Knock, Knock, Knockin and Kevin Vaughan
Wellington 5th XI dominated a drawn contest with Knockin after Kevin Vaughan had hit 77 for the hosts.
After a washout on Saturday, the 5th team once again had mother nature to thank as they managed to get a game on at Orleton Park less than 24 hours after Thunder storms put paid to all of Saturdays cricket.
With the weather report, texted in from India by Kumar Singh, Si Topper agreed to play a 40 over game to aide the chances of a result being possible with ominous cloud cover looking like it might spoil the party at any minute.
For the second week running, Si lost the toss but unlike last week, the visitors stuck Wellington into bat on what would be presumed as a slow track. With Chris Newbold away, Kevin Vaughan literally added the weight at the top of the innings along with Ewan Griffiths who was also shuffled up.
The new opening pair, who between them have only had the honour of opening the batting twice in their careers stated positively posting 3.5 an over up until the 9th over when Ewan was caught after chipping a ball to mid on.
Matt Early joined the party and quickly raced into the mid twenties, pushing the run rate up in quick fashion. Unfortunately, the change of bowling from both ends produced more consistent lines and lengths which pinned the pair in for a short while. Matt was bowled by the very consistent Julian Rendall who bowled a hybrid of quick spin that was difficult to play. He got one to dip considerably on Matt bringing Jack Shee to the crease for his first 5th team game of the season.
Jack was also a victim of Rendall, again being bowled by a delivery that pitched on leg and nibbled the off bail. Si Topper was the next man in, who is averaging in the mid forties this season looking to be the rock of the innings in similar fashion to most of the season. He went about his business looking to get Vaughan on strike where possible. Kev reached his 50 after 25 overs, against the team he scored his maiden 50 against last season - in fact when his innings came to an end on 77, being caught superbly on the long off boundary by Greg Stokes, his batting average against Knockin is now 128 something he was keen to point out to Dave Ross after the game. It has also been noted Kev saves his best innings for when Dave is around yet can’t score a run when his wife comes to watch… make of that what you will.
With 158 on the board, Wellington experienced a mini collapse, Lewis Gough being caught by a worldy, Shehan being run out looking to double up, Si Topper being caught trying to push the score along and George Toppers HUGE hit being caught just inside the boundary at short leg, leaving him to question if his bat was knocked in properly. Alex Brasenall and Josh Viljoen eeking out a final 6 runs, 2 off the last ball taking them to 182-8 which at the time, the side felt may have been crucial…
In fact they were not. Shehan bowling to his best and George ‘The 5th’ Topper finding some beautiful lines on a pitch that was helping the bowling side considerably when the ball hit the right areas. Georges spell yielded no wickets but deserved at least a couple troubling the batsmen consistently throughout his 5 overs. Josh’s Viijoens followed up and maintained Georges standards and his 6 over spell reaped 2 big wickets with Shehan picking up 1 despite both deserving more for their consistancy. Backed up by an excellent fielding display, Wellington managed to get into the middle order with the slow right arm chinaman, the Lancashire express, the silver bullet that is: Michael Nadal. Mike managed not to hit his toes like in his last game for the 5’s at Madeley last season and bowled an intriguing 5 over spell that bemused batsmen and fielders alike. Despite stealing Kevin Vaughans shoes before going out to field, he was greeted with a huge cheer when he bowled number 4 bat Dave Jones, even giving him the infamous ‘Nadal Sendoff’ Mike also had a hand in the 6th wicket, asking the batsman to try hitting the ball at him. So tempting for many a cricketer, he did try and ended up getting bowled by Lewis Gough. Goughy took 3-6 and had the batsmen beat all ends up on several occasions. Si Topper catching the 6th wicket with a fine take standing up.
Again though, 7 down when Shehan was brought back on to clean up the 8th wicket, Knockin dropped anchor and managed to hold out for a losing draw, receiving no points as they didn’t reach 60% of Wellingtons total finishing on 80-8 off there 40 overs.
It was an 18 point winning draw though and it helped extend Wellingtons gap at the top to 62 points with 9 games to play.
Next week, the team travel to Madeley who currently sit bottom. Wellington will be looking to extend their lead at the top.
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