In a welcome change to the rain that has been the cause of many a cancelled fixture of late, Wilcot arrived at the Old School Ground to play Aldbourne under blue skies and a much welcomed dry forecast.
With a couple of last minute drop outs, the Captain was extremely grateful to Shane Bryant and Cyril York who were able to step in at the last minute and so with a full team and no rain set to make an appearance, a good day’s cricket was in store.
The Captain was optimistic given the fact that the Saturday team had enjoyed an extremely rare ‘rest’ day the day before and so a handful of Saturday players had made themselves available.
Wilcot’s record against Aldbourne over the course of the Captain’s tenure is best not given too much mention here, however, with a side bolstered by Saturday team hired muscle sitting alongside Sunday team’s core elite, the Captain was hopeful that a change in fortunes for this particular fixture was on the cards.
Pete Williams had, yet again, worked wonders with the wet conditions that had preceded the match and prepared a fantastic looking track and when the Captain won the toss the decision to bat was not a difficult one to make.
Wilson and Jack Chatfield, recently returned to the UK from his winter habitat, were chosen to open the batting. Both started positively, scoring freely from some tidy bowling and the score moved to 36 before Jack fell playing across the line to a straight one in the 10th over.
Having made such a positive start, the rest mostly went downhill! A middle order collapse meant the score slowed from 36 for 1 to 58 for 4 in the 18th and Wilcot were in trouble. Mike Stobbs and Ash Elliot brought some respite but Ash was eventually caught in the deep trying to advance the run rate and Mike fell in similar fashion, caught for 33 in the 26th over.
Sadly, runs were hard to come by in the dying overs and Wilcot were bowled out for 123 in the 33rd over.
A hearty tea was clearly required to provide impetus when taking the field to defend a total which felt way short of what was required.
As always an excellent display was on offer. Home made sausage rolls, egg sandwiches and some warm circular meat ball things caught the Captain’s eye on the savoury front. Those with a sweet tooth (Captain included) had an excellent selection of Victoria sponge, Chocolate cake and some delicious cup cakes to choose from and a sense of optimism was restored as the team readied themselves to re-take the field.
At this point, Cyril York who’d struggled with a calf muscle strain whilst batting, announced that he would have to sit out the remainder of the game and so the prospect of defending a low total with a man down was a distinct possibility. Thankfully, Rob Herrett, who’d come to watch was on hand to step in and so quickly dashed home to collect kit and was back in time to take Cyril’s place as Wilcot took to the field to defend their total.
Past experience suggested that Wilcot’s only chance was to ensure Aldbourne’s top 3 bats were removed cheaply. Ash Elliot and Shane Bryant, Wilcot’s opening bowlers, both bowled economically but it was not until the introduction of Jack Chatfield into the attack in the 10th over that the first wicket fell with a good catch taken by Shane Bryant at cow corner to dismiss their most dangerous looking opener.
Ash Elliot’s dogged determination paid off and he was rewarded with the wicket of Aldbourne’s other opener in his last over. However, from this point the runs started to flow. Rob Herrett stemmed this flow of runs with a very tidy spell eventually taking Aldbourne’s third and final wicket with an excellent stumping by Wilson behind the stumps, but Aldbourne’s run chase never seemed in doubt and the game was wrapped up in the 26th over.
All in all, a very enjoyable game played in an excellent spirit. Ultimately, Wilcot’s poor performance with the bat was the deciding factor and whilst there were some notable bowling contributions (Ash and Rob in particular), 123 was always going to be short of where we needed to get to.
Wilcot welcome Marden to the Old School Ground for their last fixture of the season next weekend (13th August).
Saraj Bowled 22
Chatfield Bowled 18
Bryant Caught 1
Spencer Caught 4
Watherston Bowled 1
Stobbs Caught 33
Elliot Caught 6
Powell LBW 6
Dutoit Not Out 3
York Stumped 3
Macgregor Bowled 0
Elliot 7 2 12 1
Bryant 6 0 23 0
Chatfield 3 0 22 1
Stobbs 1 0 17 0
Macgregor 3 0 23 0
Herrett 5 0 20 1
Watherston 0.2 0 4 0
NB: some of the bowling figs are estimated. I’ve asked the opposition for confirmation.