Waverley win at Whiteditch
With Sunday's weather defying the gloomy predictions, Waverley rolled into the village of Ramsdell (choosing not to stop at the Beanie Bed & Breakfast) for a fixture with Whiteditch Rams. Looking to bounce back from consecutive defeats were Marcus Carmichael ("MC"), Chris Beanland ("Beanie"), Ben Harris ("Tea Leaf"), Simon Brewer ("KV"), Adrian Day ("Mog"), Malorie Short ("Mal"), Connor Freeman ("Costa"), James Wright ("Mongo"), Adam Carmichael ("AC"), Laura Brewer ("Loz") and Peter Brewer ("Mr B").
It having turned into one of the hottest cricketing Sundays in recent memory, Mongo inevitably won the toss and elected to field first in this timed game. New ball bowlers Mog and Mal bowled with accuracy - the hosts were limited to 17 runs in the first ten overs and Mog was unlucky not to see an edge snaffled behind the stumps. Mongo also dropped a regulation difficult chance at mid-off, receiving a good deal more sympathy from Mal than anyone else in the team as he was forced off the field for a couple of overs nursing an injury to his chest. However, Mog had a deserved wicket in the final over of his spell when he castled Simpson.
Restored to the field, Mongo stir-fried bowling options in his strategy wok and introduced AC and Costa into the attack. Although both were ultimately wicketless in their spells, AC kept the pressure on with some economical bowling and Costa's pace gave the Whiteditch batsmen pause. When they were withdrawn from the attack, the home side were scoring at just over three an over and time was starting to become a factor (although Holbroke had completed a well made half-century). Mal was re-introduced and quickly broke the second wicket partnership, dispatching Atkins and Holbroke in the same over thanks to catches from Beanie and KV. Tea Leaf then ran out H Bradley with a direct hit from cover, further interrupting the home side's attempt to gain momentum. Mr B was operating from the other end and saw a couple of half chances go begging, before specialist death-bowlers AC and Mog wrapped up the innings with a couple of accurate overs yielding no boundaries - Whiteditch declaring on a very gettable 153-4.
After tea, MC and Beanie looked to build on the foundations laid by the earlier fielding performance. Both were certainly up for the challenge, playing some booming strokes in the early overs. The subsequent loss of MC (10) and Beanie (21, gloving one through to the keeper) did not dampen the sense of optimism that had descended on visitors and spectators alike. Even KV running himself out without facing a ball (the seldom-spotted "diamond duck") still left plenty in reserve as the run-chase gathered pace. Tea Leaf, fresh from a ton against Vagabonds, looked to be in a hurry to leave as he thrashed the ball to all parts, managing twelve boundaries in his knock of 68. When he was out trying one big shot too many, Waverley were 105-4 with plenty of time left to get the runs.
However and with Waverley being Waverley, there was a little nervousness when first Mal (9) and then Costs (0, the often-spotted golden duck) were dismissed in successive deliveries. Fortunately, Mongo had been hiding down the order keeping himself in reserve and with Mog providing the stability at one end, he was free to play a few shots, score a few boundaries and guide Waverley to a welcome victory as they triumphed by four wickets with overs to spare.
Although there were honourable mentions to all the bowlers for their efforts, the Man of the Match Hat went to Tea Leaf for his match-winning half century. The *Anchor Hat went to KV for running himself out without facing, although Beanie ran him close for asking Mal not to shout at him as it made him nervous. The Pink T-shirt was a foregone conclusion, Mongo having to accept the consequences of leaving the field with an "injury".
There then followed an extraordinary session of the Hat Committee (His Deviance Judge Wigg of the Southampton Assizes presiding), with Beanie charged with dereliction of duty as a result of his failure to inform all selected members of the team of the cancellation of the fixture with Aldershot. The charges having been read, Beanie was allowed the make a plea in mitigation which was immediately stricken from the record (as is convention). In passing the standard sentence in such matters - a jug of beer (a four-pint pitcher or similar) to be purchased by the conclusion of the 2018 season - Judge Wigg cited the Hat Committee's guiding principal of petty vindictiveness upholding the high standards of Waverley players, especially those in high office...