Wellington's Fifth Team Off To Flying Start
Wellington 5th XI started the new season in the same manner in which they ended the last, when they were crowned as league champions.
Reman Services 3rd string were the visitors and the weather although 90% dry was extremely cold. The pitch however was in great condition and there were clearly runs to be scored as there were just shy of 500 runs scored in the Third team's fixture vs Covedale the day before.
Captain Steve Gough won the toss and elected to have a bowl.
Kumar Singh opened the bowling for Wellington, supported at the other end by Steve Parry. Some very tight, controlled bowling from both stopped the batting team from scoring heavily. Wickets began to fall with Kumar taking the first wicket of the new season clean bowling the opening batsman. Henry Davies came on as first change and took a wicket with only his second ball.
Wellington started to gather momentum, despite a valiant effort from the number 2 batman before being dismissed just shy of his half century (46). Some nice takes behind the stumps by Andy Howells and some great work in the field kept the score down throughout the day.
At the half way point further bowling changes were made, bringing Srinivasan Koottalai and Sheehan Gunarwardena into the attack. The changes appeared to be effective as both took valuable wickets. A great catch from Captain Gough then secured the wicket of a very dangerous batsman which put the home side in a strong position. Matt Earley next took the ball and was immediately rewarded with a wicket after a good catch from Simon Topper. Another wicket by Sheehan and 3 more wickets from Matt in a good 4 over spell bowled the visitors out for 127 in the 35th over of the game.
After a great team effort reducing the visitors to 127 it was important Wellington went out, applied themselves and saw the game through.
Sheehan Gunarwardena and Simon Topper opened the batting for Wellington and got off to a fantastic start with Sheehan playing some lovely shots and knocking a very good 31 before being caught. Simon dug in and kept the score ticking over, doing exactly what was needed and added a very valuable 23 before being given out LBW. Matt Earley chipped in with 12 and James Brothwood's 8 put the side in a good position to knock off the required runs that remained. A very mature batting display from both Henry Davies in at 4 and Lewis Gough in at 6 helped to see the side get within touching distance of victory. A mini collapse after the fall of Lewis' wicket for 11 put a little pressure on the home side but supported by Steve Gough it was Davies who hit the required 2 runs to seal victory for Wellington and left the young man finishing not out on 11.
Overall it was a fantastic team effort where every single player contributed and helped shape the result.
Wellington face a tough away test next Saturday at Hales where they will hope to build on the promising start they have made to the season as a newly promoted side to the division.