Hill locked horns with old sparring partners Ewell in this early season clash at Old Haileyburians. Grey skies, a soggy wicket and a reignited passion for bowling meant thatstand-in skipper Chipperton elected to field after winning the toss, much to the chagrin of his disgruntled teammates.
KP claimed Hill’s first wicket of the afternoon shortly after Mackay was moved from slip to short midwicket, the latter gratefully holding onto a simple catch. KP was ably supported by the everwilling Nacmanson, who continued to trundle in with little reward for his efforts. Both bowled tidily and economically before spin twins Chipperton and Ransom were brought into the fray.
Runs were at a premium as a combination of miserly bowling and a wet outfield made Ewell’s job of setting the pace all the more challenging. The signs of frustration were evident as, seemingly bogged down and running out of patience, Chipperton lured two members of the top order into extravagant drives and bowled both convincingly through the gate in the process. Ransom claimed a wicket of his own after beating the outside edge on a number of occasions, exerting further pressure on Ewell.
Hill’s stranglehold on the innings was tightened as Chipperton claimed 3 victims in quick succession en route to his fifer. After this, the remaining wickets were shared around by Kyle, KP and Aarsh as Ewell were all out for 84. Whilst the conditions were undoubtedly testing for the batsmen, Hill’s bowlers were rewarded for their accuracy and they also reaped the rewards of some impressive fielding across the board.
Safely ensconced in the clubhouse (long overdue following the slight relaxation of the dreaded Covid protocols) and with ready access to the drama of the final day of the Premier League season, Rich and Stu were tasked with knocking off the runs in what ought to have been a straightforward run chase – even by our standards!
Rich was dismissed cheaply after picking out a legside fielder in the second over, which meant that Mackay joined Stu at the crease. The pair looked to make light work of the task by batting fluidly, as they alternated between dispatching the ball to the rope and running efficiently. Mackay departed in classic style, clean bowled just as things started to look beyond easy for him, but Stu continued to advance towards a maiden fifty. Unfortunately, he then succumbed in his role as the aggressor and departed for an impressive 39 off 40 balls, leaving it to Kyle and Blakey and safely navigate us to past the finishing line.
An early finish meant ample time to enjoy several jugs and even allowed for a maiden voyage to Bayleaves, as 7 of the side returned to their spiritual home in order to sample the delights of the Sunday banquet. With the first Sunday victory of the season delivered at the second attempt, rumours abound that the Sunday skipper is ready to take back the reins next week!
Fielder of the day: Stu Morten