By Jon Ford
Deando-Ruxley 164ao (37.5 overs) beat Pyestock 127-9(ao; 36.2 overs) by 37 runs
Pyestock knew they were in for a hard day’s work when they travelled to Deando-Ruxley, missing last season’s three leading wicket takers. However, their batting was shown to be equally threadbare leading to a resulting 37 run defeat.
The bowling shortfall was even worse than it looked at first glance. In addition to missing Neil Butler (knee), Ben Bromley (work) and Chris Heath (suspected thumb), the attack was also shorn of Taylor Newcombe (women’s cricket) and Jay Threlfall (more work). To top it off, stand-in captain Dan Heath was struggling with a shoulder strain and Chris McGovern was also missing.
Dan had to marshall his resources carefully after being asked to field first. He opened the bowling alongside leg-spinner Glenn Taylor. The Deando batsmen made gradual progress with Ian Wyatt reaching 15 and D Moore making 26. Pyestock couldn’t breakthrough until Jack Bromley joined the attack and bowled both openers.
There was then a steady flow of wickets with Jack striking again (a ridiculous one-handed catch from Colin Butler) and Will Knox bowling a tidy spell of 2-15. Pyestock turned to occasional “bowlers” and were rewarded when Jon Ford took his first wicket in 11 years. After a strong start, Deando had staged a traditional Sunday cricket collapse to 89-7.
But the innings inevitably turned, with P Goodall and Malik taking a liking to the wide range of variations from the bowlers. Both Jon and off-spinner Vaughan Newcombe suffered some punishment. Goodall went on to make 50 not out. But Vaughan eventually turned the ball through the gate to bowl Malik for 24.
Young bowler Tom Threlfall joined the attack and picked up a wicket in his first over, as Armstrong lobbed a catch to point. It was then left to Jack Bromley to return to the attack to finish off the tail, ending with figures of 4-24. Jack’s skiddy seamers were also appreciably quicker than the other bowlers in the match.
Pyestock got off to a slightly strange batting start. There was a wild spell from Rizwan and accurate away-swing from Wyatt accompanied by some wild swinging (and missing) from Jon and an atypically quiet Glenn. Despite this, the scoreboard showed a seemingly conventional 34-0 from 8 overs.
Goodall replaced Rizwan and bowled slow seamers to lure first Glenn and then Colin into false shots. Rob Hawkes then joined the batting before departing for a protracted duck.
Jack Bromley then came in and started playing some classy looking shots. Pyestock were still in the game with 7 wickets in hand and 93 runs needed from 16 overs. But Jon fell for 35, edging a wide long hop to be caught behind. Jack carried on trying to make his way, but then holed out for 27.
Pyestock’s last hope seemed to be the partnership of Pete Harris and Vaughan Newcombe, who had been in the runs the previous week against Concorde. Pete played some strong shots before falling victim to cramp. Vaughan assessed the situation and decided that the team had to come first, pushing Pete to run 2, with Pete falling run out. Will Knox then came in, and after some aggressive calling from Vaughan was run out for 3. Tom Threlfall then came in, and after some aggressive calling from Vaughan was run out for a duck.
The remaining batsman was captain Dan Heath, surprisingly batting himself last after top-scoring the previous week. He avoided being run out by facing Rizwan’s best ball of the day, which clipped the top of off-stump.
Pyestock lost by 37 runs. Despite the loss, the game was enjoyable and played in good spirit. The match also saw many landmarks being reached. Jack took the best bowling figures of the season so far. There were also first Pyestock wickets for Tom and Jon and the first wicket in two years for Vaughan who achieved a rare hat-trick of run outs.
Pyestock will hoping for players to return next week, with Chris Heath due to be back and the possibility of Neil Butler at least standing at slip, even if he is unable to bowl.