Fifth Team Return To Winning Ways
By David Ross
Simon Topper's men bowled Worfield out for just 82 as they bounced back from last week's defeat with an 83 run victory.
Match report by Kevin Vaughan
On a scorching hot day, Wellington 5ths made the journey up the A442 to joint table topping Worfield 3rds.
This fixture was the penultimate game of the 5ths schedule last season and resulted in a rained off draw. Several blamed the home skipper, referred to by many as: ‘The Claudio Ranieri of Cricket’” for his constant tinkering of the field and ultimately, this lead to Wellington not having the time to finish off the tail before the rain came.
The result last year was irrelevant though with Wellington having already been guaranteed promotion and Worfield comfortably sat in mid table. This year however, the fixture contained a certain amount of Gravitas, with both sides at the summit of division ‘4a.’
Upon arriving at the ground, and hearing the dulcet tones of Shehan singing the academy award winning track: ‘Let it Go’ from Disney’s Frozen everyone immediately knew Shehan had some good news to break to the team. Shehan informed everyone it was in actual fact his birthday. This lead to 9 rather anxious looks around the dressing room to see if anyone had a cake knocking around in their cricket bag. When no one could dig out anything remotely celebratory, one by one, each player made their excuses and left the changing room for a warm up. You’ll notice at this point 9 + Shehan only makes 10 players. This is correct. Although not proven, Ben Harrison turned up late to what many think was to avoid the awkwardness of forgetting Shehans’ birthday. A tactical swerve you could say.
Skipper Simon Topper lost the toss and was asked to have a bat. A decision ‘Tops’ was keen to let everyone know he would have made anyway should he have called correctly.
Wellington opening pair Chris Newbold (5) and Ben Harrison (2) were frustrated by the left arm opening bowlers one of which surprisingly was a tweaker taking homage from international limited over cricket. This made scoring runs early on difficult and it wasn’t until Matt Early came in and Swash buckled his way to a quick fire 33, did Wellingtons momentum pick up. Si Topper anchored the innings for Wellington with a gritty 45 while his partners came and went to varying degrees of success. After 8 overs of singles and doubles, Kevin Vaughan (8) fell LBW just after drinks and then Wellington started to find some power hitting down the order. Matty Simmonds blasting 25 quick runs followed by Shehan Gunawardena (18) who fell just as Wellington were starting to fire on all cylinders hitting 14 runs the over before his dismissal. Kumar Singh came in at 8 still scolding from being run out by his skipper the week before and returned the favour by staying put at the strikers end leaving Tops stranded. Many felt that there was never a single on offer but because I want to be selected next week, I refuse to comment.
With Si Topper dismissed for 45, Worfield closed in on the Wellington tail removing Kumar (1) & George Topper (0) unfortunate to be dismissed with a Direct hit from Long on. Jason Whitley (3) and Alex Brasenall (5) added an important 8 and kept their wickets in tact to not allow Worfield any extra overs, setting the home side just over 3.6 an over from their 45 to claim an important victory.
After discussion had turned from how delicious the Key Lime Pie was at tea, thoughts turned to the defending of a target which the away side felt was just about par. Worfield bowled well and fielded excellently aiding their cause. It was made clear that the same level of display would be needed to give Wellington a chance to notch their 5th victory of the season.
Wellington's formidable bowling attack got off to a fantastic start. Kumar bowling one of the openers second ball of the innings. He followed up a few over’s later after some close shouts trapping Will McGarry LBW and despite being stuffed on Key Lime Pie, Kevin Vaughan swooped down on a ball at point to run out Harry Walker. Wellington looked like they were starting to assert themselves on the game. After a further 3 wickets from Shehan Gunuwardena, interrupted only by a dead ball where he failed to release a delivery resulting in half of the team reciting ‘Let it Go’ back to him, The Shehan fan club were also in good spirits on the boundary knowing the sooner the game finished, the sooner they’d all get some birthday cake, the game looked to be firmly in the hands of the visitors. So much so Kumar was brought in closer than normal and during a ball exclaimed loudly
“HEY SHEHAN! LOOK I’M IN THE GULLY!”
with his arms aloft like an excited boy on Christmas day receiving the bike he’s wanted all year.
At drinks with Worfield being 7 down needing 100+ from 23 overs, it looked like it would be a matter of time before the tail was mopped up and everyone would be rushing to a local forecourt garage to get Shehan a card. Worfield had different plans however James White (28no) orchestrating a defiant stand with 3 different partners of which young Ben Curtis the standout, showing some mature resilience to see off 10 overs brought Worfield to the brink of a losing draw. Once Matty Simmonds saw off the youngster Curtis and despite some tight bowling from Alex Brasenall, Jason Whitley and Kevin Vaughan, Si Topper turned back to his batting nemesis, Kumar Singh to provide some magic, King Kumar stepped up and provided it with 12 balls to spare getting a low edge that barely carried through to the skipper behind the stumps to provide Wellington with an important 24 big ones to put them top of the league by 22 points. The only disappointment once again was the seemed intentional Jug avoidance from Shehan & Kumar, taking 4 wickets a piece. The team now look to enforce a ‘Jug for jug avoidance’, which is hopefully being voted in prior to the upcoming fixtures.
Next Sunday Wellington 5ths return to Orelton Park to host 5th placed Frankton 3rds.
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