By David Ross
Chris Newbold's 93 helped Wellington to a resounding win at Cound, cementing his side's place at the top of Division 4A.
Chris Newbold hit 93 and Kumar Singh took 4 wickets as Wellington extended their lead at the top of Shropshire County Division 4a, taking the maximum 24 points away at Cound.
On another beautiful day at the picturesque village ground of Cound. Wellington 5ths went seeking a win to maintain their lead, if not extend it, at the top of 4a.
The day didn’t start particularly well with Kevin Vaughan, who was meant to be leading the convoy, burning Kumar & Si Topper out of the car park and losing them. It wasn’t until co-pilot Lewis Gough asked where they were, that Vaughan actually pulled over to allow them to catch up. This involved Kumar Singh having to handbrake around a corner after spotting him last minute. This wasn’t the end of the travel issues. Counds’ notoriously difficult to find facility, tucked away in the Shropshire countryside lead to a wrong turn and Vaughan losing the convoy once more almost outside the ground. Luckily everyone had chance to calm down during the walk to the pitch through a field (Vaughan leading the team to the wrong car park,) taking in the surroundings including several Llama’s in the field adjacent.
The 9 players warmed up and were joined by Ben Harrison whose ordinance survey map and compass were playing up leaving him late on the scene. Shehan Gunawardena though would have failed his Duke of Edinburgh award flat out, turning up 10 overs into the innings. Luckily, he didn’t miss any game time as the 5ths were stuck in to bat when Si Topper accidentally left his double headed coin at home/forgot he had it and called tails. Hannah Young and Chris Newbold set off to opening the batting on the notoriously small ground. With Hannah setting up and anchoring the innings, Newbs set upon taking the bowling on smashing several big 6’s on the leg side and down the ground leaving the lads to trek through the fields to find the balls. If there is a corn shortage this winter, it’s the 5th teams fault.
Hannah was dismissed for 6 which brought Matt Early to the crease. Matt went about the task in his normal positive fashion hitting 5 4’s on the way to 20. For all the Maths fans out there you’ve probably clicked that’s all the runs. Matt played aggressively and his quick burst of runs aided the score taking the run rate up near 5 an over. Ben Harrison came in and played in his normal technical sound style ticking over the scoreboard with Newbs hitting the ball to all corners at the other end. With the score on 127, Newbs was dismissed for 93 just short of his second ton of the season and putting himself clear at the top as the leading run scorer in the club, this brought Kevin Vaughan to the crease.
Luckily Kevin’s batting is better than his navigating skills at the minute and he looked to play aggressively to keep the score ticking over. He and Ben put on a good 4th wicket partnership in the middle of the innings to nudge the score from the 120’s to just shy of 200. When Vaughan was dismissed for 32, Ewan Griffiths (19 no) and Ben Harrison, on the way to a marvellous 32, continued to score taking the score past 200 to 217 with a combination of clever running between the wickets and a immaculate drives for 4.
With a target of 218 on a small pitch there was still a huge amount of work to do. A few bad over’s and Cound would be back in the game. Kumar made his positive start that is synonymous with the King. Tight bowling and miserly fielding keeping the runs down. Supported by Ewan ‘The Griffmeister’ Griffiths who made the breakthrough bowling the dangerous opener Dave Farrell just as he was starting to get going for 12. Kumar, who had been incentivised in the only way he can be, with copious amounts of beer, had been tasked with buying 11 drinks should he not take any wickets. For every one he took 2 drinks would come off the total. This spurred him on as he steamed in catching Chris Campbell LBW, bowling Alex Kinsey and Snikcing out opener Mel Parry who walked immediately after Si Topper pouched the ball despite the field not being 100% sure of the edge. Huge credit to him for that.
Sandwiched in between the Kumar express was 10 overs of wizardly spin from Lewis Gough, backed by Director of Cricket and official team hobo for the day Steve Gough who was having a lovely sleep on a bench until Gough Jnr came on to bowl. Lewis picked up 2 wickets bowling number four bat Chris Brayne and snaffling Wicketkeeper Dan Parry’s wicket, who was steaming along nicely, before being ‘Clawed’ by the one handed catch of Kevin Vaughan at silly mid.
6 down and the normal lull synonymous with the 5ths this year kicked in. Skipper Craig Kinsey supported by Henry Cooper boxed their way into the 150’s leaving the home side a chance of victory needing around 7 an over in the home stretch to give the hosts an huge scalp over the league leaders. They didn’t’ count on the arm of Ewan Griffiths though….
The skipper Kinsey, who was really making this into a game looked to double up on a firmly hit ball towards The Griffmeister, but he swooped down and whipped the ball into Skipper Topper’s gloves to whip the bails off leaving him stranded. An excellent knock of 44 looked to have given his side hope but when Matt Earley castled his partner Cooper, who certainly got his jab in today, next ball. It looked to have dented any hopes for the home side. The home side looked to dig in and salvage a point but when looking to take a quick single to Lewis Gough at mid wicket, Goughy threw down the stumps exclaiming there was no ones to him leaving the hosts 9 down. Kumar though he had wrapped the innings up when Simon Putlock looked to have snicked one to Si Topper. Si thought the innings was over and when adjudged to have not hit it produced what can only be described as an uber-flounce throwing the ball, followed by a glove into the turf in digust. Luckily it made no difference as the next Kumar over Puttock chipped one to Matt Early at Short Mid on to end the innings and wrap up 24 big ones for the 5ths!
With Worfield losing and Albebury winning batting second (20 points) The new second placed team Whitchurch are 47 points lighter the the 5ths going into the turn as Wellington play away at Wem on Sunday. With 3 batsmen in the top 5 in the league and the leagues leading wicket taker, Kumar Singh, the 5ths will be looking to pick up a win on the road next week.
• Kumar Singh’s next maiden over will be his 50th of the season (Bowled 119.1 Overs so far in total)
• Shehan Gunawardena is 6 wickets behind the second leading wicket taker
• Chris Newbold is 24 runs behind the leagues leading run scorer (Chris Proctor 383)
• Si Topper averages 47.83 from 9 innings this season which is 2nd highest in the league (Based on playing a minimum of half of the games.)
• Only 28 players have made a fifty or more this season, 4 have belonged to WCC 5ths. Only 3 have made 100 and 1 belongs to WCC 5ths.
• Matt Early is the teams leading fielder with 6 catches and 1 run out. Kevin Vaughan is second with 4 catches and a run out.
• Si Topper is the 3rd placed wicket keeper in the league with 6 catches in total.
• Alex Brasenall has the most injured foots trying to impress a girl. (1 - Show no pain!)
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