Pyestock CC wrapped up their twelfth success of the season with a five wicket victory over Lower Earley CC this weekend.
Once again playing amongst the superb facilities at Wokingham Cricket Club, Neil Butler’s side hit the ground running after winning the toss against their under strength opponents.
Even so, old adversary Steve Maynard opened the batting and seemed in good form , dispatching the returning Chris Heath for 11 runs in his first two overs, forcing the seamer to change his approach.
At the other end, Neil Butler was causing Gomes more problems, and bowled the opener to claim his side’s first wicket of the day. This caused a flurry of wickets as Lower Earley’s plans to post a competitive score deteriorated rapidly.
Chris Heath bowled Maynard in the sixth over before Butler claimed a stretching caught and bowled 10 balls later, and not to be outdone, Heath produced a ferocious delivery to claim Khan’s edge and reduce the hosts to 20 for 4.
Pyestock were on fire in both the bowling and fielding department, as stunning direct hits from both Pete Harris and Chris Heath almost delivered run outs but they didn’t have to wait long for wicket number five.
Matters got worse for the home side in the tenth over, as Davidson found himself desperately unlucky to be departing. A solid defensive shot from the number 6 saw the ball roll back towards the stumps and almost apologetically dislodged a bail despite the batsmens frantic attempts to divert the ball to safety. It was Chris Heaths 399th Pyestock wicket, and despite his best efforts, number 400 eluded the left-armer as a double bowling change as implemented.
Ben Bromley wasted no time in continuing the devastation as Charles was bowled, as was the more resistant Chaudary and when in the 16th over Dan Heath produced a magical reaction catch from his own bowling the home side were on their knees at 41 for 8.
Last pairing Bish and Harwood were charged with the unenviable task of rescuing their side and attempted to hit out and get some runs onto the scoreboard, Bish in particular enjoying the spin of Dan Heath, executing the pull shot regularly enough for the bowler to implement an unorthodox two-seven leg side field.
The pair at the crease were doing well and produced the highest partnership of the innings as the score moved to 59 for 8 at the drinks break, Pyestock undoubtedly happy with their work so far.
Only six balls were required after drinks however, as Bromley collected his third wicket by bowling last man Harwood for 5 closing the first innings with the visitors requiring just 60 runs for victory.
Jon Ford and Glenn Taylor took to the field to commence the chase and with nothing to lose Lower Earley three caution to the wind and went for the kill. To their immense credit, the tactic almost paid off, as the attacking bowling of Karamat claimed the wicket of Taylor who was bowled for his first duck since the trip to Harpsden CC in June 2013.
This early setback set the scene for a jittery and nervous innings from the visitors who also lost the in-form Vaughan Newcombe in identical circumstances to pair Pete Harris with Ford as the scoreboard showed only slow progress.
In the 9th over a suicidal run out saw Ford depart for 12 and when consecutive overs then saw Colin Butler adjudged LBW and Ben Bromley bowled, the match was suddenly back in the balance.
Luckily for Pyestock Neil Butler showed far greater resiliance and worked hard to settle the innings back into a routine which would bring victory. and with two highly impressive hook shots brought the scores level with 26 overs remaining.
Steve Maynard then produced a maiden over to delay the inevitable, but the first ball of Harwood’s first over brought up the win with 5 wickets still intact.
Pyestocks improved record against their hosts continued, and the match was played in a good spirit with both sides bemoaning their own batting frailties on a wicket which behaved well and offered no demons. The bowling from both sides proved impressive, perhaps explaining the low scoring match.