Bedhampton Mariners 147ao (34.1 overs) lost to Pyestock 148-3 (29.4 overs) by 7 wickets
By Jon Ford
Mystic Monty’s predictions yet again proved incorrect as a Pyestock side denuded of several star players managed a comfortable win against Bedhampton Mariners. A man of the match performance from Jack Bromley, who took four wickets and then hit 47 not out, helped Pyestock to victory with 10 overs to spare.
For a second week running, the Pyestock team had an unfamiliar look, with several regular players missing. They were helped out by the Pusey brothers, Euan and Chase, but could still only field 10 players. However, when the Bedhampton team arrived, Pyestock were relieved to see that no members of the talented Hovey family were playing. Martin Hovey has hit two centuries against Pyestock in previous seasons, whilst his son hit 154 in league cricket only 2 weeks earlier.
Pyestock Captain Neil Butler was happy to be asked bat second on a sunny day. The hungover opening bowling partnership of Richard Eynon (dancing with his wife in the garden until 3am) and Jack Bromley (not dancing in a dodgy Aldershot establishment until a forgotten hour) proved well down on pace but kept the scoring under control with only 6 runs from the first 5 overs.
A breakthrough did not come until Euan Pusey joined the attack. In an eventful opening over, he was hit for four then six, but from the final ball of the over he deflected a return drive on to the stumps to run out Snow for 7.
Opening batsman Grinter looked solid and was starting to hit regular boundaries. Number 3 Shah initially looked more one dimensional, but hit some big shots down the ground. Neil Butler joined the attack himself, and secured Grinter (25) leg before wicket. The batsmen was not happy with the decision, but the impact point was in front of middle and off stump and he hadn’t got forward, so it seemed that the decision was correct.
Although the batsmen found Butler hard to score off, runs were starting to flow as the quicker Chase Pusey tended to drop short in his spell. Bisht was looking good as the score moved on to 131-2.
Richard Eynon rejoined the attack, and initially tried an over of slower balls that went for  runs and left Jon Ford deceived by the spin on the square leg boundary. But in the next over Parvin holed out to Pete Harris in the deep. This sparked a collapse from Bedhampton, as Neil Butler next pouched a slip catch from the back of the bat off Eynon.
Jack Bromley then took his first wicket with a ball sticking in the wicket and another catch gloved to Neil Butler in the slips. In the same over, this was followed by a slow bouncer that Shah lobbed to Euan Pusey at mid wicket as he finished with a score of 53.
The wickets continued to tumble as Eynon finished with 3-24 and Bromley took 4-25. Number 11, Swift was dispatched by Euan Pusey, who hit the top of middle and off stumps.
Bedhampton were dismissed for a gettable 147. But Pyestock were wary of an unusually bouncy pitch, and were also missing batting talisman Glenn Taylor.
The half time interval saw Bedhampton fall a couple of places down the tea league, as several sides have provided strong competition this season. The spicy potato chapatis were an unconventional but welcome variation on a hot day.
Chris McGovern was returning from a 3 week lay-off due to an ankle ligament strain. He opened the batting with Jon Ford. Initially the runs flowed easily with the score reaching  off  overs. However both batsmen were surprised by the bounce in the pitch, with cut shots flying over the slips and gully.
A wicket didn’t fall until the score was on 57, when Jon Ford attempted to sweep an off cutter from Graham and was caught at fine leg with a good forward diving catch. Jack Bromley then came in and found Graham’s bowling to his liking as he took boundaries over mid-on and through square leg. Meanwhile, after a successful return to action McGovern was struggling to read Parvin’s slingy bowling action, and was caught at slip for 36 to leave the score on 72-2.
Neil Butler then re-entered the game. He found that the wide mid-wicket corner off Bisht was to his liking and accelerated the scoring. At the 20 over mark, the score had reached a comfortable 102-2.
Bedhampton next tried some spin options. Butler was initially flummoxed, but eventually the runs flowed again, as Jack Bromley’s reverse sweep found a 25% success rate. As different bowling options were investigated, Butler was to hole out to long-off for 38 from Austin, with his team in sight of victory.
Jack then chipped away at the remaining runs with help from Euan Pusey to take Pyestock home.
Pyestock will be happy with a win at Bedhampton, although to be honest both teams were lacking several important players. Next Sunday’s game at Kempton against Kings will be an intriguing affair, with neither team knowing how well they will play.