Warminister CC 3’s vs Allington CC - Saturday 8 June 2019
By Matthew Stephen
The A350 was calling again and Allington were Warminster bound. With a few wrong turns, and calls to others, we all eventually arrived.... just.
The A350 was calling again and Allington were Warminster bound. With a few wrong turns, and calls to others, we all eventually arrived at Warminster 3’s ground, tucked in behind the Garrison razor fences. Note to other teams, don’t use the postcode and follow the instructions in the handbook.
Last weeks disappointment at Lacock didn’t dampen the teams spirits, even if the dark clouds on the horizon might. Rotation in the team due to family commitments and travelling to Portugal to watch some dodgy international match. Fines for this I’m sure.
This meant that we had a new leader, a mountain of a man that we could all get behind and respect. Step up John aka Ankles who immediately lost his first challenge, the toss. Warminster elected to field, which apparently Ankles would have chosen anyway.
Next captain’s decision, batting order. Lee to open, with….Ankles. Followed by Fraser then Smithers. Cometh the hour, (1pm) cometh the man but not wearing his pads. So a short delay to the start, whilst Ankles returned to the changing rooms to get properly dressed.
Before the match started, Warminster asked us to join them in a minutes silence in memory of Graham Few who sadly passed away recently and was a former 3rd team play. RIP Graham.
Warminster opened with the prime attack bowlers, but this didn’t stop Lee hitting them for 6 (+1 for no ball) in the first over. John knocked the first ball of the second over for 1, giving Lee the strike to hit another boundary. Allington on 13 after two overs. Unfortunately it wasn’t going to be a captain’s innings as Ankles fell to an LBW decision in the next over.
Lee was joined by Fraser aka Blisters with high expectations to build the innings. They started well moving the score on to 29 in the next 3 overs before Lee was caught and bowled by Ambler (he ended on 2 for 18 off 9 overs).
In came Smithers, keen to improve on his previous poor batting. Facing Ambler, he had to take evasive action several times as the wicket decided to give variable bounce. Blisters and Smithers batted through the strong openers and pushed the score on to 41 as pressure was applied with several maiden overs.
The careful stroke play and low scoring eventually frustrated the natural free swinging (cricket term not the other swinging) Blisters who went for a walk down the wicket, missed and was quickly stumped.
Josh aka Dave joined Smithers who by this stage had finally hit some boundaries. Dave was also keen to improve on his one and only batting performance to date and avoid a second duck.
Dave and Smithers pushed the ball around and received several bits of luck with multiple dropped catches and a run out that wasn’t which the wicket keeper owned up to like a true sportsman, Not that it made a huge difference when Smithers miss timed his shot and a thick top edge went to leg gully.
Allington 56 for 4 off 18 overs.
The spritely Jack joined Dave at the wicket and the team expected fireworks. Either boundaries or wickets would result. Josh started to find his timing and moved his score of to 26 hitting a 6 straight back over the bowler and pavilion.
Dave was then bowled which brought in the experienced John Cleverly aka Clevs. Allington 83 for 5 off 24.
Jack and Clevs batted on for the next 14 overs with a masterful display of hitting slow, wide, full tosses around the park, both trying to be the first to reach 50. Again Jack succumbed to the exuberance of youth, walking down the wicket to smash a slow ball, missing it, ending with another stumping for the keeper. However the partnership had moved Allington on to 173 for 6 off 39. 6 overs left and the tail needed to support Clevs. In came Wayne aka Windmill
He didn’t disappoint hitting a beautifully swept shot through point for 6. Not sure what happened on his next ball though as the stumps came off after hitting them with something. Clev had continued his batting masterclass with the slower bowlers, taking Allington on to 206 for 7 with just 4 overs left
Up stepped the silver fox aka Greg. Keen to maintain his batting average (1) and maintain his not out record. 4 overs to survive. Again some poor fielding by Warminster with frail out fielders becoming despondent with fielding instructions.
Greg started to swing at the wides and full tosses and surged to a massive (compared to previous innings) 8. But not out. Clev was hitting the ball well, with the final over going for 18 and Clev amassing 95 and taking Allington on to 241. Jug avoidance fines for Jack (short of 50) and double jug avoidance for Clev (short of 100).
Tea taken and Warminster needing just over 5 an over for the win.
Ankles opened aggressively with pace bowling coming from Windmill and Dave. Both kept mostly tight lines and applied early pressure, with Windmill opening with a maiden. Dave going for 11 (for the record the score book has the names in wrong order). Warminster lost their first wicket in the 9th over having reach 29 with a sublime catch by Lee at mid-wicket, picking the ball up at shoe lace height for Windmills first of two wickets.
10th and 11th overs were profitable for both opening bowlers with Windmill and Dave getting wicket maidens. Dave taking two wickets, one smashing the bails off and the other snaffled up expertly by Smithers behind the wickets. Windmills second wicket fell to a beautifully crafted seam bowl that moved into the wicket past the bat. The hosts were 33 for 4 off 11 overs.
With Windmill having bowled 6 overs for his best numbers yet 2 – 5 and Dave taking 2 – 24, Ankles decided to change the attack and brought Mike Hunt on (Mike) for his debut and Paul Durham from the other end. Mike kept them honest and eventually went for 26 off 6 overs and Paul hit for 27 off 5 overs, picking up a wicket with a good ball to get the LBW decision.
Warminster 54 for 5 off 16 but their no.5 batsman was scoring freely, especially through mid-on with some nicely timed shots.
Ankles changed the attack again, showing the depth of Allingtons bowling talent. Fraser and Lee stepped up to the plate (wrong sport again) and brought the heat after the spin of Paul and Mike.
Both bowlers kept it tight against the strong Warminster batsman. Fraser unfortunate not to get a wicket, finishing his 5 overs for 17. Lee ended his 6 overs for a few more runs (29) but more importantly took 2 wickets including Warminsters’ danger man (ended on 62). Good bowling applied pressure which resulted in the ball popping up from a thick edge to a confident call from Jack to take the catch at gully.
Lee’s second came straight after with a delicate inside edge that was again taken expertly by Smithers. Both the umpire and bowler didn’t appeal, but with a clear nick and an honest batsman who walked, Lee got his wicket. Smithers up to 7 wickets for the season so far chasing league 7 record of 22.
Allington were in buoyant mood now, and could taste the cold beer waiting for them. Ankles changed the bowlers again, asking Jack and Clevs to finish Warminster off, which they duly did. With this quality in depth, Warminster didn’t last long.
Clev bowled 5 overs for 10 taking one wicket. Jack bowled 4 overs taking 2 for 19, and the final wicket caught and bowled. Allington win by 60 runs to take them to net second in the league behind Christian Malford (Chippenham have played one more game).
A good win on the road at Warminster. Very enjoyable game with good banter by both sides in the field, coming together at the start to show respect to a fallen comrade of the sport.
The remaining batsman fought on valiantly eventually being all bowled out in the 42 over and 60 runs behind.