Pyestock Cricket Club secured a stunning victory at the home of Bedhampton Mariners with a comprehensive performance despite being reduced to 9 players after being hampered with unavailability.
An unbeaten116 from in-form Glenn Taylor and a Jonty Rhodes style fielding performance from substitute fielder Lee Keeping ensured that the visiting side weren’t there just to make up (some of) the numbers.
Fielding first against vice-captain Chris Heaths wishes, the away side got off to a lively start with Heath himself bowling Lee Keeping for a duck. That wicket would pay further dividends as the outgoing batsman kindly offered his fielding services to the underpopulated field.
Pyestock were now faced with the hard hitting Cox at one end and the more defensively minded Parvin at the other. Parvin was keeping both bowlers interested, but it was Cox who looked the more likely to depart with his free swinging keeping the score board moving but always looking as if a chance would come.
It did come in the sixth over as a clever move by Dan Heath to employ Glenn Taylor as sweeper on the mid-wicket boundary saw Cox find the man, only for the usually safe hands of Taylor to spill the chance.
Heath finally captured his man in the tenth over as Cox was bowled for a brutal 23.
By this time, Parvin had found his feet as was now scoring well, but the introduction of Glenn Taylor and Jack Bromley swung the match hugely in the favour of the visitors in a 5 over spell that yielded four wickets.
Firstly, Glenn Taylor made up for his earlier error by taking a sharp catch off of Bromley’s bowling to remove Fran Donegan, before Taylor himself got in the wickets by bowling Parvin and seeing Reed caught by the substitute Keeping.
Keeping was making a name for himself amongst the Pyestock ranks with several commited chases and stops keeping the runs down against his own side as they began to struggle. It required a skippers innings from Alex Whitfield, but the Bedhampton captain guided his first ball to Chris Heath at backward square leg and suddenly the hosts found themselves in disarray at 98 for 6.
Once the second of the Parvin brothers was dismissed thanks to another catch by man of the moment keeping, Bedhampton were halfway through their innings with only 3 wickets remaining.
The partnership of the captain’s son who at only 9 years of age batted with an incredible maturity and number 9 Snow allowed the home side some respite from the barrage of wickets, until Jay Threlfall breached the defences of Whitfield Jnr to take his first wicket of the match.
Snow continued to frustrate the Pyestock bowlers and fielders with guile and experience on his way to 24, but in the 29th over lost his bearings as a huge throw from the long off boundary fixed the Bedhampton number 9 who was run-out as the ball ground the gloves of Vaughan Newcombe.
The Bedhampton tail continued to wag however and last pair Graham and Swift added a seemingly valuable 23 runs to their sides cause before Graham was bowled in Jack Bromley’s final over.
The target set was 173 a fine effort by the bowlers and fielders who must have been fearing the worst on Bedhampton famous large outfield, and after probably the best tea of the season. Jon Ford and Glenn Taylor began the chase.
Captain Alex Whitfield opened the bowling but quickly withdrew as Taylor found a liking to the length and propelled Pyestock to 20 without loss after just 3 overs.
In what proved to be an innings of short spells for the bowlers, the only wicket taker, Parvin surprised Ford in the fifth over as the opener could only glove behind and departed for three.
Ford will have felt he had missed out on what was to come as Taylor and Jack Bromley attacked the bowling of Parvin, as well as Graham Snow and Reed as the score rocketed to 100 for 1 inside 14 overs.
Swift managed to stem the tide somewhat but by the half way point, Pyestock were just 33 from victory, and Taylor had completed his second consecutive century, from just 67 balls.
On occasions the drinks break can affect the batsmen’s concentration and the innings can change direction, however there was no sign of this as the pair powered on, and secured a brutal victory in the 25th over to leave the players and captain’s of both sides stunned at the result and its nature.
Bedhampton may not have been of the same strength that they have shown in previous encounters, but the clubs ever-warm hospitality and trademark on-field banter means the fixture remains a firm favourite within the Pyestock faithful and hopefully the two clubs will continue to cross swords many years into the future.