Bedhampton Mariners CC vs Pyestock CC
Date: Sunday 7th July 2019
Weather: Drizzle, overcast later
Toss: Won by Pyestock CC who elected to field.
Result: Bedhampton Mariners CC won by 4 Runs.
Team: C. Heath (C), J. Ford, J. Bromley, C. Butler, P. Bright, J. Threlfall, D. Heath, S. Armes, P. Harris, B. Leader, J.Baldwin (w).
How did thing start?
The challenging conditions made choosing to field a tough one for captain Chris Heath, who banked on the improving forecast later in the day. His team did get to make the most of some very favourable bowling conditions however and it was Dan Heath who tore through the top order removing Nicholls, Williams and Wood in his first 3 overs as Bedhampton slumped to 23 for 3. A tactical switch saw the captain introduce himself at this stage and thing almost got even better when the hard hitting Harry Hovey skied a shorter ball that surprised the number 5. Colin Butler unable to take the difficult and towering chance (the ball did seem to take an eternity to return to earth).
So was the positive start capitalised upon?
No, in a word, the 2 Hovey’s carried on the family tradition of putting the Pyestock bowlers to the sword by crashing boundary left right and centre, and for a period really made Pyestock toil as no answers were found. Only the re-introduction of Dan Heath, with extra pace swing and bounce broke the partnership which at this point was worth an invaluable 125 to the home side, and coming in just 16 overs.
At this point Dan was looking almost unplayable and quickly claimed his and Pyestock’s 5th wicket and looked a sure bet to pick up even more, and was left on until bowled out. Despite other chances the opener finished with 5 for 21 from his allotted 8 overs.
Meanwhile J. Hovey was closing in on a well earned century and although surviving 2 strong appeals for caught behind, retired in the 34th over having scored a 4 to bring up his milestone along with Bedhampton 200. Chris Heath, Pete Harris and Jay Threlfall picked up a wicket apiece as the first innings closed on 211 for 8.
How did the reply pan out?
Initially, there were problems as John Ford, Paul Bright and Sam Armes fell vickin to yet another Hovey (S), as Pyestock fell to 20 for 3 inside 6 overs and the game looked very much over, but Pyestock soldiered on and Jack Bromley and Billy Leader steadied the ship adding 45 for the 4th wicket. The introduction of Nicholls set the home side further on course for victory as both batsmen and Jay Threlfall were bowled by the 3rd change bowler and the visitors found themselves needing 110 from 91 balls with only 4 wickets remaining.
A comfortable victory for the home side?
When it’s your day, it’s your day. Dan Heath came in at number 8 and quickly found the rhythm that has been missing most of this season. A brutal assault on the bowling saw the ball flying to the boundary at regular intervals, as the home side became concerned.
Suddenly it was the same Hovey pairing that had scored 170 of Bedhampton’s 211 runs in charge of the ball, but Dan, more than ably supported by Colin Butler was now giving back as good as Pyestock took earlier in the day.as the field retreated to the rope every time he was on strike.
Colin fell for a crucial 23 in the 37th over leaving young Jake Baldwin to help keep Dan on target almost singlehandedly with the run rate at this point. Having already passed 50 in just 36 balls, the chase was on, Pyestock needed 30 from 19 balls.
The 38th over proved decisive, only going for 1 run as H. Hovey kept his nerve, and the game seemed done, only for the next over to go for 10 as Pyestock moved within 15 of victory. Crucially Baldwin found the single first ball, only for Dan to only return the favour next ball. Good running from the third ball saw Dan again on strike needing 12 from 3 balls. A big wind up and smash to long on saw the Pyestock faithful wishing the ball to go for 6, but no, a one bounce 4. Another attempt next ball was collected by a boundary fielder and only yielded 2 meaning Pyestock and Dan required 6 from the final ball of the match. All remaining effort went into the swing, but a thick outside edge, saw the ball spiral into the off side for a single and the visitors had fallen just 4 runs short, in this unexpected thriller. Handshakes all round and warm congratulations to Dan who finished 72 not out and was so close to hauling Pyestock to what would have been a famous victory.
Any other Business?
Ducks: Paul Bright (2 balls)
Buckets: Pip with an absolute skier early on, remains in the memory
Man of the Match: Only one contender this week! Dan Heath for 5 wickets and an unbeaten 72
Milestones: Dan Heath – 350 Wickets
Memorable Moment: The gripping and unexpected finale. To need 6 off the last ball was unthinkable at 20 fo3 in the 6th over.