Pyestock’s disappointing run of form continued this weekend with a comprehensive defeat to Woking and Horsell CC.
The visitors went into the match still missing influential captain Neil Butler, but were also without Jon Ford, Dan Heath, and Richard Eynon, calling in Billy Leader as well as Ryan Bell and the home sides very own Arya Khedekar for their Pyestock debuts, whilst the home side are themselves faring well despite the enforced transition within the club following the most tragic winter in their history.
Losing the toss saw Chris Heath and his troops take to the field on a soft wicket and a damp outfield which had been reduced in size due to the sodden nature which had prevented the hosts using the pitch at all the day previous. It is a testament to Woking and Horsell that the match was able to take place.
Neil Cheetham and Akil Dasani made slow progress against the bowling duo of Heath and Leader as the ball held up in the soft pitch, and had only contributed 12 runs before Cheetham edged to Jack Bromley for the days first wicket.
Yasir Shahid replaced the fallen opener, but failed to increase the run rate, whilst Dasani, despite some expansive shots and an unwavering desire was failing to turn his efforts into runs. The positive approach finally paid off as successive bludgeoning drives brought up 10 runs off the Pyestock skippers bowling and moved the hosts to 31 for 1.
Heath however had the final say in the entertaining innings as a mistimed swipe was pouched by Chris McGovern at point and in the very next over Yasir was the second victim of the Leader/Bromley partnership as Woking and Horsell lost their third wicket.
Home captain Charlie Eve failed to halt this turn in fortunes as he was bowled by Jack Bromley in the 15th over, but would have been pleased with what followed as Joe Dickson and unregistered overseas player Tom Bensch rescued a perilous position of 53 for 4 with a partnership totalling 114 masterfully elevating their side to a strong position.
Pyestock rotated their bowlers at regular intervals as Bromley, Glenn Taylor, Arya, Jay Threlfall and Ryan Bell all tried to oust the confident duo, but a sensible, positive and low risk strategy proved ultimately fruitful until the 38th over when a great throw from Jack Bromley ran out Dickson for a game changing 74.
With free licence to attack, Bensch went on the charge and pulled the returning Heath and Leader for a maximum each, before succumbing to a novel piece of showboating, bowled whilst trying to “ramp” Leader over the wicket keeper.
The home side closed on a respectable 187 for 6 from their 40 overs, a good score on a track predominantly favouring the bowlers, and Pyestock knew they had their work cut out to secure a victory.
Chris McGovern opened the batting for the first time this season as the void left by Jon Ford required filling and a slow start against the left arm bowling of Tom Bensch was shaping into something more promising but ended as early as the 5th over as poor communication and indecision saw Joe Dickson pounce on a late cut at backward point and run out the backtracking opener.
This poor start was compounded an over later when Jack Bromley also departed, failing to heed the warning of being dropped in the gully second ball, found himself caught behind without troubling the scorers. When Glenn Taylor was then caught at mid-wicket by Neil Cheetham 7 balls later, Pyestock found themselves 20 for 3 with the run chase in tatters.
It could have been worse as Tom Threlfall looked to edge behind in the 9th over, however the umpire remained unmoved despite the strong and confident appeal.
Billy Leader and Threlfall dug deep to rebuild the innings and carefully added runs against the bowling of Jamie Dickson and Rafeh with the visitors reaching 50 in the entertaining 16th over, Leader breaking the shackles and hammering three sixes in the over, unveiling a new-found intent.
However, just when it looked as if Pyestock were to mount a late and unlikely challenge for the match, Threlfall skied to Rafeh off the bowling of Simon Nixon, before Leader was trapped LBW by Peter Smith.
This bowling partnership proved incredibly fruitful for the hosts as the pair claimed all the remaining wickets as Pyestock crumbled horribly. 66 for 3 was a distant memory as Arya Khedekar was dismissed LBW for 2, before Jay Threlfall (4) and Colin Butler (5) both perished.
Ryan Bell provided some stern resistance with a rapid and fluent 27, but the positive approach was futile given the dire situation his adopted side found themselves in and with the score on 104 for 8, a wild swipe went vertical and straight into the grateful hands of wicket-keeper Andy Datson.
Four balls later and the humiliation was complete as Peter Smith claimed his third wicket of the afternoon, and with it a fully deserved 82-run victory. Pyestock have now lost 3 consecutive matches for the first time since 2008 and are now 2 wins to 3 down against Woking and Horsell, although with a great spirit during the match, with new Captain Charlie Eve working miracles after a truly difficult winter for the club, it is hoped that the relationship between the clubs can continue and grow for many years.
Pyestock have now lost three matches in a row. How do you feel this run of form can be reversed?
As a team, we haven’t performed for a few weeks now. We just need a bit of brilliance with the bat or ball to get us going. Maybe this will happen this week.
You must fear for Pyestock next week at Worcester Park, a traditionally strong opponent?
I’m not going to lie when i say i am not looking forward to this week. We are short of players due to various reasons and we are against one of if not the strongest bowling attacks we face. I cant see it going well, but hopefully I am wrong!