After a disappointing result last time out, Collegiate were intent on getting back to winning ways. The side was made up of the experienced names of Stewart, Hickman, Layer, Scholfield, Miller and Varley, coupled with the young guns of Wellman, Willis, Priestley, White and Turner.
Bully won the toss and elected to bat on what looked to be an excellent batting track. Turner and White opened and after Bruce and Doc Varley talked up Turner’s ability with the bat, he nicked off to the keeper for 0, sorry Adam! Stewie came in at three and showed his class at this level from the outset, forming a very important partnership with Whitey, as they laid the foundations for a very good score. Stewie was the more aggressive, playing some lovely strokes and reached 50 with only one scare, a very loud, angry appeal for caught behind. Whitey settled in after a slow start and began to play his shots, showcasing some good running between the wickets, as the pair looked to increase the run rate.
Sadly, Whitey fell for 46, seemingly getting a good nut that snuck through the gate. In at 4 came the skipper Bully, who’s form with the bat has been excellent every time I’ve played (albeit that being only a couple of games), and this time my kind words on the side didn’t hinder him as he settled in at the crease effortlessly. However, this spell of the game was dominated by Stewie who brought up a magnificent 100, much to the delight of everyone watching who knew they had watched something very special. Once the 100 was brought up the increase in aggressiveness was tangible as Stewie planted the bowlers wherever he wanted, even if that meant in and out of several fielders hands! Eventually, after a couple of lucky escapes, Stewie brought up his 150, this time to a much larger applause as several members of the first team were no present, after being alerted that they were missing a very special knock. Coming in at 1-1, Stewie eventually departed for 162 with the score now reading 255-3, one of the best knocks I’ve seen in my short playing career.
T joined Bull and negotiated the remaining balls of the innings, running hard to ensure Bull had the necessary balls to collect 50, which he did do in the final over of the innings. 268-3 an excellent score with the most pleasing thing being two 100+ partnerships, showing maturity and fight to post a good total before any ideologies about personal feats. Very well batted Whitey, Bully and of course Stewie.
Tea was good. Stewie after batting for so long was using tea to ask the relevant young members about their adventures the night previously, or in Priesters case the last year. Very little was given away.
After the interval, Collegiate opened the bowling with Wellman and Willis, and in the very first over Wellers struck prizing a very fast nick through to Bob who as always did the rest. The second over came and Bruce removed the other opener who this time got a feather on the ball, giving Bob Schof his second victim in two overs. Wellers looking as angry as ever running in, got his second wicket as Bob made it three in three behind the sticks as the number three went fishing outside his off stump. Over fourproduced another wicket as Stewie whispered some advice to Bruce, which he duly followed as the number four was surprised by a short ball and clothed it behind to Bob, 15-4 after just four overs. A slight delay in wickets followed, but just three overs later Wellman had the keeper caught behind for 0, a very long 0 which included a lot of playing and missing, 24-5.
A frustrating partnership developed between their skipper batting at five and the number 7, who put on 67 for the 6th wicket before Priesters forced the number 7 into a mistake as he leaning edged one into the safe hands of Turner, who was struggling to hold himself together after Wellman warned just before the ball was bowled that this would be a wicket ball, 91-6. At this point, the Ashford skipper had passed fifty playing some excellent strokes and some more than questionable strokes, the modern era ey! However, soon the wickets began to tumble once more and Whitey finally removed the skipper for 72 after he was outdone by Whiteys turn and bounce… 123-7. Wellman returned this time from the bottom end in search for those elusive final wickets, and found wicket number 8 as Ashfords number nine did not fancy getting rapped on the pads by Wellman, awkwardly moved out the way and doing so fell on the floor, none of his frame was in the crease and Bob hit the stumps to claim one of the more unorthodox stumpings of his career, 126-8. Whitey removed the number eight as he took a swipe, missed and was comprehensively bowled, 126-9. Wellman was still charging in at this late point of the day, searching for his fifth wicket and his search paid off as he bowled full and straight and removed the number tenfor 0, 126 all out, a winning margin of 142 runs.
A superb performance with contributions from all members of the side. Developing some consistencies with results can ensure a promotion and title charge is well within our means! Once again, huge praise to Stewie for an excellent knock, Wellman for his five wicket haul and to Bully for his 50* and faultless captaincy. We go again next week. #UTC