Shehan Strikes As Wellington Secure Back-to-back Wins
Wellington move up the table on 44 points after a fantastic team display away at Knockin & Kinnerley.
Captain Simon Topper won the toss for the second week in a row and elected to bat.
The fixture last summer saw Wellington bowl the home side out for 20 with opening bowlers Kumar Singh & Shehan Gunawardena taking 5 wickets each. However, this game was nothing like the previous years fixture.
Wellington got off to a great start with openers Simon Topper (18) & Shehan Gunawardena (12) scoring freely and quickly. It was a great track to bat on and one where Wellington were looking to set a good target to defend.
It was Shehan who lost his wicket first, caught & bowled. There seemed un certainty and the decision split opinion with some believing it to be a bump ball? However the umpire had made his decision and Shehan walked off. It was a good knock, including an early hit maximum.
Matt "Jug Avoidance" Earley (49) came in at 3 and him & Simon kept things moving. Earley took advantage of some slightly off target bowling and finding the horse field with some maximums. The first bowling change came and Wellington kept the score moving at a fast pace with boundaries and singles in each over as the scoreboard kept ticking over nicely. Some good shots and cricket played by both men at the crease. Unaware of his score Matt was out Lbw missing one on leg stump as his days play came to an end. Umair Nawaz (56) was in at 4, he had a great knock and thoroughly deserved his and Wellington's first half century of the new season.
Captain Simon Topper fell next, bowled around his legs after a Warne like delivery? A similar delivery to the one that trapped Matt. The natural slope on the pitch should have seen both deliveries go down leg side.
Brief knocks in the middle by Ben Lee (0) & Ewan Griffiths (3) got Knockin a foothold in the game. Chris Newbold (17) in at 6 batted extremely well and even passed several opportunities to destroy some full toss deliveries as he looked to play himself in. Some good shots. Arguably his best shot of the day, was caught low down in the covers. Dropped and caught in his knees low down. A great catch and extremely unlucky.
After Newbold's dismissal him & Matt had a walk around the ground to reflect on their innings. This turned in to a game of "boules" throwing cricket balls, closest ball to the flags around the boundary wins. Both, clearly carried away found themselves behind the bowlers arm as play had to be paused when the two fully grown idiots had to move after being picked up by the youth of the team.
Play resumed after a comedy interruption. A fantastic knock at the end by Ryan Lloyd (24)* which had a bit of everything. Some nice shots & powerful hitting, including one maximum which nearly hit the skippers car. Fortunately for Ryan it missed so he should remain in contention for a place in next weeks team when selected.
A comedic knock by Kumar Singh (8)* in at a 9 for the final 2 overs. His first delivery looping high after a top edge right under the wicket keepers nose. He turned and in doing so foxed the keeper who followed Kumar's eyes and not the ball as it dropped to safety. Like Ryan, Kumar finished un beaten. I'm sure Simon will receive numerous texts and pleas from Kumar requesting a further step up the batting order in the next game at home to Madeley.
The away side finished the scheduled 40 overs on a very well achieved 236/7.
Wellington came out to bowl after tea with opening pair Kumar Singh & Ewan Griffiths starting the attack for the visitors. In fairness it was a frustrating time in the field for some time and the opening pair for Knockin & Kinnerley got to 42 & 72 respectively in fairly quick fashion.
Wellington just couldn't seem to find the breakthrough they wanted despite a good bowling spell from both.
Simon changed things around as Wellington looked to buy a wicket.
Chances in the field just weren't sticking and lady luck seemed to have eluded them.
The first bowling change saw Alex Brasenall take a wicket in his first over after a good catch by Ewan Griffiths. It was a good 5 over spell by Alex as Wellington created further chances. The wicket seemed to lift the visitors and more chances were created and put down in the field. It felt like it just wasn't going to happen! Despite putting a tremendous score on the board to defend it looked in parts like the home side may well chase down the total set.
Drinks came and a fairly flat Wellington side gathered. Some inspirational words from the skipper and a bit of orange squash seemed to do the trick. Further wickets followed as Ryan Lloyd got the reward his bowling deserved. George Topper hit next clean bowling the number 5 batsman. George also slowed down the score somewhat in his brief 3 over spell & Wellington seemed to grow in confidence and believe that the game could still be won.
Some great keeping behind the stumps by newly promoted Ben Lee helped this as he ensured extras were kept to a minimum.
Shehan, suffering with a shoulder injury came on to bowl spin?? His action changed an over in and his fluency improved after each ball. After a few overs it was like watching him 12 months before at the same ground. Shehan dismissed the danger man for 72 after a good catch by Alex Brasenall. Shehan decided to drop one himself mid-way through the game however he was alert enough to hit the stumps from fairly close range and run out the batsman who was day dreaming and caught half way down the track.
It was Shehan who finished things off after this. A 6 wicket hall including a hatrick to finish things off saw him end the day with figures of 5.3-1-21-6.
Overall despite some flat periods in the field it was a fantastic team display where every single player did their bit and contributed towards a well deserved yet ground out victory.
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