Colin Butler’s first wicket in nearly twelve years provided the highlight in a superb bowling and fielding performance as Pyestock CC cruised to a comfortable victory at Tadworth CC.
Bowling for the first time since 2005 after a succession of back trouble, Butler trapped Greg Buss LBW for his first scalp since 28th September 2002 to claim his side’s ninth and penultimate wicket on a day where Pyestock’s part time bowlers shone. The player affectionately known as Pip, who was pulling on the Pyestock shirt for the 188th time since brother Neil caught Peper Harow’s Ken Beachus to end that innings on the final day of the 2002 season, probably had no idea that one of the clubs longest and undoubtedly one of the most obscure records was due to end.
Earlier, the visitors, who welcomed back last week’s missing quintet of Pete Harris, Jack and Ben Bromley, Vaughan Newcombe and Billy Leader , had produced their best display of the season to ruthlessly deny their hosts any hope of victory.
Fielding first, despite losing the toss, captain Neil Butler led from the front initially removing both openers, Paul Matthews and Stewart Ireland within 3 balls of each other to immediately put the pressure on as the home side slumped to 5 for 2.
Sander and Karia, added some much needed resistance, and between them led the recovery well, despite keeping both Butler and Chris Heath interested with an sprinkling of loose shots directed at either mid wicket, or inadvertently towards the slip cordon. It came as little surprise then, that in the 12th over, Karia could only hoist a shorter ball from Heath into the mid-wicket region where Colin Butler was laying in wait and held on to a good catch.
The Pyestock captain made a double bowling change, introducing Billy Leader and Ben Bromley into the attack. Sander however was proving stubborn and was continuing to add runs to his teams cause, not helped by a massive boundary which was only breached 7 times in the entire match, turning many would be fours into twos.
Collectively, Pyestock were superb in the field and never relented in putting pressure on the Tadworth batsmen who had to earn every run. Bromley was posing a genuine threat with his length, forcing Sander back into his crease limiting his scoring options. At the other end Mears found his defence susceptable to the young spinner and departed, only troubling the scorer on a single occasion.
Billy Leader finally removed the patient Sander in the 19th over after a feathered edge found returning wicket-keeper Newcombe as the home side’s innings began to crumble away.
Things went from bad to worse for the hosts in the 26th over as Bromley, who was by now in complete control from the far end bowled both Andrew Hemmings, who had threatened to change the tide with a comparatively swift 17 from 31 balls, and Smith to leave the target setters in disarray at 56 for 7.
Captain Butler decided, with the bulk of the work completed, to throw the ball to some of his side’s less frequently used bowlers, and despite bowling tightly, neither Pete Harris nor Chris McGovern could find a way through the defences of Williams or Greg Buss.
Williams, however did fall in this period, after quick thinking from bowler McGovern, who ran out the non-striker after a strong drive from Buss was fielded well. It was harsh on the Tadworth number 7 who had doggedly seen off the first 29 balls faced without scoring, prompting plenty of close company from the Pyestock fielders.
Colin Butler and Jon Ford were the next duo to be given the opportunity to impress. Both did nothing to harm their credentials with 5 tidy overs between them than only leaked 10 runs from the bat, but this period did provide the champagne moment as in the 37th over Butler, who was bowling a tidy line and length caught Buss on the pads and was sent on his way by the umpire.
It was a deserved wicket and a long time coming for the ex-opening bowler, forced to take a back seat after a number of injuries in the past decade.
Jack Bromley became Pyestock’s tenth bowler of the afternoon and swiftly dismissed Michael Buss to end the hosts innings, the final tally of 85 clearly way below their own expectations, and a lot of work would be required to force a contest from the remainder of the match.
Pyestock relaxed over an incredible tea, happy with their afternoons work before setting off in pursuit of the target. Missing regular opener Glenn Taylor, Dan Heath stepped up to partner Jon Ford and the duo made slow progress initially as Michael Buss and Beria started well with the ball.
Slowly, the batsmen started to gain control and had progressed the score to 28 from the first 10 overs, prompting a change in the bowling ranks. Smith and Greg Buss were introduced, and the former in particular showed great guile and panache to unsettle both Ford, who fell LBW for 16 and Heath who was caught at mid-wicket for 34. Heath in fact could have been dismissed earlier but Michael Buss grounded the chance at mid-on.
Pyestock were suddenly rattled at 53 for 2, with Smith proving a constant thorn, and continue his intriguing battle with new batsmen Jack Bromley and Chris McGovern. It was almost a shame that the visitors were only 33 from victory, as the prospect of a true bat vs ball battle would have whet most appetites.
Unfortunately for Smith, who had taken his 2 wickets whilst only conceding 9 runs, the othe members of Tadworth’s attack were leaking runs on a far more frequent basis and by the 23rd over, the score had rocketed to 73 for 2, and only 13 runs separated Neil Butler’s side from their 4th straight victory.
Unfortunately for Andrew Hemmings, who was to bowl the next over, Bromley was in an impatient and unforgiving mood, launching an all out assault on the bowler resulting in the most expensive over of the match. A scrambled three from the final of a hectic six balls brought up victory in emphatic style.
Again, Pyestock’s visit to Tadworth CC resulted in a win for Neil Butler’s side, as the 100% record continues, Tadworth CC, as always were fantastic hosts and although the result was comprehensive, it was obvious it did not represent the true strength of a very good side. We hope to visit again for another competitive game.