Dragon's Slayed After Pope Departs
The 4th team continued their impressive recent form in search of reserve division one survival on Saturday when they hosted St Georges II.
Match report by Martin Fears
The match was slightly unusual in several respects, the first being that St Georges turned up without a skipper. The toss was eventually completed with the St Georges stand-in skipper calling correctly and inviting Wellington to have first dig. The second unusual event was that the wicket was newly prepared, this mostly being a 3rd team privilege. The third unusual event was that the wicket was soft and damp. The fourth unusual event was that the Wellington batting unit collectively delivered, amassing a formidable 305 runs in their allotted 50 overs. The redoubtable Alan Denver top scoring with 72 supported by decent contributions from Naz Akhtar (52), debutant Charles Harrison (51), Richard Benting (37), Bruce Harris (26) and another not-out from Martin Fears (16) at the death. The innings closed on a sour note with Dave Pope, having taken to the field in the 36th over, disgracefully choosing to have an on-field argument with umpire Colin Young over his judgement of a no-ball that had clipped and dislodged Naz Akhtar's leg bail on the full after Naz had charged down the track. The game was held up for a short while until the Pope realised that the umpire is always right and he had no god-given right to challenge this. The spirit of cricket had regrettably been breached and disciplinary action will likely be sought to address this undisciplined behaviour which had no place on a cricket field. Ironically, Naz holed out to long-off the very next ball. Nevertheless 305 from the fourths is a record score - splendid effort chaps.
The reply was expected to be stodgy, however, the Pope had gone home once he realised that he would not be permitted to bat because he arrived more than 2 hours after the start time [SCCL rule 9.6 refers] and another St Georges player had also departed for reasons unknown. So it was a huge and very pleasant surprise when Naz's first ball up, the batter played on; nought for one. Then, later in the same over, newbie Harrison took a superb reflex catch at silly-mid-on; nought for two [effectively four]. Mike Nadal bowled the number four before St Georges went into retrenchment mode playing safely through to the 21st over where the introduction of Martin Fears made the breakthrough to have the chirpy stand-in skipper dismissed by a Richard Benting catch at mid-wicket off his very first delivery. Martin followed this up by clean-bowling the remaining opener and bowling his replacement with his baboon ball to finish pick of the bowlers with 3-20 from 7. Ewan Griffiths took a wicket with his very first delivery and the innings was wrapped up shortly after by the Zimbabwean duet, caught [big Bruce] Harris bowled newbie Harrison - the catch was in doubt for what seemed an eternity while Bruce demonstrated simultaneous juggling and tumbling skills, but the ball remained firmly in his clasp at the end of the show. The final unusual event was that the fours had won by the impressive margin of 190 runs. A comprehensive victory for skipper Derick Benting and his troops now means the fours have gone seven games undefeated and pushing for mid-table safety, success in the next two matches could cement their league status for 2014.