On a sunny, yet windy day at King George V playing fields, 4th team skipper Phil Wilson won the toss and elected to bowl on what looked like a useful bowling track. After being skittled for 53 last week, the 4th 11 were eager to set the record straight against Burghclere 2nds.
Opening bowlers Manny Dulay and Scott Spearing set the tone for the game early on, with Manny bowling consecutive maidens, Scott removed the opening pair for little contribution. The openers were elegantly backed up by the change bowlers, James Hake and the “Spin Twins” Phil Wilson and Graeme Forward. Hake removed the number three batsmen as the fielding wicket keeper, James Copland, made a solid catch in the ring.
After Phil removed the dangerous looking Rush caught and bowled, the other fielding wicket keeper, Nick Spearing, made a sliding catch in the outfield to give Phil his second wicket of the game. A persistent 8th wicket partnership helped take Burghclere to the 100 mark. This was ended when Nick caught his second of the game, as Ian produced a rash shot from the young number 7. Scott returned to mop up the tail and bowl Burghclere out for 115, a below par total.
However, the total could have looked much smaller had it not been for a dropped catch from Simon “Whinge” Betteridge. As the ball flew into the sky, the call of “keepers” was made, but the ball hit the deck, much to the shock of the entire fielding side.
After a classic “Rob Spearing tea” (made by Phil), James Copland took to the field, accompanied by his dad Simon in pursuit of 116 to win.
James got off to a stereotypical flying start, hitting boundaries up to the longest boundary at KGV. Si was unfortunately bowled for 2 and James followed suit a couple of overs later, and as Chris Ashman was trapped LBW for a duck, it looked to be a more competitive target than first thought. Matt Scorey and Nick Spearing steadied the ship however, with a 50 run partnership, taking the score from 29-3 to 79-3. Matt played steadily for his 22 and Nick “Nine Lives” was extremely fortunate as Burghclere dropped three catches off of his bat.
Looking to capitalise on this luck and steer the ship home, Nick and Scorey battled the wind, before Scorey played what can only be described as “an ugly hack” across the line to be bowled needing 36 to win. After a mix up between the wickets, new man Whinge was run out without facing a ball, leaving the 4th 11 5 wickets down. However, a partnership between Nick and his brother Scott took the game home, as Scott hit a blistering 29 not out, to accompany Nick’s 31 not out.
A good victory that gave the 4ths 22 points to get their season rolling. Next week see’s the 4ths travel to Gosport Borough for a friendly.