Captain’s Report

On a sometimes cloudy but mostly very warm afternoon, Wilcot welcomed local rivals Burbage to fhe Old School Ground. Among the familiar faces of the opposition was Jake Kinderman who had ‘cut his teeth’ under Wilcot’s current captain and then had chosen to move on to Burbage. Conversely, Wilcot players on the day Ash Elliott and Billie Flippance had previously played for Burbage. Recent rainfall had made pitch preparation difficult but the chosen wicket seemed hard and likely to produce a good game of cricket. In an attempt to emulate the Premier League, one of Wilcot’s most enthusiastic juniors Bertie Perrins accompanied Wilcot’s captain for the coin toss. Burbage’s genial captain Chris Armistead kindly allowed Bertie to call on his team’s behalf and after a couple of ‘practice’ tosses, Wilcot won the toss and chose to bat.
In form batsman Mark Oliver and the soon to return to Kenya schoolteacher, Jack Chatfield, opened the batting. Against accurate Burbage bowling, this pair took the score to 12 in the 5th over when Jack nicked one to the keeper. The introduction of our Aussie stalwart Doug Perrins, who had allegedly been entertaining our chief selector Charlie Corbett until the early hours, meant the score raced to 37 in the 15th over when Doug lobbed a gente catch to mid on having contributed a ponderous 3 runs. Luckily for the one spectator who was still awake, Mark O was joined by Russ Spencer and they produced some acceleration to take the score to 117 in the 32nd over when Russ was bowled. Mark was fourth out in the 36th over with the score on 140 having made a patient and sometimes belligerent but certainly invaluable 81. Wilcot’s middle order, a few of whom are under 60, took the score on to 185 with the addition of 1 (not out) run from the skipper, one more than that scored by the other recent sexagenarian Tim Mister.
A recent post on Social Media described Wilcot as a ‘small-minded club only interested in tea’.  For the record, we are also interested in playing cricket as it is meant to be played and the small-mindedness of such commentators should be focussed inwardly rather than outwards. That said, we were grateful to receive another of Linda Keepence’s excellent teas with a copious supply of sandwiches including the much appreciated egg, ham, cheese and tomato, prawn and chicken.  As well as savouries such as crisps and mini-sausages, there was an abundant offering of scones with cream and strawberries as well as other cream filled delights among the sweeter options.
Much refreshed, Wilcot set about defending a total that seemed lower than that we might have hoped for.  Billie Flippance and Ash Elliott took the new ball and, as ever, gave their all, which in Billie’s case meant at one point kicking the ball away in frustration to needlessly concede an extra run. The dependable duo both bowled well and the score stood at 61 for 3 at the end of the 17th over and then advanced to 100 without further loss at the drinks break after 23 overs with the game finely balanced. Linda’s extra strength cordial mix may have taken Burbage’s batsmen by surprise as three wickets fell rapidly for the addition of only six runs immediately after the drinks break, two for Jack Chatfield and one to Ed James. Another 20 odd runs were added but the introduction of our lame Aussie Doug Perrins bowling in tandem with Jack removed the remaining batsmen with the score on 128, Jack taking a Wilcot personal best of 4 for 33.
Another game played in a great spirit that was closer and more tense than the final result indicates. Our 9th win of the season has cemented our position in 4th place in the league and our record now shows 9 wins against 7 losses this season and we have won 5 of our last 6 matches. There is much encouragement to be gleaned from these results as, bucking the trend, Wilcot as a club has a (hopefully) loyal player base, a burgeoning junior section and, most importantly, substantial and much valued local support, a combination that should bode well for the future.
We travel to League leaders Devizes for our final match of the season next weekend confident that we will give a good account of ourselves.
Wilcot 185 for 9 off 45 overs
Mark Oliver Lbw 81
Jack Chatfield Caught 2
Doug Perrins Caught 3
Russ Spencer Bowled 32
Jamie Watherston Caught 11
Tim Mister Caught 0
Ash Elliott Not out 18
Wilson Saraj Caught 4
Billie Flippance Bowled 16
Ed James Caught 4
MFG Not out 1
Extras: 4 byes, 1 leg bye, 7 wides & 1 no ball
Burbage & Easton Royal 3
128 all out
Billie Flippance 9-2-42-2
Ash Elliott 9-2-17-1
Jack Chatfield 8.1-0-33-4
Ed James 5-0-25-1
Doug Perrins 3-0-5-2
Extras 8 wides, 2 no balls & 6 byes