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2013 Match Report: Harpsden CC

Not One to Harp on About

As Imlay Pulls the Strings!


Harpsden CC Vs Pyestock CC

Sunday 23rd June 2013

Weather Conditions: Bright, warm, breezy.

Pitch Conditions: Wicket: Dry, flat. Outfield: Green, flat, fast.

Match type: 40 Overs, Bowlers limited to 8 overs each.

A stunning batting performance from Harpsden  CC led from the front by 67 from Sam Imlay, ended Pyestock’s 12 match unbeaten run this week.

Filling the fixture left by Cove CC earlier in the week, the beautifully quaint setting provided a perfect location for a friendly game of Sunday cricket.

Fielding first, maybe the tone was set from the very first ball as a wild, wide full toss from Chris Heath was immediately sent crashing to the fence by Imlay to signal the intentions of the home side.

Chris and Billy Leader tried in vain to tighten the proceedings and in the third over Chris thought he had his man as Imlay mistimed a drive high to backward point, unfortunately the chance was a difficult one in the swirling wind and the chance went begging. It was a costly mistake as both the reprieved man and Justin Bradley punished any loose balls to full effect on a lightning fast outfield.

With the 50 brought up in only 8.4 overs, stand in captain Chris McGovern reacted by replacing Chris with Ben Bromley, who bowled beautifully to help bring the run rate down, but it was Billy in the 12th over who made the all important breakthrough. A mistimed drive found the captain, who made no mistake with the catch.

Pyestock continued to work hard, however uncharacteristic fielding lapses kept slipping into the game as the visitors struggled to build pressure on Imlay and new partner Horatio Cary. The pair scored well from both Ben and Jack Bromley taking the score to a formidable 113 for 1 at drinks.

Chris McGovern introduced Dan Heath into the attack after the break in the hope that the change could break the partnership. The plan worked as in the 25th over Cary was dismissed, a smart catch by Vaughan Newcombe behind the stumps gave Pyestock their second wicket and hope of still restricting their hosts to a reachable target.

Ollie Heath was the next man at the crease for the home side, and the new man started slowly, Imlay at the other end though was continuing to enjoy himself, and in fact it almost came as a surprise when he was finally dismissed, seeing as despite the early chance, the opener had offered little in the way of chances in an impressive innings. His departure came from a powerful strike out to deep long on, Pete Harris taking a monumental catch to the delight of his team-mates and bowler Jack Bromley as hosts suddenly lost 2 wickets in 5 balls.

In Jack’s next over the new man Will Bevan was bowled,  giving the youngster his second wicket and Pyestock a glimmer of hope at 142 for 4, that a late flurry of wickets could drag the game back into their hands.

Unfortunately, however, Heath and Captain Will Stevens had other ideas. The pair carefully added runs to their teams score as Chris McGovern shuffled his bowlers in an attempt to unsettle the batsmen. It didn’t seem to matter, however as the last 10 overs were smashed for 74 runs without further loss as Harpsden closed their 40 overs on 222 for 4.

At tea, Pyestock didn’t seem too perturbed by the target, the fast outfield and the fact that Harpsden were only able to field 10 players meant that runs should be relatively easy to find. They did not bank on the bowling threat of Edward Birkett and Rory Ashmore as the pair showed both pace and accuracy to almost close off the runs immediately.

With the first ball of Ashmore’s second over came the moment of the match. Jack mistimed a lofted drive and the ball looped into the offside, with Imlay backtracking vigorously, it always looked as if the ball was going to drop harmlessly over his head, however in a split second of magic a full blooded backward dive saw Imlay cling on to an outrageous catch and send the beleaguered opener packing.

Vaughan Newcombe arrived at the crease however he too found the pace and quality of the home sides openers unsettling and despite balling well soon perished, also to Ashmore.

Once an out of sorts Glenn Taylor was bowled for a duck, soon after, Pyestock’s situation began to look perilous. The bowling served up by the hosts was by far and away better than anything faced this season and despite surviving initially, it was proving difficult to score and it was slowly strangling the visitors out of the game. Billy Leader became the fourth wicket to fall in the 20th over and with only 60 on the board the game was up.

Matt Hayward and Will Stevens turned the screw with 6 wickets between them, Dan Heath bowled for 4, Jon Ford for an excellent 31, and Pete Harris for a duck ripped the middle order apart as Pyestock collapsed to 68 for 7.

Ben Bromley however bucked the trend and attacked the bowlers from the off, proving that batting was not impossible on a good track, he found the gaps well and began to repair a lot of the damage caused earlier in the innings. Losing partners Taylor Newcombe and Chris Heath did not deter the youngster as he almost single-handedly hauled Pyestock into three figures, and in a last stand of 46 with captain Chris McGovern added respectability to the visitors innings.

Pyestock closed on 159 for 9 in 40 overs, Harpsden CC proved very worthy winners in a game played in a brilliant spirit. The victory was comfortable in that they could have easily used their primary bowlers to their full over quota, however decided against this.

The after match beverages only served to increase the relationship with Harpsden CC who we hope to visit again, and all at Pyestock CC wish them well with their major ground redevelopments that will begin shortly.

Harpsden CC 222 for 4 (S.Imlay 67)

Pyestock CC 159 for 9

Harpsden CC win by 63 runs Man of the Match: Ben Bromley

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