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5th XI - Match centre

Wellington 5th XI
Alberbury 3rd XI
Sun 15 Jun 13:30 - League Start time 13:30

Wickets Tumble As Captain Goes AWOL

The 5th team's winning streak came to an end after a narrow defeat to Alberbury on Sunday.

Match report by Nigel Holl

Sunday did not start well. Firstly it was raining, secondly your correspondent was suffering the severe after-effects of having attended “Ted’s Lunch” the previous day. Definitely not the best preparation for a big game against Alberbury CC. However things started to improve, the rain stopped and after re-hydrating so did the headache. Unfortunately on arriving at the ground it was obvious that the covers had not been put on and that the pitch was very wet. The captain, Simon Topper, was sent out to toss with instructions to win it and stick ‘em in. Which he did. With one or two regulars missing there were some new faces in the team but Topper was sure if we bowled straight, the pitch would help us and we would be able to restrict Alberbury to something we could chase.

King Kumar and Ryan Lloyd opened the bowling and had the batsmen in all sorts of trouble. In fact Kumar was just too good, beating the bat on numerous occasions but not picking up any wickets. Lloydy though had more success and had the opener caught behind to a very good diving catch by Captain Topper low down in front of first slip. With the bowling tight and the pitch misbehaving, the Alberbury batsmen decided to try to stick it out with hardly a shot being played. When anything other than a completely dead bat was used, the end result was normally the ball popping into the air. A recurring theme, and something that would come back to haunt the home team later in the day. Lloyd continued to bowl well and picked up another wicket when Umar took a good catch at short cover. After 10 overs the score had hardly reached double figures but wickets had fallen and by the end of his spell Lloyd had picked up 3 for 2 off 6 overs, a really good display of quick, straight bowling.

Wellington continued to apply pressure and kept the score in check with Matty Simmonds, having taken over from Kumar, picking up 2 for 15 off his 5 overs. Neil Savage with 34 for the opposition repaired a bit of the early damage and then Ed Roberts the Alberbury no. 7 decided to chance his arm and try to get his team up to somewhere near a hundred. The good catching at the start of the innings deserted the home team with a number of chances going down, although none were easy. Umar being the exception with a fine catch of a ball which went high and swirled until he pouched it for his third of the day. A few fumbles in the field let Alberbury off the hook a little and allowed some easy runs. Some good bowling by Alex Brasenall - 1 for 19 and Ewan Griffiths - 2 for 16, dragged it back for Wellington and Alberbury finished on 127 for 8 off their 40 overs with Roberts being stranded at the non-strikers end on 49 not out.

So this left Wellington needing 128 and although 20 more than the home team would have liked, confidence was high. The captain had to leave the ground for an hour to attend a football presentation but left instructions to follow Alberbury’s lead and try not to lose wickets. Unfortunately things didn’t quite go to plan. Wickets fell quickly as the Wellington batsmen soon realised the pitch hadn’t dried as much as hoped and was still offering assistance to the bowlers. A couple of balls popped leading to catches and soon Wellington were 4 down. Jordan Zara for the visitors being the pick of the opening bowlers. A text to the absent skipper was sent, hoping to speed his return. Sheehan was the first batsman to reach double figures and looked in good nick until again the ball went up in the air and was caught. Your correspondent, having watched the wickets falling from the bowlers end and conscious that overs were slipping by, decided to try a few shots. The boundary was reached a couple of times off some rather inelegant heaves but after one too many attacking shots, the ball was top-edged and once again was caught.

The captain returned to find his team in more than a spot of trouble with a score of 40 for 6 off 20 overs. Before he had time to get padded up it was 7 and he entered the fray soon after with the score at 50-8. A fine last wicket partnership with Alex Brasenall who got 24 playing some lovely shots and Topper 21 not out got the 5ths close. But not quite close enough as Jordan Zara came back to bag the final wicket with the score on 103 and Alberbury picked up the win.

Lessons to be learnt:

1, Catches win matches
2, You can’t score runs in the pavilion
3, Don’t spend the day before a match drinking!
4, Captains do not leave the match at any point for any reason!

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