Harris Hundred in vain as Vagabonds vanquish Waverley
Vagabonds beat Waverley by 1 wicket despite a ton by Ben Harris in a thrilling finale to Sunday's game.
Waverley arrived at Vagabonds on a beautiful day for cricket fresh off the back of a humbling defeat at Oakley the weekend before. There had been some last minute changes to the side with Simon Brewer dropping out (back injury) and Jamie Harris (Deadpool 2 on a the cinema University coursework), however, a missed flight to Greece the day before meant the club's resident kiwis Mal and Jaydon Short were able to play.
Despite a dismal batting display the week before skipper James Wright backed his batsmen and elected to bat first having won the toss, a decision he was question when he found himself back in the hutch after just 2 balls. Marcus Carmichael showed some attacking intent but was back soon after but was undone by the Yorker on 7. Chris Beanland was also back in the pavilion having been trapped LBW and Waverley found themselves in the all to familiar position of having the top order wiped out with less than 10 on the board. Ben Harris and Tom Heighes looked to begin building a partnership but the inconsistent bounce on the track was causing problems and Tom got a leading edge and was caught in cover. The same fate befell Jaydon Short how got a leading edge which went straight back to bowler M Mayes for caught and bowled and then Adrian Day got one that popped on him and found himself joining the growing number of batsmen back in the pavilion.
Around the carnage that was the Waverley middle order Ben Harris continued to accumulate runs and punished the bowling whenever it strayed off line while batting maturely against the straight ball. He made his way to 50 before accelerating on to the 100 mark with Mal Short blocking out at the other end to support the partnership. In the end, the wicket of Mal fell having made a resilient 14 as part of a 96 run partnership. Waverley were now on a more respectable 152-8 but the end of the innings was rapidly approaching with just 15 minutes to go until tea. Sam Tempest came and went, bowled by the excellent R Boote, before Ben Harris finally fell for 108. A special mention to Connor Freeman for 4* with his first boundary for the club but with Pete Brewer being caught (that pesky uneven bounce claiming another victim) the Waverley innings ended on 170 10 minutes before tea.
A rather excellent tea was taken early and Vagabonds set-off in pursuit of the target. Waverley's bowling started superbly with 3 maidens in the opening 4 overs and then an early breakthrough, Adrian Day being rewarded for his fine bowling by the wicket of Hutchins who was caught by Harris. Harding and Clay, however, began to make the bowlers toil a dug in to build the kind of partnership the Waverley top order were unable to do. With only a small target to defend each run conceded was a blow to the fielding side as vagabonds marched on towards the total. Skipper Wright shuffled the pack and changed the bowlers and Waverley found a way back in to the game with Mal Short and Connor Freeman bowled tight lines. Mal struck first with the wicket of Harding, the ball was straight and the batsman was as late on it as Mal and Jaydon were at the airport the day before. A second wicket fell soon after, Mal getting the ball to drift through the air like the plane to Greece she should have been on bowl Hyndman. Connor quickly got in on the act as well and dismissesd Clay for 46, caught at point by a startled A Day and the hosts had quickly crumbled from 99-1 to 113-4. The 5th wicket fell soon after, Connor drawing level with Mal's wicket total for the game with another catch to a startled A Day. Clearly fired up by the prospect that her partner might take more wickets then her today Mal went on the rampage. Bowling on a tight line she claimed the wickets of Harding (caught Harris), Perton (Bowled) and Hill (LBW), the 3 wickets falling for just 39 runs. The 9th wicket came in bizarre fashion when Mayes pushed the ball to cover and called the single despite the ball already being in Connor's hand, Allen at the non-strikers end sent him back with Connor still casually holding the ball before realising there was a game of cricket still being played. The throw in was casual yet accurate allowing M Carmichael to whip of the bails with the batsman fractionally out of his ground.
Having been bowled out for 170 Waverley found themselves with Vagabonds on the roped. With 16 overs still to be played the hosts had the time but on 166-9 following their collapse the finish became tense. Heighes, bowling from the top end, bowled full and the batsman stole a quick single putting Hyde on strike. The second ball looked a perfect Yorker, full straight and quick. The bat was on it late but got it cleanly and the pace of the ball took it away square for 4. Game over, but what a finish to a game that threatened the be a non-event at tea!
In the post match awards were a foregone conclusion. The pink t-shirt went to Simon Brewer for crying off the game while man of the match went to Ben Harris for hitting a ton in a losing side. The Anchor hat threatened to go to Jim for some petulant behaviour following his dismissal but the writing was on the wall for a certain pair of siblings...just how do you manage to miss a flight for your holidays?