A scintillating and unbeaten 127 from Glenn Taylor pinned together Pyestock’s best batting performance of the season as they recorded a six-wicket victory over Goldleaf CC.
Fielding first after winning the toss, Pyestock found themselves without bowlers Richard Eynon (presumably dining out at Prezzo on Jay’s advice), Billy Leader and captain Neil Butler (both Knee injuries) and Chris McGovern who joins the lengthening injury list after damaging his ankle just in time to watch the Open. Chris Olley and Paul Heath maintained their places in a patched up side.
The drama was immediate as the very first ball rose off the patchy and worn strip and surprised opening batsmen Leamouth who skied to extra cover. The Pyestock fielders had not yet rubbed the sleep from their eyes, and the chance was missed for the earliest of wickets.
The state of the pitch was certainly aiding openers Heath and Jack Bromley as Leamouth and Cairns struggled with the unpredictable bounce, and in the third over Leamouth skied once again, this time Pete Harris making no mistake at deep mid-on, despite having time for a pint before the ball re-entered the atmosphere. Nasser Hussain’s world record catch now in doubt.
Jack Bromley claimed the wicket of Cairns in the 8th over as an edge behind was well held by Tom Threlfall. The score a paltry 14 for 2 and all signs pointing to a low scoring encounter.
The crease was now occupied by Dwarka and Bradley, and the struggles continued for the home side as the former seemed unable to lay willow on leather early on, whilst the latter will thank the gods for a lack of a second slip whilst only on 8 as a genuine edge sailed to the rope through the vacant gap.
The pair persevered however and batting became easier as they adjusted to the conditions and bowling, and both began to attack with gusto. The short boundaries square on both sides took some punishment as the score raced to 75 for 2 from 16 overs.
Glenn Taylor and Dan Heath were now operating with the ball, and despite Heath only being fit enough to bowl menacing leg spin, it was he who broke the 72 run partnership in the 18th over as a wild top edge to fine leg where Glenn Taylor produced another good catch. Dwarka departed for a useful 32.
The wicket brought relief for the visitors, however this was short lived as McCaffery, immediately continued where his fallen teammate had left off and pulled Goldleaf to 97 for 3 at the half way stage.
The next 10 overs proved fruitless for Pyestock as Goldleaf expertly added 57 for the fourth wicket, while Bradley brought up his half century with his 9th boundary, as the hosts looked to target 200+ moving into the later stages of the innings, however a big counter effort in the field saw the momentum swing back towards Chris Heath’s side.
Jack Bromley claimed a vital catch on the mid-wicket boundary to dismiss Bradley for a swashbuckling 60, before Jay Threlfall and Paul Heath took over with some hangover, age and health defying death bowling.
The pair performed admirably as 3 wickets fell for just 1 run to peg back the home side to 189 for 7 at tea.
Thankfully, after a superb tea, the hard running was completed, as many of the side were unable to move after dining out on burgers and chips, but Jon Ford and Glenn Taylor watchfully guided Pyestock through the opening exchanges with Charlton and Dwarka. The opening variation of left over seam and dangerous off-spin kept the opening pair on their toes. Just as in the first innings, batting got easier for those who persevered.
Unfortunately for Ford a top edge to fine leg ended his innings for 14 to provide Goldleaf with their first wicket of the afternoon as Dwarka claimed a deserved wicket. At the other end, Taylor was beginning to free his arms and punish anything short or full to maximum effect.
Colin Butler provided adequate support to Taylor upon his return to the side and could only walk off in the 20th over as a superb catch by wicket-keeper Frampton, afforded Leamouth a wicket, which was then immediately followed up by another as Tom Threlfall was bowled without scoring.
It was a 4 over spell from Leamouth packed full of incident as Taylor and the bowler enjoyed a ding-dong battle, in which the Pyestock opener came out on top adding 37 runs to his personal tally, as the bowler tried everything to try and claim the wicket that would have turned the match. The end of the spell brought crazy figures of 4-1-44-2 highlighting a thoroughly entertaining passage of play.
By this time Pyestock found themselves 124 for 3 with Taylor 98 not out with 16 overs remaining. The soon to be centurion, now joined by Jack Bromley (8 not out), brought up his ton with his seventh maximum from the bowling of Fox as the away side became firm favourites for victory.
The remainder of the game became an exhibition of hitting as Pyestock neared their target, blemished slightly as Bromley was stumped by Frampton off of the bowling of Joseph to bring Goldleaf their fourth wicket. It could have proved a lifeline for the hosts given the recent brittleness of the Pyestock batting order, but Chris Olley ensured this was not to be the day for another collapse as 20 runs were brutally and agriculturally smashed from just 13 balls to give Pyestock a six wicket victory with 50 balls remaining.
The plaudits however were reserved for the explosive Glenn Taylor, finishing not out on 127 from just 87 balls. With 13 fours and 8 sixes another fine innings was completed. Goldleaf are fine hosts who provided excellent hospitality and a good friendly match. It is hoped our paths will cross again in the future.
A solid win for Pyestock this week against Goldleaf CC, did you enjoy the game?
Goldleaf were a good bunch of guys. I enjoyed the game and the spirit in which it was played.
Pyestock are now halfway through the season. How do you evaluate the first half?
The season so far has been somewhat of a disappointment really with our batting starting off inconsistently, leading to many collapses as well as dropping so many catches. However both of these issues seem to have got a lot better recently and I hope this continues for the rest of the season.
Pyestock face Crane CC this week again without many injured players. Do you think the side has enough strength in depth to gain victory?
If the last couple of weeks are anything to go by, then I believe that we will have enough to get a victory over Crane.