Pitchy's Catch Disturbs The Prees
By David Ross
Wellington 3rds kept up their promotion chase after a comfortable 62-run victory over bottom-of-the-table Prees.
For the second week in a row captain Steve Pitchford lost the toss - although he was not too disheartened to be playing for the maximum of 24 points. His preference had been to bat first anyway against the bottom-of-the-table side.
Opener Ben Gould began like a train, helping himself to 16 off his first over - but he soon became bogged down. He was dismissed for 18 when he played round a straight one. Wellington's innings was further set back by the wicket of Matty Dickenson for a second-ball duck. Number four Matty Simmonds entered the fray at 33 for 2 with something of a rebuilding job on his hands and the opposition bowling well.
With umpire Stuart Green on holiday, there was nothing to stop opener Warwick Vaughan this week. He had cashed in for 36 when he was unluckily caught at first slip, the 'keeper having fumbled the initial catch straight after drinks.
There then proceeded a long partnership between young Simmo (44) and his captain (36) which recovered the Wellington innings, where both batted beautifully and took the score up to 143 for 3. However a mad period of five wickets for nine runs saw the end of the two incumbent batters, along with Matt Pitchford, the Shoehorn and Ryan Lloyd, and suddenly it looked like the Wellington innings might come up short.
Only a ninth-wicket partnership of 40 between Lewis Gough and Jack Fishman dragged Wellington up to a decent total of 196 for 8. Fishy's last over six was not quite enough to get his side past the magic 200, a mark they had seemed destined to pass with ease prior to their collapse.
The Prees innings opened with a flurry of extras, but Wellington's openers Jack Fishman and Ryan Lloyd each managed to provide two key wicket-taking moments to set their team on course for victory.
Pitchy's astonishing diving catch at second slip of Fishy - think Andrew Strauss in 2005 - was the highlight of the innings. Meanwhile, Wellington's crucial breakthrough came courtesy of Lloydy, who removed captain Stephen Williams with a ball that kept low.
From that position of 50 for 4, Wellington moved serenely towards victory with two further wickets apiece for spinner David Ross and Lewis Gough. On top of this there was a pretty bizarre run out, which left the batter so irate that his bat went hurtling to square leg as he trudged off.
Prees' last partnership was their longest, with number eight Philip Richards enjoying himself with the field in close. But the victory was eventually secured by Goughy who earned his side the 24 point when the batter in question played on.
Wellington move on to Cae Glas next week looking to keep their recent resurgence going.