Worcester Park 194-9dec (42 overs) lost to Pyestock 198-9 (38.5 overs) by 1 wicket.
By Jon Ford
An exciting run chase ended with a trademark Chris McGovern pull to the mid-wicket boundary as he secured a narrow 1 wicket win at Worcester Park.
The tight finish also meant that McGovern could miss the first half of a dull Euro 2016 final, but he still had a quick drive across to Surrey to see his daughter before her holiday.
The game had started in odd fashion, as the fielding Pyestock team only had 7 players. Some of the team had been helping to organise (or play in) a youth game at Bramshill Police College. Unfortunately the police were unduly officious and would not let the Pyestock players leave the site. (Or the person who controlled the traffic barrier didn’t work on Sunday mornings).
Strangely, the missing players seemed to benefit Pyestock as Chris Heath and Richard Eynon getting the bowling off to a tight start. The pressure was to lead to a run out, as M Sachdeva bizarrely took on Jon Ford’s always dangerous throwing arm. Glenn Taylor then scooped a spectacular overhead catch at gully from Richard’s bowling to dismiss the hard-hitting I Jan, leaving Worcester Park on 24-2. However the Worcester Park batsmen then consolidated, regularly finding the short boundary below the railway station.
Eventually change bowler Jack Bromley deployed the slow bouncer to get opener J Anderson caught for 31. Meanwhile the convincing S Bradshaw looked well organised, hitting boundaries where merited. He was joined by the clean striker Matt Probert who, after several boundaries, struck a full Chris Heath delivery to cover to leave the score on 119-4.
Pyestock’s regular destroyer of lower orders, Jay Threlfall, next joined the attack. In consecutive balls he combined with Tom, his wicket-keeping son, to remove Bradshaw for 69 and J Gizzard for 11. Jay then continued to pick up wickets, on his way to figures of 4-22. There was a rare appearance for Paul Heath (not quite off his full run-up) as Worcester Park delayed their declaration before taking tea with the score on 194-9.
Worcester Park captain D Stemp had claimed that his team was short of bowling. However the Pyestock players were a little careful in trusting this pronouncement. Jon Ford started carefully, while Glenn Taylor was his usual aggressive self. The first ball Glenn faced from Aussie K Ryan was a wide half volley that was struck to the cover boundary. The third ball was a beautiful straight drive out of the ground. In his next over, Ryan conformed to national stereotypes by energetically disputing a leg before wicket decision to Glenn that appeared to pitch outside leg as well as hitting outside the line.
In the 17th over, with the score on 92, Jon was the first wicket to fall for 23 when he lofted a full toss from left arm spinner T Cronk. In swirling wind, a good high catch was taken by Ryan at long off. Cronk continued to make in-roads with Chris Olley and Chris Heath departing before Pyestock’s number 5 Jack Bromley came to the crease. Jack started calmly and provided good support for Glenn. However, when Glenn reached 79 he surprisingly holed out off Cronk’s bowling.
With Pyestock still needing 50 runs to win, it looked like the game might have turned, as first Tom was run out by a direct hit at the wrong end, and then an exhausted Paul could not protect his stumps. However, a confident looking Jack continued towards the target. He got some support from Jay, before he skied a catch off Cronk. Richard Eynon then smote two strong boundaries, before departing leg before wicket despite a long stride forward.
Cronk had now taken 7 wickets, and one more strike would see Worcester Park to a victory that had looked unlikely. Pyestock still needed 5 runs to win. Chris McGovern had been held back to be Pyestock’s number 11. A foot injury and a desire to watch the football meant that the usual number 3 wasn’t too unhappy with this. He used his experience to surprise Cronk and hit the winning runs with one and a half overs to spare. Jack had played a key innings, batting sensibly and was unlucky to miss his half-century with 45 not out.
A good, surprising win over Worcester Park this week, did you enjoy the match and the result?
Yes, I was surprised that we managed to win the game, although its fair to say Worcester Park weren’t as strong as in previous years.
Starting the match with 7 players was something of a novelty after issues with various players arriving, but that didnt stop Pyestock claiming a surprise run out thanks to some Jon Ford brilliance. Do you think the togetherness of the team helped with this start?
Fordy definitely pulled out a moment of brilliance, to execute “that” run-out after aiming at only 1 stump. I don’t have the experience of batting with only 7 fielders around me, so i don’t know if this contributed or not.
Despite chasing a competitive 194, only three Pyestock batsmen made double figures. Do you feel the team need to be more consistent in the batting department?
Definitely! We need to bat more consistently as a team if we are going to build on this result. We cant keep relying on the same two or three players every week.