Undone By A Spicy Waiter
The 4th team travelled to near neighbours Cound [both in league position and geographical] hoping to pull further away from the relegation positions.
The warm-up was hardly necessary with the temperature already at 25+ degrees and the hike through 2 fields from the temporary designated car park for the day to find the cricket ground and pavilion. With slip, slop, slap in full swing skipper Benting won the toss and stuck to the tried and tested "bowl first" strategy. His teammates were slightly less than impressed as the realisation dawned that this meant 3 hours toil in the hot afternoon sun now awaited them. Still, with two spinners in the team and drinks booked for every 15 overs, the troops were pacified. Black and Keeble shared the new ball and it was Keeble who made the breakthrough at the end of the 14th over with the score on 51. This bought Pabel Kumar Saha to the wicket. Our opposition had informed us he was a chance acquisition from the curry house in Shrewsbury that sponsor Cound CC where he is a waiter, and he was on debut. As he took guard, someone in our ranks suggested he would probably be nervous and would soon falter. 32 overs later he finally missed a straight one from young Henry Davies, having helped himself to 116 runs including 5 sixes and 15 fours along the way. During this period wickets had been captured, Jonny Black's 2nd spell yielding 4-56 from 9. Martin Fears was the most economical of the 5 bowlers used on the small Cound ground but it was young Davies who mopped up the tail earring best figures of 4-49, to see Cound bowled out in their 50th over having amassed 272 runs.
The Wellington response was steady if unspectacular, losing Mark O'Connor (5) and Matt Denver (10) early doors. Derick Benting (54) and Alan Denver (64) then put on a 51 run stand to keep the chase on. Bruce Harris (11) and Gary Davies (20) perished trying to keep the rate up and at 5 down still requiring 116 from 15 overs, outright victory was now looking highly improbable. The dry pitch also looked to be deteriorating with unpredictable and inconsistent bounce becoming more frequent. When a weary Denver fell LBW for a top score of 64 it was left to Martin Fears (9) and Ben Keeble (8) to claim the losing draw. As the players all shook hands we were expecting to hear, "the papadams are on me" as the Cound players celebrated gaining the upper hand on this encounter. WCC 12 points, Cound 16 points.
Match report by Martin Fears