Akashes In, But Wellington Fail To KO Welshpool!
Akash Srinivasan took 4-38 for the 5th XI as they had the better of a draw against Welshpool.
Despite a strong batting display and Akash Srinivasan picking up 4-38, Wellington failed to get the full quota of 24 points having to settle with a winning draw for the second week running.
“Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers” is arguably the most famous tongue twister in the world, but on the streets of Wellington, most people are attempting to regurgitate “Si Toppers tip-top at Tipping Tosses” as the Wellington skipper once again had a favourable flip and decided to bat looking for the maximum 24 points.
With Chris Newbold called up to the fourths and Hannah Young in hiding from Alex Brasenall, A new-old look partnership, which had been paired at the top of the order to good effect earlier in the season, was reunited and Shehan (Pronounced Shay-Hun or Shawn) took the first cherry with Skipper in tow at number 2. The pair got their heads down on an overcast day at Orelton Park, or as now known to the 5ths as the UFC Octagon for reasons we shall come onto later…
The pair got the 5ths off to a fantastic start, accruing 81 runs at just over 5 per over by the time Shehan was dismissed in the 17th. An excellent innings of 30 setting a great foundation for the innings. Si Topper at the other end almost kept up with Shehan and was ahead of his scoring rate for a short while. This soon however halted when skip played an expansive aerial drive down the ground which resulted in three runs. At the non strikers end though, it was visible that Simon was distraught with himself for being so expansive and after a long stern chat to himself, he regained his control and continued nurdling the ball around the rather large boundary. At 81-1 the first job for Kevin Vaughan at 3 was to wipe away his nosebleed from batting so high and to then come out and continue the momentum. The final words issued to him by the 5th team’s no 1 fan for the day Chris Newbold was to “Play your natural game” So Kev went out trying to slap what he could out the park. On his way to a career highest 60, he did manage to clear the rope on the full once, hitting the tree by the scorebox on the full, delighting Kumar who went around to harvest the deceased Pigeon and Sparrow which he informed everyone he’d be having for tea.
On 59, Si Topper distraught at the thought of being lapped by Vaughan on 58, chipped one to Gully and this brought out Ben Harrison. After a ropey attempt at a reverse sweep and a couple of othordox sweeps not quite on the mark, Umpire Wagner, raised his finger to an LBW shout catching Vaughan in front bringing Matt Earley to the crease also looking to aggress and take the team through the 200 barrier. Matt played some beautiful shots including a huge 6 and his quickfire 18 supported by Ben’s technically sound strokeplay took the team to 200. Ewan Griffiths came in late in the innings and with some smart running between the wickets, took the score up to 212-4 off the 40 overs.
Once again with a big total to defend and a strong bowling lineup including Ben Pilkington who normally plies his trade in the higher echilons of the club, the 5ths were confident to get the 10 wickets they needed to get the full allocation of points. As usual the opening bowlers provided breakthroughs. Kumar Singh, who’s Bear Grylls-esq raid of the tress earlier put him in a great frame of mind and took 2 early wickets. One of which delighted the home side as they felt the batsmen was clealy out from a run out, unfortunately the square leg umpire went a touch Arsene Wenger and did not see it after looking away at the vital time. This caused an exchanged of words with Matt “Chuck Liddel” Earley making his feelings clear to the batsman and offering to discuss the decision after the game.
Pilko popped up with a NBA-style wicket the batsman having hit the ball directly back at him and in true LeBron James style, he chest passed the ball towards Matt Early at Short mid on who gobbled up the chance. At 3 down, the mid innings lull transpired which has become synonymous with Wellington this season. Once Welshpool realised that batting for a losing draw doesn’t garner many points if you don’t make 60% of the oppositions total, they hit out with Stuart Jones and Jake Evans both getting into the 30’s. The game looked like it was turning into a stale draw. Then the man, only last week in this report, dubbed ‘the nicest man in cricket,’ Shehan “Luis Suarez’ Gunawardena ruined his reputation by catching away team skipper and part time Peter Griffin Lookalike right in the mouth with an elbow fielding a ball in at the stumps. Although completely accidental, the elbow drew a vast amount of blood from the captain with ice and towels brought on to the field of play. Everyone agreed that if this had have been a UFC bout, Shehan would have been declared winner by TKO. Several members of the fielding side were left dissapointed the away skipper didn’t make the synonimous “SSSSSS-AHHHH” noise for comical effect.
The bowling turned to spin and Ben Harrison made the breakthrough bowling Jones with a beauty. Not to be outdone, Akash Srinivasan delivered 10 overs of top bowling prising out 5,6,7,8 in quick succession with some fantastic catches from Matt Earley in the deep, Ben Harrison at Mid off and Akash himself recreating the final scene from the 1985 coming of age film, the Breakfast club grasping a ball at full reach at the last second.
Rupert Redway, in at 10 along with his partner Keiren Evans faced two over’s of King Kumar and one of the last over specialist Matt Earley and managed to see off the over’s to guide Welshpool to a low scoring losing draw (10-0) only claiming their minimal batting and bowling points for their day in Wellington.
It proved to be a good result for Wellington with results elsewhere on the whole going their way giving the side a 43 point lead at the top of the table coming up to the turn. After playing on such a large pitch, Wellington travel to one of the smallest next week, making the journey to play Cound away on Sunday which should suit their newly discovered fight-ball MMA cricket Hybrid style.
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