Wood Street get the better of Waverley
'Tis better to have played the game and lost than not to have played at all...
With the majority of Waverley's players reporting rain around on the Sunday morning, it came as a pleasant surprise that not only did the match start on time, but a full game was possible as Wood Street Village seemed to escape the worst of the weather. Lining-up for the mighty Wave were James Wright ("Mongo"), Chris Beanland ("Colin"), Matt Du Gay ("Bobble"), Simon Brewer ("KV"), Simon Knox ("Chewy"), Will Knox ("Ewok"), Malorie Short ("Mal"), Sam Tempest ("Troy"), Peter Brewer ("Mr B"), Kyle Moxham ("Kylo Ren") and Adam Carmichael ("AC").
With the game reduced to 35 overs to allow for any potential rain delays, Doogs promptly lost the toss and Waverley were to bat first on a damp wicket. Consistent run-scoring was to be the key in this match and Waverley's cause was not helped when Mongo guided the ball into the hands of the point-fielder in the first over without scoring (although it did leave him with plenty of spare time to chat with Katie). Doogs promoted himself up the order to number three and a couple of big swishes to leg kick-started the scoreboard; however he found himself back in the pavilion after being castled for 16 by a ball that kept particularly low off the track. KV also made a start and got to 17, before he too fell victim to the pitch (a massive off-cutter jagging back in from well outside the off-stump). Meanwhile, Colin remained resolute at the other end and soon managed to get a couple of lusty blows across the slow outfield and over the rope for some much-needed boundaries. However, in trying to force the run-rate along he played one big shot too many and departed for 27. Chewy and Ewok tried to breath life into the scoring rate but were restricted mainly to singles, Waverley denied a big-scoring over by the home side's bowling attack. Mal got a brief cameo towards the end of Waverley's innings when Chewy fell for 26; but by the end of the 35 overs Waverley had posted 128-6, about 20 runs short of what they would have liked.
After tea, Troy and Kylo looked to make early in-roads knowing that there weren't many runs to play with. Wood Street's openers seemed to enjoy a bit of pace on the ball and quickly got runs on the board, although Kylo did grab a wicket for the visitors in the opening exchanges. Doogs swiftly decided to take the pace off the ball by bringing Mr B and AC into the attack and the pair soon showed why they enjoy bowling at Wood Street, sharing four wickets between them: particular highlights were KV's one-handed catch over his head from Mr B, along with AC bouncing out Mitchell. Mal came into the attack for Mr B and also helped herself to two wickets, even showing her ruthless streak by bowling an in-swinging yorker at a young boy. However and despite working hard in the field, Waverley's lack of runs in the first innings came back to haunt them. Despite a late wicket from Doogs, an edge through the slip cordon saw a two-wicket win for Wood Street with a handful of overs to spare.
There was double award success for AC, who won the Man of the Match Hat for his bowling spell and the *Anchor Hat for shelling a simple catch off his own bowling (although there were repeated instances of Waverley players trying to throw their teammates under the bus with Pink T-shirt nominations, which did not pass unnoticed). The Pink T-shirt was award to Ewok - not for canoodling, but for saying "ow" and wincing in pain after a high-five from Mal.
With the awards out of the way, there was then a matter of internal discipline to be dealt with - His Deviance Judge Wig of the Southampton Assizes was required to adjudicate on the matter of The Waverley Cricket Club Hat Committee v Matthew "Pokemon" Du Gay. Charged with ignoring a senior pro's offer of a lift because he was "playing Pokemon Go" with his fiancée, Mr Du Gay's plea in mitigation (that it was actually his fiancée who had declined the offer of a lift and not him) cut no ice with the well-known hanging Judge. With a Waverley captain expected to uphold certain standards both on and off the pitch, a swift guilty verdict was followed by a sentence of a jug of beer (a four pint-pitcher or similar, for the avoidance of any doubt) to be purchased at any of Waverley's remaining matches, or at the latest the Annual Quiz and Awards Night. Proof that at Waverley, justice is swift and decisive - although Mal seemed to be baffled by the whole process...