Waverley strung-up by Lynch-mob
Another game, another batting collapse...
Saturday saw Waverley head to Lynchmere for what is becoming one of the big days out of the season - exemplified by the excellent turnout of both players and supporters at the Prince of Wales for the pre-game luncheon. With regular skipper Doogs having eloped to the US of A, James Wright ("Mongo") took the helm hoping to end the month of May with a win. His select eleven were Adrian Day ("Mog"), Andy Du Gay ("Daddy Doogs"), Simon Brewer ("KV"), Kyle Moxham ("Kylo Ren"), Adam Carmichael ("AC"), Laura Brewer ("Loz"), Sam Tempest ("Troy") and Peter Brewer ("Mr B"). There was also a Waverley debut for Toby Elborough ("Stokesy").
Although Doogs was in America, Mongo still manager to channel his spirit in order to lose the toss. Waverley were invited to bat and the skipper looked to lead from the front along with Mog. The early going was good, although there was enough variable bounce to give both Mongo and Mog pause for thought. Indeed, the variable bounce likely contributed to the first wicket - the ball getting big on Mog and flying off a top-edge into the waiting hands of Varnes. Daddy Doogs strode to the crease at number three, but four overs later he was heading back after a second plumb unlucky LBW decision of the season. At 50-2 Waverley still had plenty of batting in the tank and with Mongo and KV at the crease, there was a justifiable sense of expectation amongst the watching spectators. However, when Mongo played on for 37 Waverley's carefully laid plans started to unravel. Stokesy departed for a golden duck and in the next over, Kylo Ren also departed without troubling the scorers. With Waverley having lurched to 62-5, KV and AC tried to a build a partnership and a couple of boundaries from the former saw the score slowly move in the right direction. However, KV departed soon after for 25 when his top edge was caught behind and Loz was also back in the hutch a few deliveries later. When AC heaved across the line, Waverley had been reduced to 99-8 with only one wicket remaining. Troy was able to nudge the score into three figures, but he was then castled and yet another Waverley batting collapse was complete.
With Lynchmere needing just 101 to win, Waverley then had to suffer the ignominy of fielding for 30 minutes before tea. However, this seemed to galvanise the visitors and they took to the field sensing that a wicket before tea might just make things interesting. Troy and AC were given the new ball knowing that tight bowling (and ideally wickets) were essential. Despite accurate bowling and sharp fielding, Lynchmere started making inroads into the Waverley score. Then, with the last ball before the tea interval, Troy kissed the top of Cain's off-stump to give the visitors the morale-boost they needed: 37-1 the score at the break.
With tea consumed, AC was withdrawn from the attack and Stokesy given a chance to show what he could do. Bowling with pace and aggression, it was just two overs before he bagged his maiden wicket thanks to a good catch from Mog. Waverley continued to keep it tight in the field and the home side started to feel the pressure, losing a wicket attempting a single to Mongo and then Easton being castled by Troy to leave Lynchmere 54-4. Mongo rotated the bowling again, bringing Mr B and Kylo Ren into the attack. They continued to heap pressure on the batsmen with some accurate bowling and two quick wickets to Mr B saw the home side reduced to 77-6. Then, a potentially match-defining moment: with Kylo Ren bowling, Tyler drilled the ball to Troy at short extra-cover. Alas, the catch didn't stick (Troy wounding his finger in the process) and although he redeemed himself with a run-out shortly thereafter, Tyler remained at the crease. AC came back into the attack at the death but further wickets eluded Waverley and in truth, the visitors were probably 20 or 30 runs short of a winning score. A lusty blow from Tyler was enough to bring Lynchmere a three wicket win, but Waverley could take heart from having made the hosts work for it with a good fielding display.
Back at the Prince of Wales it was awards time and Troy swept the board. He bagged the Man of the Match Hat for his bowling display, the *Anchor Hat for the dropped catch and the Pink T-shirt for complaining about the injury it caused (just to rub salt into the wound). Luckily, ECB was on hand to provide medical attention in the form of Disney Princess sticking plasters...