Old Wimbledonians 137 ao

W&H 137 for 9 

Captain Matt’s goal of not losing away from home was successfully achieved as W&H claimed a dramatic tie against Old Wimbledonians on a gloriously sunny day in Wimbledon.

 Matt won the toss and decided to field much to the dismay of everyone who seemed rather more in favour of a spot of batting and sunbathing rather than forty overs of running around in the sweltering heat.  However, after many mumbles and grumbles it was widely acknowledged that Matt had indeed made the right decision.

 Sadly, this was not reflected in the start of the match as the Old Wimbledonians’ openers saw off our opening bowlers and looked set for a good score.  However, while the openers could deal with the pace of Muneeb and Paul, they were left dumbfounded by Jerry’s guile, flight and considerable lack of pace as he ripped through the opponent’s top order finishing up with excellent figures of 3 for 28.  Matt had originally been concerned that W&H would be one or two bowlers short but Albert responded brilliantly to the threat of Billy turning over his arm to deliver figures of 2 for 34 including the deception of a useful middle order bat with a crafty slower ball.  Matt took an excellent catch off his own bowling and was unlucky not to get more than his solitary wicket.  Paul and Muneeb returned to provide an eventful finish to the innings.  Muneeb got two wickets in two balls and faced the prospect of getting his second hat-trick of the weekend.  Perhaps more surprisingly, this also presented the prospect of the Sunday XI recording back to back hat-tricks in matches.  Unfortunately, possibly due to Albert saying that Muneeb would have to buy the team a jug in Prague, Muneeb’s hat-trick ball did not deliver another wicket.  Paul returned at the other end to pick up two wickets and record the impressive figures of 2 for 14 from 8 overs.  This left Old Wimbledonians all out for 137.  The bowling attack had done an excellent job but they had been especially ably supported by Peter, who gave a master class of wicketkeeping including an instinctive catch and a superb stumping standing up to Matt. Thanks to “interesting” umpiring decisions, both these excellent pieces of skill are not in the scorebook but they will be remembered in the Sunday XI match report, which is far, far more important.

 After a delicious tea, W&H felt relatively optimistic about chasing a total that appeared to be easily within reach.  However, after Jamie and Ferrari had been dismissed early on by two superb diving catches, the team faced an uphill battle.  David and Albert rebuilt the innings and when Albert departed for an excellent 36, the team needed 70 at about five runs an over.  Conor came in and hit the shot of the day, a lovely straight drive for four, before losing his wicket the very next ball.  David then followed him the next over, departing for a tortoise-like 20.  This left Billy and Matt at the crease and they added some much needed impetus to the innings as a flurry of boundaries brought W&H closer to the winning total.  However when Matt fell for 14 and Billy for a quick fire 20, things were looking bleak as there was still plenty of work to do.  Muneeb came and went and this brought Paul to the crease with Jerry.  They batted well and going into the last over W&H needed 9 to win.  Two twos and an excellent four from Paul meant that the scores were tied with two balls left.  Unfortunately, a dot ball and a stumping meant that the team was denied a famous victory. 

 Well played everyone, it was a pretty good team performance and now W&H can look forward to winning their first away game of the season at Valley End next Sunday and at least the captain’s objective of not losing the game was nobly achieved – if not quite in the way Matt expected!!    

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