Valley End 193-7 dec
WHCC 131 AO
by David Fowles
The day promised to be a scorcher and before play had even started Fowles had made his best contribution of the day by marking out the square with a pride and skill matched only by Leonardo and he had a better brush and wider range of colours.
Young David Gianotti unsurprisingly had his usual whine about putting the boundary rope out and shortening the boundary, if only because even on a sun baked outfield he struggles to hit it hard enough for a four.
Graeme started the game better this week by bringing his trousers and the team were largely on time and raring to go until he lost the toss and we were unsurprisingly put into field on what was surely the hottest day of the year.
Early efforts from Mr Bronwyn and Mandar were impressive with many deliveries beating the batsmen all ends up but the wickets didn’t tumble, as they should have. Charlie was bought in from the Ashley Cook end to try and take some much-needed wickets and on his first delivery he had his man caught by Mattocks despite his best efforts not to get his athletic frame behind it. The very next ball the new batsman drove one in the direction of the Khedekarnator and was swiftly run out via the gloves of Alan Taylor. Cumar came on from the other end and once he loosened up bowled well but without delivering the bucket full of wickets we needed and was replaced by Mattocks.
Graeme bowled had obviously been taking notes from Charlie when he took a wicket with his first ball and despite being hit for some big boundaries he took 3 wickets for 42 runs. During his partnership with Charlie we had the Sunday teams ‘moment’ of the year as four runs were scored without the ball leaving the square. Charlie bowled a loose one, which was chopped wide and short of Fowles who managed to get two fingers to it to stop it going for 4, Cumar backing up threw it past the stumps (so they ran a second) where it was luzzed onto the stumps by Mandar and past the fielders (so they ran a third) the return throw was so pony and past the wicket that a fourth was run!
Fowles replaced Charlie and with his awesome pace and guile managed to take a wicket in his second over (played on) and despite having been hit for a 4 and a 6 in consecutive balls in his fourth over managed to deliver a dolly of a catch to Mandar who promptly dropped it…. Bugger…. Then Graeme took him off to bring back Mandar, now there’s justice for you.
Shortly afterwards Valley End declared on what was always going to be a challenging target of 194 to win especially with so many non-batsmen in the team.
We were all hoping that the Greek South African would match his maiden WHCC century from the week before with another quality score but sadly he was returning to the clubhouse within the first over! Charlie shortly followed bringing together the Sunday get out of jail pair of Gianotti and Hall for the umpteenth time. A good partnership formed and quickly both players managed to get into the twenties before losing their wickets and exposing our tail to their precise slow bowling. Graeme and Alan Taylor offered some resistance with the big man top scoring with 27 but once they both departed the rest of the team collapsed as we managed a paltry 131 all out in reply.