Seconds Scrape Draw Against Halesowen
By David Ross
Wellington 2nd XI battled hard in order to deny Halesowen from taking all the points on a hot day at Orleton Park.
Having lost the toss, the strong Wellington line up were in the field on what looked a good pitch. Halesowen got off to a flying start, both openers looking comfortable against opening bowlers, Delaney and Stinson. Despite the best efforts from the opening pair and some sharp fielding, runs began to leak and the hundred was bought up in the 18th over.
However, the introduction of young left arm spinner Dan Lloyd changed the game in Wellington's favour, he bowled with great maturity and the runs started to dry up. Seeing the effect that Lloyd was having on the batsmen, captain Moules bought himself into the attack and the pair bowled Wellington back into the game.
From this point wickets fell at regular intervals, Lloyd helping himself to 3 for 53 in 14 tight overs and Moules, who's experienced shone through picked up a fine 7 for 27 in 12 overs. Both bowlers were backed up by some excellent fielding, highlights include two great catches by Sam Lloyd and Daniel Vaughan. After the start that Halesowen got off too, Wellington came off a happy side restricting them 205 all out in their 50 overs.
In reply, Wellington's top order started slowly due to some tight bowling by Halesowen's opening pair. Wellington then lost three quick wickets and found themselves in trouble at 40 for 3. This bought Delaney to the crease and along with opener Saunders the pair began to rebuild the innings. The pair both showed their class and batted patiently as the runs started to flow more easily. At this point Wellington were in the driving seat however when Saunders fell for a well made 41 the game turned away from Wellington again.
Despite their best efforts none of Wellington's middle order could support Delaney and form a partnership, so when Delaney fell for a fine 48 the game seemed to be out of reach for Wellington. Three quick wickets then fell and it was once again left to youngster Dan Lloyd and captain Moules to bat out the remaining overs in order to secure the losing draw for the side. Lloyd, who looked comfortable at the crease fought off everything that the Halesowen side threw at him and finished with a well made 14*, well supported by his captain at the other end. Wellington finished on 180 for 9 off their 50 overs, 25 runs short of their target.
Wellington will look to take the many positives from the hard fought game as they entertain Tamworth next Saturday.
Match report by Tim Dean