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Match Report: Bagshot (H)

Heath Heroics send Pyestock

To Cloud Nine!


Pyestock CC Vs Bagshot CC

Sunday 12th August 2012

Weather Conditions: Sunny and Warm.

Pitch Conditions: Wicket: dry, Outfield: Green, fast.


Pyestock took to the field against Bagshot CC looking for their ninth win of the season in only the twelfth completed match of the season, but came across a stubborn and resilient Bagshot side who came so close to stealing a win on away turf.

Bowling first, Pyestock took the early initiative with Chris Heath bowling Lewis for a duck in the second over. Three overs later, Neil secured his first wicket after a good catch by Vaughan Newcombe behind the stumps to leave the visitors rocking on 6 for 2.

With both openers back in the pavilion without troubling the scorers, it was up to Balcombe and Passfield to resurrect the innings, and did so well, scoring mainly from Chris as the scoreboard finally started moving with some momentum.

Just as the innings was starting to show some solidarity however, Passfield found himself frustrated having nicked a ball from Chris behind for Vaughan’s second comfortable take of the game.

5 balls later and things got even worse for Bagshot as new batsmen Cave became the 3rd non-scorer of the day, losing his leg-stump to yet another Neil Butler in-swinger.

 At 24 for 4, the visitors appeared in tatters and looked as if they would fold for a very small score, however Balcombe remained solid and with new partner Broome, really did start to add some much needed runs to the score. Neil and Chris were replaced in the attack by Billy Leader and Jack Bromley, who initially found the going tough as the batting pair dug and dug their side gallantly from the hole in which they found themselves.

It wasn’t until the 21st over that Pyestock took their 5th wicket, Billy managing to tempt Balcombe into a shot only finding the grateful hands of Dan Heath.

The departure seemed to also upset Broome who was also on his way 4 overs later, this time Colin Butler taking a well controlled catch at square leg. The scoreboard now read 78 for 6 and Pyestock wanted this innings finished quickly as the deteriorating pitch started to become a concern.

A thin dry layer was beginning to crumble, allowing the bowlers the advantage of very irregular (and sometimes, no) bounce, as well and incredible turn for the spinners. All of a sudden the Pyestock batsmen were looking at each other with concerned glances. Especially as Bagshot’s next 3 wickets fell for only 11 runs Jack Bromley, Dan Heath and the re-introduced Chris Heath each picking up a scalp to reduce the visitors to 91 for 9.

Pyestock were keen to end the death-throws of the innings, but last pairing Atkinson and Sutherland had very different ideas, weathering the storm early on as Chris’s pace and Dan’s leg spin caused problems, before unleashing in the final overs to drag Bagshot to a respectable total.

Number 11 Sutherland, in particular after deciding to chance his arm again spinner Dan, placed 2 well executed boundaries before unleashing a huge six over square leg to celebrate his side reaching three figures earlier in the over.

He finally succumbed, in the final over of the innings bowled by Dan, to end the 40 strong partnership; the highest of the innings, as Bagshot closed on 131 all out.

Pyestock’s response started reasonably well with John Ford and Glenn Taylor cautiously seeing off the early threat of Sutherland and Atkinson. The latter especially bowling very well, darting in leg spin from left arm round the wicket on a pitch that was begin to offer more and more for the bowlers.

With the score progressing into the twenties, the home side suffered a major blow to their chances of chasing down the target.  Losing 3 wickets in 5 balls as the top order crumbled without trace. Glenn was bowled by Sutherland , before John was trapped LBW by Atkinson 2 balls later. New batsmen Dan Heath also joined what was become a busy home dressing room bowled by Atkinson without scoring.

Three wickets soon became four as Vaughan Newcombe also succumbed to Atkinson, with a ball that pitched on a length and practically rolled to the base of off stump. The bowler almost apologetic in his celebration as the wicket-keeper trudged off.

Mike Carpenter joined Colin Butler at the crease in an attempt to stabilise Pyestock’s sinking ship, and looked like making an impact crashing a powerful boundary off of Sutherland to move himself off the mark. Bagshot responded however, replacing Sutherland for Passfield in a change that paid immediate dividends bowling Mike with his very first ball.

Proving this wasn’t a fluke, the very first ball of his next over Passfield tempted Colin to come down the pitch and the mistimed dive allowing Medlock the easiest of stumpings.

Pyestock were now 47 for 6, however captain Neil Butler refused to panic, knowing that the batting order was set up to remain strong all the way to the end, and with time on his side, along with Paul Heath set about the recovery.

Atkinson however remained a consistent and deep thorn in the hosts’ side, continuing to produce problems with precise and dogged bowling. He didn’t have to wait long for his deserved fourth wicket by bowling the Pyestock captain for 10 leaving the score on 59 for 7.

Chris then joined his father Paul, and once again Pyestock were attempting to move past square one. In their favour was time with only 72 runs needed in the 20 overs that were remaining. This allowed both batsmen to carefully play and learn the bowling before attacking the visitors bowling.

After a few quiet overs, both batsmen decided to move closer to the victory target, safe in the knowledge that with both Billy Leader and Jack Bromley left to come, had the back-up needed should something go wrong.

Chris started to knock the ball freely from Passfield, while Paul seemed to be the only batsmen of the day who learned to read the impressive Atkinson, smashing powerful and convincing boundaries regularly as the scoreboard began to tick,

The overs ticked down, but the runs were continuing to flow. It seemed that Bagshot needed to change their plan to bring them back into the match, Captain Harris brought himself on in place of Passfield in a move that, as planned, moved the match back into the balance.

Just as the score moved passed the hundred mark, Chris’s eyes lit up to a half volley outside off-stump and managed to pick out Balcombe on the boundary, ending the partnership of 46, the highest of the day and one that had definitely dragged Neil Butlers side back into the match.

New batsmen Billy immediately announced his intentions by hitting his first ball for 4, unfortunately though for the youngster, seemingly struggling for form, it was as good as it got as Atkinson, now into his 16th consecutive over, claimed a brilliant five-for by bowling the Pyestock number 10.

With 23 runs still required, Jack Bromley joined Paul Heath in the middle as the fingernails were moving to the bone. Showing great maturity beyond his years, the youngster defied his own urges to hit out, allowing Paul to continue his fine performance moving Pyestock within touching distance of victory.

As the last 3 overs approached only 3 runs were required and 2 runs from Paul Heath moved him to 44 before Jack Bromley pushed Atkinson for another 2 completing a ninth victory for the season in the most unlikeliest of fashions.

Paul Heath’s 44 not out proved a catalyst for the win, practically dragging Pyestock from the depths of defeat, which in his first innings of the season will provide comfort. The defeat was hard on Bagshot who performed well, and were unlucky not to take at least a draw from the match, Atkinsons 5 for 52 from 18.2 overs a real highlight for the visitors.

Bagshot CC 131 All Out

Pyestock CC 133 for 9 (J.Atkinson 5-52)

Pyestock CC won by 1 wkt

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