack after tea, with Beanie in particular living up to his "Mr Economy" moniker. He was rewarded with an early wicket, keeping his nerve to pouch a skied catch off his own bowling. He rounded off his spell with a second wicket thanks to a good catch by Raoul in the covers, who'd lulled the batsman into a sense of false security by fielding like a clown until that point. Chuckie's good spell went unrewarded and a double bowling change saw Pride of Waverley and AC introduced into the attack. After an expensive first two overs, AC tightened things up and starved the home side of boundaries. Sensing that slowing the pace might reap rewards, Doogs introduced Mr B to the attack and the inspirational change was immediately rewarded with two wickets (both LBW) in Mr B's first over.
However, despite being 70-4 Waverley's modest target was still within comfortable reach of the hosts. Trepass in particular was looking poised and dangerous as he closed on his half-century. The breakthrough came thanks to a horrible mix-up between the batsmen, Denton failing to spot KV rushing in to scoop up the ball in the covers. The result was the vital wicket of Trepass, run out on 48. A second run out followed just two overs later with a suicidal single attempted to AC at short fine leg. With nine overs to go in the match and the home side reduced to 90-6, Waverley scented victory. When Mr B castled Bhalarao, the equation became two wickets to win with four overs to go. Troy set up a tense finale by striking with the last ball of the penultimate over (a good catch by Mongo behind the stumps), leaving Waverley six deliveries to grab the final wicket - and with the fourth ball of the final over, Mr B despatched Simpson and delivered Waverley a 46 run victory.
The Man of the Match Hat went to Mr B, his four wickets narrowly pipping KV's 50 runs to the accolade. The *Anchor Hat could easily have been awarded to Mongo (for lecturing Pride of Waverley on how to be a good umpire); however Raoul's decision to just walk off the pitch having umpired for only eight overs was deemed to be insurrection and worthy of punishment. The Pink T-shirt once again found its way to Pride of Waverley, this time for a very dubious piece of fielding whilst in the covers.
Finally, this week's Captain's Challenge saw the players have to bowl a ball at a set of stumps (located in an outdoor net) with their weaker arm - failure to hit the stumps would see £1 added to the Awards Night charity pot. There were some game attempts and one of two even managed to hit the stumps with their efforts - unlike AC, who contributed £2 to the pot for not even getting his effort into the net...