Match Report: Old Woking (A)

Dalton heroics save Old Woking blushes,

but D’Heath Power Rips Up the Manuel!

 

Old Woking CC Vs Pyestock CC

Sunday 17th June 2012

Weather Conditions: Sunny and Warm

Pitch Conditions: Wicket: Green, Firm Outfield: Green, Soft.

 

Pyestock arrived at Old Woking for the first time since 2010, looking for a good victory to keep up the good run of form leading up to the fixture. With a side that looked solid and strong on paper, it was hoped that this could be turned into a positive result.

Fielding first, as at every game this season, the game didn’t exactly spark into life, 3 consecutive maiden overs put instant pressure on openers Buss and Cogan in this limited over’s “no-draw” contest.

The first run of the day eventually came off the 24th ball of the innings, with Cogan getting Chris away for a single to start the wheels in motion, although by the end of the 8th over when a smart catch by Chris McGovern removed the home sides number two leaving the score at 8 for 1 (RR 1.00) they were barely moving.

Superb fielding by the visitors was the key, Jon Ford, Jack Bromley and Chris McGovern continually frustrated the batsmen as Billy Leader was introduced to the attack.

The score plodded along, limping like a wounded animal on a hot day in the desert as Pyestock toiled with the ball. Buss looked solid while Harrington was captivating the fielders with a lot of fresh air swatting that told a story that another wicket was not long on the offing. Surprisingly then, when Jack Bromley struck in his 2nd over and Pyestocks 14th, a smart catch by Vaughan Newcombe behind the stumps sent Buss packing and not the wild number 3, a good wicket to take as a few powerful drives had threatened to keep scorebook bound Mark Padwick awake.

This wicket brought Dalton to the crease, and dispatched his first ball through the covers for 3 runs and the tone was sensed to have changed. Suddenly the focus was on trying to contain Dalton who looked as if he had the technical ability to raise his game at any moment or any sniff of a loose delivery, while working on removing the stubborn but non-scoring Harrington.

Jack Bromley was producing the best results during this period and was unlucky to have Dalton dropped twice in as many over’s, but did pick up the wicket of Harrington as consolation, who departed for 4 runs from 11 over’s at the crease. Murmurings around the Pyestock huddle were that of leaving batsmen like this to drain as much time as possible from the innings.

Smith joined Dalton at the crease and the pair worked hard at repairing the damage that had been inflicted by the slow run rate previously, and brought up the hosts 50 in the 19th over. Dan Heath was introduced to the attack to aid Bromley as the pair battled with the experienced batting duo.  To be fair it took a while for both to accustom themselves with spin on a green wicket, coupled with pace the other end, but by staying at the crease during this tougher period, would reap the benefits later in the innings.

Over 27 seemed to be the turning point in the innings, Dans over going for a profitable 6 and moved the score onto 73 for 3, and from here the atmosphere of the innings changed. It was the visitors turn to defend, and move to the back foot as Old Woking advanced. Dalton produced some big shots and Smith rotated the strike well, Pyestock became unsure as to whether protect the boundaries or stop the ever rotating pair. As the innings moved into the final 10 over’s things got scruffy, with further dropped catch chances and Dalton starting to score runs for fun. A huge 6 in Chris Heath's returning over producing more runs in that ball, than in the openers first 4 over spell combined.

In the space of 9 overs the host score had doubled, but by now only a handful of over’s remained, and as almost always occurs in frantic run scoring moments, wickets started to tumble. The patient Smith was trapped LBW to give Billy Leader a deserved wicket, while Harrington (Mk II) lasted only 2 balls before edging into Vaughan Newcombe’s gloves. Dalton continued to pound the bowling away though, Sirman attempted to join the heroics, but fell on his swinging sword as did Bloch, both bowled by Billy.

The final over brought the hosts to 180 for 7 and allowed Dalton to claim his century, finishing exactly 100 not out. A good innings where he rode his luck early on, but was patient when he needed to be and put his foot on the pedal when needed to drag his team to a respectable score after their 40 over stint at the crease.

After tea, Jon Ford and Glenn Taylor started planning the response. 4 and a half runs an over isn’t a lot, but Pyestock CC have failed with this challenge many times before. It was refreshing to see the bowling attacked from the start with Glenn taking a particular liking to the line and length of Richards to move the score onto 24 after only 3 over’s.

Jon was more conservative, hitting the bad balls and feeding Glenn the strike to attack the openers. The 50 partnership came in the 11th over as the opening bowlers seemed to tire.

Bloch bowled though his 8 over entitlement and did so very well, only conceding 12 runs to keep the visitors at bay from one end. Unfortunately for Old Woking, none of his bowling partners seemed to be able to display the same level of consistency as the score continued to climb, and had reached 73 before Glenn was bowled by Sirman for a gut-wrenching 49.

Jon Ford followed 3 overs later was he hit a shorter ball straight to Bloch to reduce the visitors to 79 for 2. Needing 102 from the 20 overs remaining and with 2 new batsmen at the crease, this was suddenly anyone’s game, and Old Woking sensed this and managed to keep the new partnership of Vaughan Newcombe and Dan Heath quiet early on.

Suddenly out of nowhere, Vaughan Newcombe saw a ball that looked good and smashed it out of the entrance gate, taking a brake light from a poorly positioned courtesy car with it, and from this point, the two batsmen upped the quality to a level that the Old Woking bowlers had no answer for.

Ex-Captain Manuel entered the stage with some loopy spin, and may have wished he hadn’t. In a four over spell to forget, five sixes were placed back over his head to all but seal the contest, there was a frantic moment however when there were so many balls dispatched into the river behind the bowler, it wasn’t sure whether any more could be found to continue. Alas, another was found and it was up to Dan, who had bludgeoned his way to a half century by this point, to seal the win with a straight six off of Sirman in the 33rd over that crashed into the sightscreen like a bullet, and complete an 8 wicket win.

 

Old Woking CC 180 for 7 (Dalton 100*)

Pyestock CC 185 for 2 (D.Heath 68*)

Pyestock CC win by 8 wickets

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