Pyestock CC bounced back to winning ways this Sunday with a convincing performance and victory over Woking & Horsell CC, although the main memory from the match will be Glenn Taylor’s swashbuckling innings that was halted as the glory was cheekily pinched by batting partner Billy Leader.
With Pyestock needing just 6 runs for a comprehensive victory and more than 20 overs in hand, Taylor found himself not out on 99 from just 63 balls, and was confident of securing his second century of the season, however Leader wrapped up the game with consecutive boundaries to bring up his side’s fourth with of the season but left the opener in disbelief!
Stand in Captain Chris Heath assessed “I feel sorry for Glenn, and he batted so well, Billy has gone out there and hasn’t played much and wanted to hit the ball and win the game. He has done nothing wrong at all, but would I have done the same? No. Maybe in the 39th over, but not the 19th with so much time left”
Earlier in the day Pyestock took to the field and immediately put their hosts under pressure with Heath and Leader giving Vir Singh and Rajesh Rao a firm examination. Singh was dropped in the first over by Chris McGovern at point, but the ex-vice captain corrected his error by holding on to a chance two overs later, providing Pyestock with their first breakthrough.
Heath then took his second wicket in the 9th over as Alex Wicks picked out Colin Butler to make the score 17 for 2.
Despite keeping the runs tight, Pyestock switched both bowlers to allow Dan Heath and Glenn Taylor the chance to make further inroads. Heath struggled with his footing on a well worn wicket, and was soon replaced by Jon Ford, but Taylor used the rough well to conjour up a wonderful spell of leg spin.
Haresh Rao, who had looked in considerable difficulty was eventually bowled by Taylor, bringing the home skipper Dave Lane to the crease. The added authority settled down the home side and appeared to dampen the threat of the visiting bowlers. Carefully playing the bad balls while respectively seeing out the better balls allowed the hosts to make it to the half way stage at 59 for 3.
During the drinks break, a long discussion took place over whether to save the ultra-economic Taylor (six runs conceded from five overs) until later in the innings, but it was eventually decided to allow the spinner to complete his 8 over allocation, and the decision was justified as Taylor himself broke the partnership by bowling the stubborn Rajesh Rao for 31.
At the other end Jon Ford was producing a fine spell of his own with several balls whistling past the batsmen’s outside edge, and in his seventh over earnt a deserved wicket, as a lofted drive from Keshav Rao only found Jay Threlfall at long off who held a tough catch.
At the end of the pair’s impressive spells Dan Heath was reintroduced to try and replicate Taylor’s leg spin, while Jay Threlfall replaced Ford. It was a double change that proved profitable for the visitors as 2 wickets fell in as many overs as Heath removed the stubborn Lane for a solid 17, while Threlfall gained the perfect revenge on John Hargan the ball after being hit for a massive six by taking a stinging one handed catch from a straight drive off of his own bowling.
Threlfall suddenly found his mojo, and in successive balls in his second over also dismissed Charlie Eve and R.Gera to leave the hosts in a precarious position at 109 for 9.
Last pair Rajat Bose and Tom Clark belied their lowly positions in the batting order to give Chris Heath one last problem with a brisk partnership of 28, but holding their nerve, Pyestock wrapped up the innings as Threlfall took his 4th wicket with Jack Bromley holding on to a towering catch.
After tea, Jon Ford and Glenn Taylor started to chase down the target of 138, and initially encountered few problems as Tom Clarke and Rajat Bose conceding 50 runs in just 9 overs.
Replacement Vie Singh injected some much needed pace and swing into the Woking and Horsell attack and immediately caused the opening pair issues. At the other end John Hargan was not enjoying the same level of respect from the batsmen, Taylor in particular who smashed two sixes into the pavilion in an over that cost 21.
That huge over severely dented any chances of this becoming a close game as only 63 runs were required from 29 overs, however there was absolutely no over confidence from the watching Pyestock faithful, given last Sunday’s collapse at Peper Harow, and in the 14th over, those fears were heightened as the impressive Singh trapped Ford LBW for 18.
Singh then accounted for Jack Bromley and Tom Threlfall was caught to give Dave Lane a wicket, and it seemed Pyestock were being pegged back once again.
Taylor however moved into the nineties with slamming boundaries before a single took the opener to 99 with 6 runs required for victory, and with a brutal lack of emotion from Billy Leader despite calls from both pavilion and partner batsmen, saw consecutive balls blasted to the fence.
It was a welcome and impressive victory for Pyestock who turned in one of there most impressive performances of the season. The tight bowling of Chris Heath, Leader and Taylor allowed the pressure to build and force the home batsmen to attack when they maybe shouldn’t have, while the destructive brilliance of Glenn Taylor was evident in all forms as his unbeaten 99 ensured there could be no repeat of the Peper Harow horror show.