The sun was beating down at Hunters Park in Twyford as Compton 4’s took on local rivals (and Skipper Phil’s former side) Otterbourne 3’s. The pitch looked a good track for batting, however captain Wilson looked to play to the teams strengths and opted to bowl first upon winning the toss. The 4ths made a few changes, with Josh Poulter, Matt Weynberg, Ian Forward, Chris Ashman and Dave Stagg all joining the side.
Compton had an interesting start to the game, with Scott Spearing bowling two wayward balls, followed by a beautiful inswinger to dismiss the Otterbourne skipper for just 4. With the Otterbourne batsmen scoring quick runs, Scott found the outside edge of the other opening batsman, for Nick to take a safe catch behind the stumps. Fellow opening bowler Ian Forward then joined the party, taking a good catch off of his own bowling to leave Otterbourne 30 for 3.
Ian then bowled another batsman out, as Otterbourne number 4 Cole took the attack to the wicket taking Compton attack. He formed a partnership with the new man in and frustrated the Compton bowlers. Josh Poulter struck to break the partnership thanks to an excellent catch in the covers from Will Weynberg.
The excellent bowling partnership of Dave Stagg and Phil Wilson managed to speed up the over-rate and slow the run-rate of Otterbourne. Stagg’s persistent lines and lengths proved hard to put away and skipper Wilson was as accurate as ever. Phil was the first to get the breakthrough as the batsman charged down the wicket with no success, Nick removed the bails for an easy stumping. Dave then struck twice as Gaz pulled off a good catch at mid-on.
Otterbourne looked to be in trouble as the dangerous Coles was removed by Phil for 79, as Gaz once again proved to have safe hands. Ian returned to mop up the tail as Otterbourne were bowled out for 172.
The new formed opening partnership of Matt Scorey and Nick Spearing looked to get Compton off to a solid start. A conservative opening few overs didn’t last long, as Nick began to capitalise on half volleys outside the off-stump hitting several cover-drives to the short off-side boundary. Nick was gifted a life in the 20’s after being dropped in the covers from a very difficult chance.
Nick and Scorey continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over and they reached their second consecutive 50 partnership. The partnership was broken with the score on 66 as Scorey mis-timed a drive and hit the ball straight up to mid-off. He was dismissed for 18. Chris Ashman joined Nick at the crease. Nick crunched yet another cover-drive to take him to his maiden half-century. Chris looked in good touch, before mis-judging a run and running himself out for 6.
This bought Gaz Smith to the crease. He and Nick looked to take advantage of some slack bowling and continued to keep the scoreboard ticking at over five runs per over. As Nick edged ever closer to converting his maiden half-century into a ton, the bowlers managed to produce some rash shots from Nick. However, an inside edge off the returning opening bowler took Nick into triple figures for the first time.
Gaz took the victory to within touching distance, for Nick to slap a full toss to the boundary to steer the team home to an 8 wicket victory. Nick finished with an unbeaten 114 as Gaz hit 27 not out. A maximum 24 point victory for the 4ths.
Compton 4’s hope to carry this form into next week’s game against Easton and Martyr Worthy at King George V.