A superb partnership totalling 101 from Jack Bromley and Tom Threlfall proved the catalyst as Pyestock battled to a four wicket victory over Tadworth CC.
Despite losing the toss and a shambolic start that resulted in the home side smashing 30 runs in the opening four overs, Pyestock dug deep and fought hard to secure this victory, the most satisfying of the season so far.
The opening could not have been more contradictory to the post match celebrations as Jack Bromley and Billy Leader failed to tame the opening batsmen Perrins and Stewart Ireland, with Leader hampered by an almost immediate groin strain whilst Bromley could not seem to prevent the runs flowing through the off-side.
It wasn’t just the bowlers struggling however with fielders off their game, epitomised with a crazy overthrow resulting in “5 byes” conceded in the fourth over. Captain Chris Heath replaced the stricken Leader at the Mill Road end of the ground and gradually an element of control was retrieved including a wicket for the skipper, trapping Perrins LBW for a brisk 23.
Dan Heath replaced Bromley, who had also reigned in the free-flowing runs but Pyestock still looked rusty as dropped catches and poor length deliveries meant that maintaining any built up pressure proved difficult. The beastly all-rounder however did claim a double break-through as Ireland (23), top-edged high to Glenn Taylor, before last weeks pantomime villain Chris McGovern produced a super-sharp high catch to remove Charles Conway for 27 just after the drinks break to leave the hosts 96 for 3.
Pyestock’s performance improved gradually as the innings progressed, and it was left to Stef Sander to continue the run scoring as Dan Heath and Glenn Taylor toiled away. At the other end Fisher was keeping wicket-keeper Tom Threlfall interested with an array of shots away from the body before departing for a scoreless innings lasting 24 balls, Pete Harris taking the catch.
Sander, was scoring well, despite offering up chances and was showing dogged determination to keep up the impressive run rate and brought up his half century, deserved for the tenacity shown, before almost immediately holing out to Jack Bromley as he looked set to post an even bigger score. This produced the first wicket for Jay Threlfall, who continued his good form with the ball over the previous few weeks, by bowling both Christophe Sander and Neil Williams, in between Jack Bromley returning to remove Tim Young for 5.
It proved and eventful last ten overs of the first half with 59 runs scored and 4 wickets falling, with the formidable Karia, showing any loose balls disdain to propel the score towards what looked like being 200 plus, however a controlled final spell from Chris Heath who conceded just 1 run from the combined 36th and 40th overs pulled back the total as the home side posted 198 for 8 at the interval.
After the sort of tea that makes any player pleased not to be fielding second (Top Marks to the Tadworth Tea Ladies), Jon Ford and Glenn Taylor made a start on chasing down the target, and despite the slow start, looked solid against the opening duo of Perrins and Fisher. Progress was slow until Taylor unleashed a titanic shot that cleared the trees to the amazement of all who watched. It was confirmed by the home faithful that there are not many memories of a six that big, ever being hit on the ground, in its 111th year since first hosting Tadworth Cricket Club.
Unfortunately for the visitors, as quickly as the shot fired out of the arena, Taylor was also gone, firing a drive straight at skipper Christophe Sander to depart for 12. this brought Chris McGovern to the crease, who combined well with Ford to see off the remaining threat of the openers to see Pyestock to 28 for 1 at the 10 over point.
A double bowling change saw Stef Sander and Tim Young introduced and the score immediately started to climb with more haste, with 32 runs added in the next 5 overs, however just as Pyestock looked to have the upper hand, Sander struck with a double blow, as Ford was caught by Stewart Ireland, for a patient 13, before the more aggressive McGovern was also dismissed as Karia took a smart catch in the gully.
Suddenly, at 60 for 3, Pyestock were back at square one, with Tom Threlfall and Jack Bromley now at the crease. Tadworth sensed that the visitors needed to rebuild and increased the pressure to the point where 122 runs were still required. The pair however batted calmly and positively, hitting the bad ball, and although not always beating the fielder, did not let the run rate add to the pressure.
By the 26th over, Sander had used 6 bowlers, all for at least four overs, but returned to his namesake Stef who, although proved expensive, had picked up two of the three previous wickets in an attempt to break the growing partnership. The plan failed however in a spectacular swing in fortune as Threlfall started to pierce the fielding ring with more regularity before Bromley added his own candidate to the “massive maximum” collection, hammering Tim Young to the furthest corner of the green.
The score had motored to 161 with a second six bringing up the now fluent Bromley’s half century, before Young gained revenge, as the advancing number 5 failed to make contact and was stumped by Neil Williams. A superbly constructed, and masterfully growing partnership was at an end. it added 101 from 99 balls, and had set Pyestock up for a final onslaught with 38 runs needed from 51 balls.
This display of power hitting forced Tadworth to reintroduce their opening bowlers Perrins and Fisher, possibly earlier than wanted as neither could make their remining allotted overs last to the end of the innings. This possibly could have proved the defining moment as the pair dragged the match into the balance with a four over spell that produced the wicket of Tom Threlfall, who departed for a sublime 25 in a 51 ball spell spent scoring as well as supporting his partner, truly coming of age, as well as Billy Leader who added a swashbuckling but vital 8 runs whilst still hampered with injury, Jon Ford providing the running.
The openers not being able to complete the match however proved the hosts downfall as Tadworth were forced to turn to Stef Sander in the 39th over. His figures of 2 for 50 from 7 overs, encouragement enough for Dan Heath and Colin Butler to squeeze out the remaining 5 runs from the final 12 balls. Heath, who had already staked his own claim for largest six of the day with a juicy maximum into the trees, needed just three of these as Sander’s expensive performance with the ball was completed with a quick single to win the match.
It was a gripping display of cricket between two evenly matched sides that swung in the favour of both teams as the match progressed, and one of Pyestock’s best wins in recent matches. The worm diagram below illustrates how Pyestock bided their time and attacked the target from the 30th over, only to be dragged back into a titanic battle for victory.
An impressive victory for Pyestock this weekend, in a match they didn’t always look like winning. What were your thoughts on the match?
It was good to see Pyestock get a win this weekend, and scoring their highest score of the season so far! Very pleasing and hopefully more of the same to follow!
Jack Bromley and Tom Threlfall batted Pyestock back into the match after a difficult start. It must be pleasing to finally see the side batting better, especially in the middle order?
It is a relief to see Pyestock finally starting to perform to their potential, hopefully the batsmen can keep their form up for the rest of the season.
Chairman Pete Harris showed true commitment in the field with many impressive dives…and tumbles. There was even a rumoured cartwheel! Are you impressed with the agility the squad are showing on (and off) the field?
Apart from the first five overs, where Pyestock were yet to turn up, we fielded well on an uneven surface. I don’t really remember a catch being dropped. It looks like Pyestock are starting to return to the impressive fielding unit that they pride themselves on.