WHCC 145 for 9 dec - J Gill 42

Park Hill 58 all out

by David Fowles

The weather had been variable all week with the Saturday teams the day before interrupted several times for rain but Sunday morning was sunny with a few clouds. Charlie had barely squeezed the roller into the shed at 13:15 when the heavens opened and 30 minutes of rain followed delaying the start of the game until 14:20.

The game saw three d├ębutantes: Jaideep ‘Jimmy’ Gill to open the batting, Sean ‘Beaver’ Beavis and James Morley’s speed ‘gun’. Technically later in the game we had another team debut called excellent fielding.

The dampened wicket and humid atmosphere did lend itself to the possibility of some swing from the ball so I wasn’t surprised that my lost toss would result in us being put into bat. Jimmy started well and knew exactly when a shot was required and when to leave the best option, Peter Grafton looked a good bet until he unfortunately clipped one of his legs and was caught behind square leg.

The Italian Stallion came in but looked uncomfortable to the swinging ball and he soon tried to chip one over the close fielders but was excellently caught on the dive at Gulley. Albert got a wicked swinging delivery that shot onto his pads, result lbw and the next three batsmen quickly followed each failing to score any runs. The skipper went in but couldn’t get to grips with the movement and was soon skying the ball until he was caught for a massive 3 (more than the previous 4 batsmen put together !).

Once Rajeev Marwaha was caught the score was 71 for 9. This left Mandar and Sean to salvage some pride, we all know Mandar can bat but Sean was claiming all day he was rusty, hadn’t touched a bat for two years etc. The result was that 17 overs later I had to declare as a final wicket partnership of 74 gave us a very respectable score of 145 for 9 to defend. Incidentally the fastest ball was clocked at 65 mph.

Following Mandar’s unexpected additional exercise with the pads on he fancied a break and so I turned to last years opening bowler Rajeev to partner Sean Beavis to open the attack. Sean’s debut with the ball was impressive for it’s pace (up to 69 mph before James Morley unplugged it) and accuracy and on another day he would have got a hat full but finished wicket less. Rajeev’s bowling was variable with the odd fantastic ball swinging across the batsmen but countered by ones that had Alan Taylor wondering why he had yet again come out of retirement.

The second string bowling was carefully planned to harness the pace and swing of Mandar against the slow, tight but hittable bowling of Fowles. Mandar once again showed why he is our most consistent bowler as he swung the ball and shaved the stumps on several occasions and although he only took the one wicket his 8 overs contained 5 maidens and only 5 runs scored from the bat! The problem as always on a Sunday was going to be taking wickets and having some variety to the pace attack we posses and without the Cardiff bound Smithy or Fray Bentos Green it fell to Fowles to tempt the batsmen.

What followed was a master class in slow swing bowling reminiscent of Mark Butcher the day before against Zimbabwe in the first test at Lord’s. The bowling was tight and the ball beat the edge on many occasions with two flashed shots just avoiding the close fielders before Jimmy showed us his juggling act to take a firmly hit shot. Not to be out done Beavis and Butthead (Jayson) at mid on and mid off both took good catches running into and around the wicket off the skippers bowling. As pointed out by Alan Taylor (senior Sunday Pro) I am obliged to inform Smithy that my slower ball started on leg and cut back like a leg spinner across all three stumps to the amazement of the close fielders, so it can be done!

With overs fast running out and still with four wickets to take I made the decision to bring on the African Loin King Jayson Bird, now sans beard. Despite Alan’s earlier mystic Meg like predictions that I would get 5 wickets and Sean’s encouragement that I would clear out the tail Jayson made that academic as he took all four wickets in just two overs.

At the end of the day it was the first win for the Sunday team and welcome to a quality batman in Jaideep ‘Jimmy’ Gill (who will hopefully grace WHCC many more times this season) and another South African all rounder in Sean Beavis.

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