Week 11: Wellington Share Two Thrillers With Ludlow

Week 11: Wellington Share Two Thrillers With Ludlow

By David Ross
8 July
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Wellington held their nerve to come out on top in two nail-biting contests against Ludlow Cricket Club on Saturday.


Wellington 1st XI welcomed the South Shropshire side to Orleton Park in the second meeting of the two sides in this season's Henshalls' SCCL Premier Division. Wendell Wagner's side once again came out on top - but this time the result remained in the balance until the final ball of the match. Rain reduced the contest to 38 overs per side, but Wellington were still unable to complete their allocated overs with the bat, being bowled out for 137 in the 35th over. Only Stewart Black (35) passed twenty for the home side as Louis Watkins took 5-23 for the visitors. It took a huge effort from the home side to defend that total. An early run-out and three wickets from new signing Ashfak Hussein gave Wellington a platform, before Ludlow nudged the score to 114-5 in the face of tight bowling, setting up a grandstand finish. Steve Brooks (2-19) held his nerve to produce a fine spell of death bowling to remove set batsmen James Kinder (42) and Ian Simmonds (22) as the chase fell three runs short on 134-8.

Wellington III visited Ludlow II in a reverse meeting of the clubs - and the match proved every bit as exciting. Batting first, Ludlow made an imposing total in their 40 overs, 239-8, which looked likely to be enough for the win. There were good contributions right down the home card, but Will Gough (55) was the top-scorer. Of the bowlers, Kamal Aluthgedara (4-22 off 8 overs) was far and away the best performer. After tea, Wellington made a positive start. Opener Patrick Howells was looking good before he fell for 44. Despite losing regular wickets, mainly at the hands of Edward Riley (5-45), Wellington never fell decisively behind the rate. Father-and son pair Simon (56) and George Topper (35) put on a long sixth wicket partnership, advancing the score to 198-5, to give their team an outside chance of victory before the former departed. It fell on his replacement, Ryan Fernando (35*) to deliver the winning contribution as his side earned the points off the final ball of the game with one wicket to spare.

Alex Taylor's 2nd XI were cursing their luck as their away fixture at Welshpool was the only match lost to rain in the entire league on Saturday. His bowlers had dismissed the hosts for just 103 before tea, and were on 40-0 when the heavens opened. Veteran tweaker Steve Moules continued his good form with 3-9, whilst Martin Weill, Ronan Bagry and Cameron Watson each bagged a brace of wickets. Sam Lloyd (21*) and Sam Topper (18*) would have been confident of wrapping up the game before the elements took matters out of their hands.

Wellington 4ths had a day to forget as they were bowled out by Broseley for just 48 at Orleton Park - an innings in which 22 of their runs were extras. The top-score with the bat was just 6 as Adrian Casey's side were dismissed in the 15th over. Wellington managed to take four wickets after tea - two each for Patrick Ward Clayton and Andy Parkyn - but they were never likely to defend such a low total.

On Sunday, Wellington V continued their fine form during their visit to Shelton III. It was a strong all-round bowling performance from Steve Oliver's side, with every bowler claiming a wicket. Carl Ward (4-22) was the pick as Shelton were bundled out for 131. Ollie Stott impressed once again, making 52 not out, with good support offered by Josh Macdonald (29). Wellington completed a five-wicket win in the 25th over.

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