Saturday dawned dull and wet but the optimists will always hope for some cricket to be playable.
Match report by Martin Fears
If you're on top, you want to finish the game quickly, if you're struggling then you pray for rain. The fours were very much in the former mindset, thanks mostly to a sparkling performance from Major Ben Parkyn who stepped into the 4th team for one of his rare annual Wellington appearances. There will not be many who would disagree with his man of the match efforts to have the game wrapped up by 3pm. Much earlier, in fact it felt like just after breakfast as our matches now start an hour earlier at noon, Derick produced a decent toss and fooled the opposition skipper into calling incorrectly [why can't he do this more often?] and with much glee invited Worfield to bat first on a damp wicket and longish outfield which the heavy rains in the preceding days had made ground preparation extremely challenging. New ball pairing of Naz and Major Ben started well and it wasn't long before wickets fell, one each in their first 3 overs. However, in the 7th over Naz slipped awkwardly while fielding at long-leg and was unable to complete his next over due to a back injury. Young Jack Fishman was called up to bowl 3 dots to complete the over. Martin Fears then bowled a maiden at the other end to allow Ben to switch ends and enjoy the wind at his back. The switch of ends paid dividends with Major Ben's wind-assisted spell producing 5-14 in 10 overs, one memorable dismissal was a lightening reflex catch as silly mid-off by Richard Benting. However, this spell was interrupted midway for a 30 minute rain break. Jack Fishman completed his in-to-the-wind spell and with two young Worfield batters at the crease the decision was made to take the pace off the ball from one end and saw the introduction of Alex Brasenell. Umpire Colin Young, doing both ends, had to make a tricky decision when a Worfield batter was bowled off an Alex long-hop that bounced twice. Had the ball's second bounce been in front or behind the popping crease? The former being a no-ball, the latter being out - SCCL rule 21.3 replaces MCC Law 24.6 in this instance Unfortunately, the square-leg umpire [a Worfield player] was either unwilling or unable to assist, so the benefit of doubt rightly went to the batter - not out. The innings was wrapped up when Martin Fears was asked to bowl a second spell [that's not happened this millennium] and his 2nd ball enabled Alan Denver to make a stumping to close the innings at 73-9 [all out] from 28.2 overs. Worfield's top scorer was county u12 player Harvey Sage who made 23. It was still only 2:15pm so the decision was agreed to turn straight around and take tea after 15 overs. With Richard and Derick at the crease and Worfield fielding with 10 players, runs came quickly until in the 3rd over, Richard (18) was bowled with the score on 24. This brought Major Ben to the wicket and in 8 overs he struck a majestic. imperious and chanceless 44 demonstrating perpendicular strokeplay at its finest, to pass the Worfield score in 11 overs - time for some tea. The emphatic win enabled the fours to leap-frog Worfield into 7th place and with 4 to play and now five teams below them, safety is now all but assured for this division for next season. Wem twos are next week's opposition and the fours have now lost just once in nine, can they keep up this good form?