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2013 Match Report Godalming CC

Shepherd See’s the Runs Flock In,

As Pyestock left out to Graze!

Godalming CC Vs Pyestock CC

Sunday 14th July 2013

Weather Conditions: Very Hot and Sunny

Pitch Conditions: Wicket: Dry, flat, hard. Outfield: Bald, dry, uneven, dangerous

Match Type: Limited Overs (35 Overs, Bowlers limited to 7 overs)

As the summer heatwave continues to hit the UK, Pyestock’s 2013 season long tour saw them pitch up at Godalming CC for the latest episode in this regular encounter.

Once again up against their first XI, Pyestock knew that a strong challenge awaited, but were immediately more concerned by the outfield which was horrendous. Any grass that had survived the recent hot spell was baked to straw, and all that was left was a very bumpy bald and hard surface, that would not have looked out of place on the moon. Considering the level of league cricket that is played, and the size of Godalming Cricket Club as a whole, it was truly abysmal.

In contrast, the wicket looked every batsman’s dream, flat and hard, and well prepared. Pyestock knew it was a day for batting first. Pyestock however lost the toss and were forced into the field, in a match that would only consist of a maximum of 70 overs.

Chris Heath and Jack Bromley opened the bowling, up against Pete Shepherd and Ryan Elgar and started well on a pitch not designed for many bowling attacks. The overs ticked by and run scoring became easier, 63 runs coming from the first 10 overs as numerous mis-fields failed to help the already frustrated bowlers. Neil Butler introduced himself and Ben Bromley in an attempt to unsettle the batsmen and the tactic worked as Neil bowled Elgar for 17.

Torin Davies joined Shepherd at the crease and between the pair really began to turn the screw on a Pyestock side, desperate to keep the runs to a minimum. The hundred came up in the 15th over as Pyestock really began to struggle in the outfield, any ball not hit to a fielder invariably resulted in a boundary as the absence of grass failed to slow the ball, coupled with hesitancy to attack the ball fearing a wicked bounce of the lunar surface, left Pyestock almost static and unable to prevent the free flowing nature of the 2 comfortable Godalming batsmen.

The breakthrough that Pyestock so sorely needed came in the 17th over as Dan Heath managed to produce an edge from a length ball that lifted sharply off the surface. Shepherd ended his impressive innings as Neil Butler took the catch at first slip.

A small flurry of wickets would be exactly what the visitors required at this stage, and it came in sorts as John Milner and George Stow departed quickly after poor shots allowed Ben Bromley and Dan Heath to claim further wickets and reduce Godalming to 138 for 4.

At this stage in the game, the innings could have gone either way, as further wickets could expose the lower order to the Pyestock attack, however Davies and James MacKenzie battled well to steady the innings. In the 24th over however, Ben Bromley claimed his 2nd wicket as the youngster pushed MacKenzie back into the crease, and the faintest nick was snaffled by stand-in wicketkeeper Paul Heath.

Christian Hale joined Davies at the crease as the innings entered its final sector, as Godalming looked to add vital runs to their already impressive total. Davies perished chasing a half century as Taylor Newcombe picked up a wicket after a smart catch by Chris McGovern, but Hale and MacGregor Cox batted aggressively to haul the hosts up to a formidable final score of 243 for 6. Disappointingly for Pestock, the 88 runs scored from the final 10 overs undoing a lot of hard work put in to reign in Godalming’s impressive start, mainly down to Pete Shepherd.

Discussions around the fabulous tea revolved around getting off to a good start, and with such a fast unpredictable outfield ensuring every run scoring opportunity was taken. The first segment of this plan did not materialise however as 2 wickets in the first 4 overs firmly set Pyestock onto the back foot. Firstly, stand-in opener Chris Heath misjudged a full toss from Kyo Lewis, then in the very next over Glenn Taylor attacked a wide ball, only to pick out Shepherd to reduce the visitors to 12 for 2.

Jack Bromley and Dan Heath were charged with rebuilding the innings, and began to score well, however Dan’s Innings was cut short as he was trapped LBW by Lewis. The Pyestock number 4 was unhappy with the decision, but had no other option than to trudge off.

Lewis claimed his third wicket in 5 overs as Pyestock’s capitulation continued, Paul Heath bowled for a duck. Pyestock at this stage were 37 for 4 and the match slipping swiftly from their grasp.

Events went from bad to worse for the Neil Butler’s side as 3 further wickets fell by the first drinks break at 15 overs. Chris McGovern was bowled by Michael O’Day. 2 balls later Jack Bromley, perhaps the only cornerstone in a frankly pathetic batting performance thus far found himself caught by Milner for 30, exactly half of his teams score, as the 6th wicket in Pyestock’s innings fell.

Ben Bromley fell in the next over as Christian Hale claimed a wicket, as the youngster was caught at mid wicket. The drinks were brought to the field with Pyestock in pieces at 70 for 7.

Here, however remains the issue with limited over cricket, the match effectively won by Godalming and deservedly so, Pyestock, with no option of a draw can do nothing but fight on, as Godalming go through the motions, Neil Butler and Pete Harris resumed the innings, which suddenly saw the attitude of the Godalming team change. The ruthlessness and application had gone as they began to toy with the game. Fielders switched off and the bowling performances plummeted. Neil Butler took full advantage of the drop in diligence with some lusty blows. Godalming rotated their bowlers as Shepherd and Stow came into the attack, but neither could consistently keep the runs down.

Pyestock moved into three figures as both batsmen were dealing well with the bowling, and it came as a surprise that Pete Harris was bowled by a quicker ball from Shepherd.

Taylor Newcombe joined her captain at the crease and settled straight into batting clipping her first ball for four through fine leg. Godalming however remained unconcerned and continued to spend the majority of their time exchanging banter and soaking each other with drinks than focusing on their bowling and fielding duties.

Kyo Lewis was reintroduced to the attack in the 23rd over to try and add to his impressive 3 for 20 from his original 5 over spell, however his second spell could not have been more contrasting. No-balled first off for failing to inform the bowler of the change may have been seen as a bad start, however it got no better for the youngster in a 2-over stint littered with no balls and wides, eventually costing a mammoth 41 runs as Neil took full advantage.

Suddenly in 25 overs, Pyestock had reached 161 for 8, notably 6 runs ahead of where Godalming were at the same stage of their innings. Godalming may have clicked that their lack of attention was suddenly in danger of costing them the game.

O’Day was reintroduced to the attack and forced Pyestock back into the defensive with some tight bowling. A wicket maiden followed as Taylor was bowled for 10 runs and 9 balls later it was all over as Neil Butler finally fell on his sword chasing the win as O’Day ended the hero with 4 for 19 from his 5.1 overs.

Godalming had won by 68 runs and no complaints can be made on the result as Neil Butler’s side were out batted on a day where run scoring was prominent. The rear guard action from Pyestock’s captain was a rare plus point on a day which could have produced a more enjoyable outcome.

Godalming CC 243 for 6 (P.hepherd 78)

Pyestock CC CC 175 All Out (N.Butler 71)

Godalming CC won by 68 Runs Man of the Match: Neil Butler

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