Woking & Horsell CC vs Pyestock CC
Date: Sunday 4th August 2019
Weather: Warm and overcast, with Sunny spells
Toss: Won by Woking & Horsell CC who elected to field.
Team: C. Heath (C), C. Butler, P. Bright, S. Armes, P. Harris, D. Heath, T. Threlfall (w), B.Armes, J.Hayes, K.Ambroziak, M.Gillingham.
How did things start?
Batting first against the captain’s wishes, Pyestock made a solid start with Paul Bright and Dan Heath looking comfortable on a green wicket against opening bowlers Sapotka and Ayling. It was therefore a surprise in the 8th over when the solid looking Heath got himself in a tangle and skied a shorter ball from Ayling and departed for 12.
Debutant Jon Hayes joined Bright at the crease and expertly helped in adding 52 for the second wicket as Pyestock looked to set a formidable total.
Batting well then?
Well, Bright made 31 and Hayes 27 as Pyestock marched to 84 for 3, but the missing players that would usually pack the visitors middle order was evident as the innings began to crumble, and it was only when Pete Harris and Sam Armes came together at 103 for 7 that the target setting sparked into life. Sensible, positive batting from Harris rotated the strike allowing the carefree Armes the chance to unleash a rapid 31 from just 21 balls as Pyestock looked to finish with a flourish. Unfortunately a mix up cost Armes his wicket with an avoidable run out, but the runs helped push Pyestock to 155 for 9 at tea.
And, how was tea?
Very enjoyable, good array of sandwiches, nibbles, fruit and cakes. 10 extra points for free cheeseburgers after the match. The onion bhaji’s with more than a little kick won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
The Second Half.
Pyestock were not confident at all of defending what looked like a meagre target, but with an array of bowling options, skipper Chris Heath was keen to rotate bowlers early in order to find a route back into the match. Ali and Turner both looked settled but without a huge amount of scoreboard pressure started slowly with only 18 runs coming from the opening 7 overs.
Ben Armes removed Turner for 11 before a flurry of wickets raised the visitors spirits with Jon Hayes and Pete Harris claiming 3 between them as the hosts fell to 78 for 4.
After drinks, the slow bowlers took effect with great success, Mark Gillingham and Kirah Ambroziak bamboozling the Woking batsmen, who not only struggled to get the ball away, but also found it hard to stay at the crease. Gillingham was inspired and removed Khan (14), Furness (11), Wickes (5) and Le Maitre (1) in the space of 5 overs before Ambroziak got into the act by bowling Sapotka as Woking fell to 126 for 9.
A brilliant comeback then?
There was still a twist. The powerfully built Ayling was joined by skipper Elliott McPherson, batting out of position due to a thumb injury sustained while fielding. Pyestock needed every ounce of skill and effort to prevent the pair scoring the required 30 runs from the remaining 7.1 overs.
The Heath brothers returned to the attack and gave everything but initially the batting pair were firmly on top and with 5 overs to go only 14 runs were required. Both bowlers reacted and forced the batsmen back onto the defensive. Only 3 runs came from the next 2 overs, but a productive 38th over saw the score jump to 153, only 3 needed.
Pyestock were taking the game ball by ball knowing just one piece of magic would snatch victory and despite Chris Heath shaving McPherson’s off stump in the 39th over, a shot for 2 runs brought the scores level with just one Dan Heath over remaining.
Pyestock brought the field in, Ayling tried to smash the first two balls out of the county and failed to connect with either, the third a fuller ball was driven uppishly into the covers where Sam Armes stopped low to his right to take a pressurised catch. Pyestock celebrated like it was a victory, but in truth it was a deserved tie all round. Quite how Pyestock had defended 155 might remain partly a mystery, but a fabulous all round bowling and fielding performance certainly helped in this incredible game of cricket.
Any Other Business:
Ducks: Chris and Kirah this week
Moment of the match: The final few overs where no-one had any idea what the result was going to be. Pure edge of the seat drama!
Man of the Match: For an incredible spell, taking 4-17 which hauled Pyestock back into contention, Man of the match is Mark Gillingham. Well done Mark!