Taylor's Swift Knock Sees Wellington Home
Wellington’s third string got their season off to a flying start courtesy of an exhilarating run chase against Corvedale.
Captain Steve Pitchford won the toss and elected to make first use of the bowler-friendly conditions of mid-April. However, Wellington’s attack was erratic in the early overs, allowing the visitors to progress to 89 in good time before the first wicket finally fell. Some early-season rustiness, both with the ball and in the field, contributed to a general failure to exert any pressure on the Corvedale batsmen, and by drinks it was clear that a large total was in the offing.
Nevertheless, Wellington rallied well in the final 15 overs of the innings courtesy of some tight bowling by Jordan Hyde and Ben Pilkington. Their discipline helped to restrict the visitors to a challenging yet attainable total of 239-8. Moreover, with due pressure applied, there was still time for Pilks to claim an unlikely hat trick off the final three balls of the innings: two clean bowled and one sharp stumping by his younger brother.
Richard Benting began the chase in typically circumspect fashion, bludgeoning four 4s and a 6 in the early exchanges. It was a glimpse of the form he showed last season, when he finished as the league’s leading scorer. Furthermore, it will be some relief for Pitchford to see his opener – who found himself on the wrong end of a burglar’s Taser over the winter – back in such electrifying form.
Benting’s shocking departure for 30 could not, however, derail Wellington’s bright start. Alex Taylor (85) and Ian Murphy (30) came together to inject fresh impetus into the run-chase. Once again Taylor showed the maturity and levelheadedness for which he has become renowned, as he steered Wellington towards their target - ably assisted by Alan Denver (16) and the captain (40*) in the latter overs - and completed a comfortable four-wicket victory.
Wellington travel to Iscoyd and Fenns Bank next Saturday where they will hope to build on a promising start to the season.