v Bharat Parivar (H) 18/08/19

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Walsall Health 166 all out (35.3 overs) lost to Bharat Parivar 215 all out (39.3 overs) by 49 runs.

The first time in what seemed an age the Elf boys were finally back together to play out their decider against the Asian contingent of Bharat Parivar. The series stood at 1-1 before the game began today.

Well, for 28 overs the Elf couldn’t buy a wicket. The skipper Chuck tried everything, even bowling Tom

Stevie Wonder kindly agreed to complete the markings this week.

Davies up the travelator for the first time in ages but it wasn’t to be. So at the end of the 28th over the score stood at 160-0. Stephens, Davies and Dan Dunn had all toiled away to no avail (with a few monkeys thrown in by visiting batsman ‘Satesh’ who whacked his way to a century) before Chris Hall bowled him in the 29th over and the carnage commenced.
Nathan Martin on season debut got a wicket in what was going to be his last over (imagine if Chuck had taken him off at this point?!) and then one again in his sixth over when Greg Phillpott got a steepler of a catch but made no mistakes.

BUT THEN.

In the 36th over of the innings a moment that would go down in Elf folklore happened. With the runs on the board the away batsmen had freedom to play shots but the Friar Parker Martin was having none of it. Two Parviar batsmen swung and missed and saw their stumps demolished. THEN IT HAPPENED….The Elf fielders crowded the new batsman and Martin ran in….the ball cannoned into the new batsman’s front pad and the noise from the lads was deafening. If you were in Pelsall/Aldridge area you may want to check your windows for cracks because I’ve never heard a louder LBW appeal in all my given days. Martin didn’t seem to want to appeal but turned around just in time to see the umpire nod his head, then raise his finger and let me tell you, the next thirty seconds were sheer euphoria. There was a massive pile-on on the square, celebrations galore! A HAT TRICK for an Elf player and it was the first one since club LEGEND Jonty Nicholls got one in 2008. What a moment! Serious pandemonium for the boys. If I could bottle up the emotion of that half a minute and sell it, it would out sell all illegal drugs on the ‘market’ and I’d be writing these reports from Bora Bora because it’s something you can’t describe, rather like the Thai Sweet Chilli Sensations when they touch your taste buds ay Nicka/Gail?

The Elf wrapped up the innings with some excellent fielding from brothers Chuck. Leo off his own bowling for a scooping run out and Ian from mid on with a great direct hit. Tom Davies toiled up the hill in the final over and got two wickets, a catch from Chuck and another LBW for the tally. The visitors were all out for 215.

After the teas were smashed (big hand to Nicka for going and getting some Olives and cakes) the Elf began the tall order of chasing.
Brothers Chuck were in and out for a combined score of 6 before Dan Armstrong scored 37 which included a big six and Rob Hewlitt who was out for 19 put on a good partnership. Armstrong finally run out after Rob made him do a metaphorical bleep test in the middle.
Dan Dunn and Rich Fell went for a boundary a piece but Greg Phillpott came in and played an excellent innings to take the Elf towards a competitive score. Nath Martin got a quack (BUT HE GOT A HAT TRICK) and Chris Hall got 2 but Dave Stephens hit 24 valuable runs in a good partnership with Phillpott before he was bowled. With one wicket to get Phillpott hit the joint highest score of the season with 43 and Tom Davies got another red inker for three.

N Martin receiving the Hat Trick ball from club legend R Fell. “Skipper Chuck was too busy washing the rug”

What a day boys, glad to have been there to have seen a moment of Elf history. Only the third hat trick in 32 years. THAT IS WHY WE PLAY CRICKET.

Tea review

Great sandwiches today but Nicka saved the day going to get mini rolls and OLIVES. Superb.

Shower club

Forgot my towel but we know what the showers are like in Rushall, rather like a retirement home in London, warm and cosy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Davies

 

 

 

 

Bowling

Bowling

Batting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bowling Original

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Peopleton v Walsall Health….15/05/2011

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Peopleton, a lovely village in Worcestershire, where we started to visit back in 2009. Usually a ground where plenty of runs are scored. Many a time, that red leather ball has introduced itself to the cows in the field over the far side of the pitch. But not on this day… The 2011 edition will be remembered for one outstanding bowling performance, from a legendary player, to win us a game we had been behind in from the very first ball.

The side who travelled that day in batting order…Steve Hartshorne. Dave Stephens (still opening the batting in those days) Sam Stephens. Nathan Reeves. Rich Fell (Capt) Tim Oliver. Nic Slym. Dave Atkins. John Nicholls. Chris Hall and John Hinton, arrived to conditions recorded in the scorebook as dull and damp. The home side won the toss, and had no hesitation in taking the new ball.

It soon became apparent, that these were not easy conditions to bat in. Dave, Sam and Nathan Reeves were all out for single figure scores. 12-3 wasn’t the best of starts. So when Captain Rich Fell joined opener Steve Hartshorne, the two men dug in. Plenty of dot balls followed, the two batsmen grinding out runs in the testing conditions. Steve was finally bowled by Holton for 16. An innings that lasted 1 hour 22 mins. But it was important for someone to hold the innings together which Steve was always such a Master of.

When Rich Fell was caught for another gritty 19 in 57 mins, followed by Nic Slym (7) suffering from a bout of vertigo after being asked to bat at the dizzy heights of No7. We found ourselves facing a score below 100. Dave Atkins being run out for 0 added to our tales of woe. The score of 77-7 didn’t exactly feel a lucky one, as Chris Hall walked out to join Tim Oliver, still with 12 overs remaining.

Captain Fell, always thinking, made a smart move to do a stint of umpiring. This gave him the opportunity to chat to the two batsmen at the crease….Get us to 120, its not easy out here, was the message. Tim, with that familiar smile, understood exactly what was needed, having been in this type of situation so many times before, calmly going about his business. Playing straight in the V, finding the gaps, picking up four boundaries to reach 33 not out. With Chris Hall just happy to stay out there with Tim, the two men shared a priceless unbeaten partnership of 46 to get us up to 123-7 off 40 overs. The game felt back on.

After tea was taken, Peopleton seemed intent on chasing down a low score quickly. After a few early boundaries, Chris Hall and Sam Stephens made the breakthrough, reducing the home side to 20-2, effectively 20-3, as they only had 10 players. For the first time in the match, WHCC were in the box seat. A first scent of victory didn’t last long as Peopleton continued to play aggressively. Stickler (47) and Holtom (12) advanced their score to 85-3….Just 39 to win, 7 wkts in hand, and loads of time.

It was at this point in the match where the man who had rescued our batting was thrown the ball. After a couple of calf stretches, and three looseners to the fielder at mid on, Tim Oliver immediately trapped Holtom, lbw for 47. Maybe inspiring the young pretender, Sam Stephens, to pick up two more quick wickets in the final over of his own spell. Always a good reader of a game, Tim now sensed an unlikely victory. His second over proved to be the decisive one…A three wicket maiden….How often do we see one of those? It was one of those classic T.Oliver overs, relentlessly firing the ball into middle and leg stump, the Peopleton lower order had no answer, leaving  WHCC close to a memorable victory. Never a player to blink when he saw the finish line, it took Tim just three more balls to wrap up the Peopleton innings. Finishing with remarkable figures of 3.3 overs 2 maidens 5-1. One of many T.Oliver 5-fors in just 21 balls, to complete another match winning contribution.

The Epilogue…..

It wouldn’t have been noted at the time, but after a few calculations, Tim’s 5th wicket of this match winning spell was also his 350th for the club. In addition to over 5,000 runs, and plenty of catches. Tim also stands alone, with Rick Jarrams as the only two players to reach the milestone of 300 appearances. You can look through all the scorebooks and pick out any number of occasions when the name Tim Oliver appears, producing with either bat or ball to help win his team a game of cricket. I just picked this one out because I was lucky enough to be there. That spell, along with his rearguard innings earlier in the match, was defiant, determined and full of character. You would see a few players give up in that type of situation, or just not fancy the job, but giving up just wasn’t in Tim’s nature……

Great bowler..Yes. Great batsman..Yes. Great competitor..Yes. Great bloke..Yes.

Still missed by everyone…….Most definitely. Yes.

 

 

Swynnerton v WHCC….03/07/2011

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Our first visit to the village of Swynnerton in Staffordshire proved to be a memorable one for a certain young WHCC player, who since making his debut in 2005 had always shown the potential to produce a special performance. It was on this day, that the potential was fulfilled.

The team that travelled up the M6 that day… Richard Fell (Capt) Andy Gorton. Dave Stephens. Sam Stephens. Nathan Reeves. Tim Oliver. Adam Smith. Mike Sayers. Chris Hall. Frank Jacob and John Nicholls arrived at one of the more picturesque grounds we have played in. At first glance, the opposition looked useful. One of those clubs who had four teams on a Saturday, and a strong youth policy. The type of opposition you just quietly thought to yourself…this could be a long day.

With Swynnerton electing to bat first, on a warm sunny day, the early analysis of our opponents proved to be pretty accurate. All our bowlers tried their best, encouraged as ever by Captain Rich Fell, but on a fast outfield and a nice batting track, the runs flowed at a good pace for the home side. Opener Hubbart was particularly dominant, blasting 61 before becoming yet another victim of the Caught Fell…Bowled Hall combination. After Frank, Tim and Sam all picked up a wicket each, we took a second drinks break at the 30 over mark, with Swynnerton going well on 196-4. At this point, a conversation that took place between two opposing players may well have been the turning point of the game.

Just before the last drop of orange squash was consumed, the Swynnerton Captain approached Dave Stephens with the offer of declaring their innings at 196. Maybe a little bit of over-confidence, arrogance, or taking victory for granted, we will never know. But Dave took approximately 0.0001 secs to consider the offer, before responding, “No thanks, we will carry on and bowl our full 40 overs” Swynnerton, who looked well set to post a score in excess of 260 were pegged right back in those final ten overs, only scoring another 39 runs to reach 235-7. Ironically, it was Dave who bowled the Swynnerton Captain for 53, blunting any hopes of posting a bigger total. It was a typical Elf fightback, which gave us renewed hope of an unlikely victory.

After a lovely tea, which included scones, clotted cream and jam, we still believed if someone played a big innings it was possible to chase down 235. Gort (25) and Dave Stephens (1) opened the batting. But the whole match was really all about one innings and one partnership……At 50-2, Mike Sayers joined Sam Stephens who was already threatening to take complete charge of the Swynnerton bowlers. The posh electronic scorebox over the far side of the ground was about to endure a busy afternoon.

This was one of the best partnerships ever seen. Mike Sayers, using the see ball-hit ball technique,

The Slayer

playing the supporting role to Sam, hitting 43 off 41 balls. It is fair to say, that Sayers and Stephens sounds an unlikely combination, but the two men just complimented each other from ball one. It didn’t take very long for Sam to approach that tricky moment in a young cricketers career….the first time in the 90’s. Sam’s innings had been so fluent, with boundaries racing to all four corners of the ground. By now, a lot of nervous pacing up and down from his team mates could be seen, as his score reached 94. Just to add to the tension of the occasion, Dave was umpiring at this time, no doubt, quietly willing his son to reach a well deserved personal milestone. We didn’t have too long to wait.

It took just one more ball for Sam to make his maiden 100. Taking the brave mans route, with a straight six, back over the bowlers head, disappearing well over the sight screen to the delight of all his team mates. A great moment, with Dad…Dave, being the first man to shake Sam’s hand. The only time any WHCC player has gone from 94 to 100 with a six.  It was also the fastest century we had ever seen. After some scorebook examination it looks like it took just 85 balls.  Plus a match winning partnership of 147 with Mike Sayers coming in just 18 overs. Two remarkable performances. Sam finally departed for 109 off 91 balls, but the two men had broken the spirit of Swynnerton, who earlier in the day, didn’t believe we could chase down a big total.

It was left to Tim Oliver and Nathan Reeves to score the remaining runs to close out a memorable victory, which they did with 3 overs to spare. Thank goodness we never took the declaration offer, is all I can say.

Our facebook page had just been created in this year, so here are a few quotes from Sam and Mike’s team mates in the hours that followed….

Andy Gorton…”Sam, awesome today mate. Today you came of age as a cricketer. This is a day you will never forget. Well done mate”

Richard Fell…”Echoed mate. Brilliant from you and Mike”

John Nicholls…”Excellent Sam, awesome knock. And Mike’s most entertaining cameo, resulting in one of WHCC’s famous victories. Long live the Elf!!!”

Chris Hall…”Sam and Mike, you will be required to do interviews with 5 live, Talksport, Sky Sports and Loose Women”

Kerry Gorton…”Haha, Loose Women, they would eat you lot alive”

The Epilogue…

This was to be the only time we ever defeated Swynnerton who we last played in 2015. A strong club with plenty of talent, who simply came up against a WHCC player at the top of his game on that day in 2011. It is worth mentioning that just 2 week earlier, against Lapworth, Sam had been run out by Mo Arshad for 66, when looking well set to get to three figures. I seem to remember a few people giving the dressing room a wide berth in the moments that followed. But just a fortnight later, both Sam and Mike hit their highest individual scores for the club to win us another memorable game of cricket.

Mike Sayers still makes the odd appearance from time to time, and became well known for his whole hearted fielding, charging around the outfield to save precious runs. Mike deservedly won our Fielder of the Year Award in 2012. His approach to batting was always the same…take a big swing, hit the ball as hard as I can, and see what happens. A M.Sayers innings was always entertaining to watch.

Sam and Dave. Club legends.

Sam continued to play regularly for WHCC up until the 2015 season. Chalking up over 2,000 runs, including two 100’s and eleven 50’s. Sam has also taken over 100 wickets, to join his Dad Dave, in completing that rare double of 1,000 runs and 100 wkts. Since moving to Derbyshire, Sam has continued to play to a high standard for both Spondon and Darley Abbey. But I reckon if you ask him when his Graduation Day was at the School of Cricket, he would say…..Swynnerton. July 3rd. 2011.

Walsall Health v Ward End Unity 1998.

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31st May 1998….On this day, a significant game entered W.H.C.C. folklore, with multiple records set that still stand to this day. The 11 players who travelled to Ward End Unity for this memorable match were, Steve Hartshorne. Stuart Pollitt. Ron Noble. Tim Oliver. Gary Reeves. Rick Jarrams. Steve Nicholls. John Nicholls. Martin Liggins. Richard Fell and Frank Jacob. It was the first two names on this all-star cast that were about to dominate proceedings.

Stuart Pollitt and Steve Hartshorne were a formidable opening partnership when on song. A left hand/right hand combination, both with classical styles. Imagine Mike Atherton and Alastair Cook batting together.  Steve, played with a bat so straight, most local builders would have been happy to use the Hartshorne willow as a spirit level.  His regular partner Stu, had a habit of accumulating big scores. The type of batsman who you just knew, if he got in, would be around for the duration.

With these two Masters batting first, the Ward End Unity bowlers were put to the sword.  50-0……100-0……150-0……200-0…..Finally, with the partnership at 234, Steve departed for 80, which included 8 fours. The perfect foil to what was building at the other end. Pollitt, the aggressor of the duo, blasted 144 not out off 129 balls. A magnificent innings containing  22 fours, taking a particular liking to the bowling of Hancox, who’s 9 overs went for 70. Ron Noble came out to bat with Pollitt for the last few overs, Ron doing what Ron did best, walk off the pitch not out. The final total, 276-1.

The highest individual score, and the highest ever partnership both in the same game was a bit special. 21 years later, both records still stand. It is a rare occasion when Stu Pollitt’s record score gets threatened. Andy Ince hit 136 at Lapworth in 2013, the closest anyone has ever been since. The double century partnership of 234 remains the only one of its kind in club history.

The game continued in remarkable fashion with Ward End Unity chasing an unlikely 277 to win. However, opening batsman Zabar, smashed 136. The only problem was, lack of support. No other player made more than 15, but with Zabar still at the crease, the game remained alive. Nine bowlers were used in an attempt to dislodge the Ward End centurion. Finally, the breakthrough came. Zabar…caught R.Fell, bowled S.Pollitt. To cap a memorable day for Stu…. Ward End finishing on 175-8. Rick Jarrams coming on at the death to bowl 1 over 1 maiden and take 1 wicket to round up a great day.

The Epilogue….

Hertz explains to a puzzled Rich Fell how to play with a straight bat.

Steve and Stu continued to score many runs for the club in the years that followed. Steve, affectionately known as Hertz Van Rental amassed a total of 3,100 runs including 33 half centuries. Steve was also a prolific run scorer on the annual tour to Cardiff. After plundering many 50’s, Hertz enjoyed nothing more than a quiet celebration, eating a “Cone of Chips” Not the conventional cone you maybe be thinking of though. Steve also won more Grand Nationals than Red Rum, and was a magnificent sight over the Welsh front garden versions of Bechers Brook and The Chair. His son Alex carried on the family tradition, playing plenty of games between 2003-2010.

 

Stu continued to be the class act at the top of the order until moving north to pursue a career in broadcasting/journalism in 2007. But not before scoring over 2,000 runs at an average of just under 40, including seven centuries and thirteen 50’s. In all of his 74 innings for W.H.C.C. Pollitt was never ever out for the score we all dread. A duck. Stu was also a handy bowler. A bit of a partnership breaker from what I recall. But back on that day in May 1998, these two players created a moment worthy of a call to Roy Castle and Norris McWhirter….Pollitt and Hartshorne, The Record Breakers.

v Sportsman (H) 07/07/19

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Walsall Health beat Sportsman by 3 wickets.

For the first time this season we welcomed Sportsman CC to Rushall, for what is always a hard fought contest. With weather conditions perfect for a game of cricket, it was Sportsman who chose to bat first on the tricky Rushall deck. Captain for the day, Ian Chuck introduced the debutant Tom Wall straight into the game. This proved to be a smart move, as Tom, steaming in up the hill bowled Underwood for 0. Then came an important early moment in the match. The Sportsman No3 Waqas Ahmed, has plenty of previous for hitting big scores quickly……..

Not that I’m much interested in stats, but if you check Waqas profile on Sportsman’s Play Cricket site, the man has played 60 games, hitting 201 fours and 133 sixes. Including a score of 141 off 62 balls in a mid week T20. So when Waqas was dismissed via an edition of WHCC Poetry Corner….caught Hall, bowled Wall for 0, this was a nice early battle to win.

Quietly going about his business at the other end was Dave Stephens, who once again bowled really well to dismiss another quality player in Vijay Chandramani for 6, followed by John Hemsley for 5. A significant family moment for Dave who overtook son Sam on the list of all time wicket takers. This was also the 250th wicket for the Stephens Father/Son combination. A great family achievement….Well bowled.

With Sportsman in trouble at 29-4, JP was unlucky to be hit, flush in the mouth fielding at mid off. A very well hit drive, taking a bad bounce drew some blood. No issue for JP, who simply said…”I’m fine” Even less of an issue for Father Dai Preece, who simply said…”Get up” The game continued. Dan Dunn continued his good season taking the wicket of Khan in his first over to maintain the pressure on Sportsman.

It was at this point that Chuck turned to JP and Chris Hall to enter the attack. It was Hall who struck the next blow. Thanks to yet another superb catch on the boundary by Rich Fell to dismiss Hussain for 24. His 96th career catch, to edge ever closer to becoming only the second player to take a century of catches. Sportsman really were in trouble, with Chally bowling a really tight spell. Thoroughly enjoying the battle against Sportsman’s middle order to claim two more wickets, reducing our opponents to 63-8, with JP at the other end very unlucky not to pick up a wicket from his 8 over spell of trickery and deception.

All credit goes to Sportsman here, as they managed to dig in, thanks to a dogged 55 by Khan, and brave support from Jack Wiseman their score crept above the 100 mark. Dave Stephens and Dan Dunn were called back into the attack, with Dave finally trapping Wiseman for 13, followed by Dan Dunn wrapping up the innings with the wicket of Khan, who had held the Sportsman innings together. Another significant moment, with Rob Hewlitt taking his 50th career catch for the club….Sportsman, 130 all out.

After tea, we soon realised that chasing a score of 130 was never going to be easy.  So after a few early extras took our score to 12-0, our first three batsmen, Gort, Dan Dunn and Alex Nunns all fell in quick succession. Alex being particularly unlucky to get an unplayable one. 16-3 didn’t look too healthy with a rampant Sportsman sensing victory.  But thanks to Mr Entertainer, Dan Armstrong and the busy Rob Hewlitt, the Elf ship was steered into calmer waters. This was the match winning partnership, with Rob pinching so many quick singles, turning ones into two’s, and two’s into three’s, to earn runs that would prove very important at the conclusion of the match. Thanks to Rob, Dan Armstrong was experiencing his first ever Bleep Test at the crease, whilst constructing an attacking 43. Many times, Dan advanced down the pitch to take on Sportsman’s opening bowler, drilling the ball like a missile. Its really good to see Dan back in such confident form again.

Sadly, with the partnership at 64, Dan was bowled. Tom Wall came in and looked good, hitting a quickfire 17 to take us to 103-5…..28 required with 5 wkts in hand. Rob was still well set though, with Captain Chuck joining him to steer us home. However, Sportsman hadn’t read the script. With Waqas Ahmed causing havoc at the business end of the game, trapping Chuck for 2, and Rob for a well made 36…..118-7. Game on.

Any nerves were soon settled by two experienced players who have been in these sort of situations many times. Rich Fell and Chris Hall combined to get us over the line. Fell taking a blow to the ankle from a Waqas inswinger, refused to buckle. With Chally waiting patiently for the right ball to smack to the boundary for the winning runs, thus continuing the resurrection of Rick Jarrams bat. It really does have a great middle.

Tea Update…Getting better. Some nice beef cobs. While Alex Nunns waxed lyrical about the new cheese baguettes. Apparently, he is quite the connoisseur of the bread section in Morrisons.  7/10

Sheila, looking chuffed about Armstrong’s 43.

Sheila Update…Who is Sheila? Has anyone seen Sheila? Dan Armstrong’s mystery woman. Apparently she gives him free time on the snooker table down the local social club. Is her surname Breeze? Who knows? Maybe ask Nikka, who stepped up to score today which is always a big help. The Great Man also had some sound advice for Chris Hall, who admitted he struggles to get to sleep on a Sunday night after playing cricket. To which Nikka replied…”Maybe try drinking 19 bottles of Cobra, that should help you drop off”

Wise words.

Crimewatch update….Rob Hewlitt pinched so many runs off the Sportsman fielders it was worthy of a custodial sentence. But on a serious note, the excellent running between the wickets, instigated by Rob, brought us some precious extra runs, this combined with his 50th career catch, we will let him off with just a caution.

The Verdict….Great game today. Hard fought as ever. A good debut from Tom Wall who slotted into the team really well. JP and Rich Fell taking a couple of painful blows, both just got on with the job…. Good commitment.  Plus a nice moment of sportsmanship, to call back Sportsman’s Jack Wiseman after he was given out incorrectly. A quiet day for Chuck on the batting front, but an excellent game as Captain, creating a really positive atmosphere from start to finish. Well played everybody.

Chris Hall

 

Essington v W.H.C.C….12th Aug 1990.

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1990….The year Phil Taylor won his first World Darts Title. Gazza cried his eyes out at the World Cup. Del Boy, Rodney, Uncle Albert and co pulled in audiences of over 20 million, and the Berlin Wall came down. This historic event in Germany was mirrored by a game we played against Essington in 1990, where one W.H.C.C. legendary all rounder demolished the opposition almost single handed to set a bowling record that still stands today.

The XI players who took part in this game were as follows…Bob Heath, Steve Fewtrehill, Martin Liggins, Steve Fell, Rick Jarrams, Dave Williams, Narain Moorjani, Ian Forrester, Gary Reeves, Frank Jacob and John Nicholls.

The game began quietly enough, with Essington starting steadily to reach 14-0. The guile and accuracy of Frank Jacob conceding just 4 runs from his first 5 overs, proved to be the perfect foil on this occasion for Gary Reeves who its fair to say was “Quite sharp” when he wanted to be. After Frank trapped Opener Murphy lbw, the time had come for the Essington Wall to come crashing down. In no time at all, from 14-1, Essington were blown away for just 52. Gary Reeves clean bowling all 8 of his victims, for figures of 12.4 overs 6 maidens 8-22. Frank picked up the other wicket for figures of 2-11, but the contest was really only about one man. A player who was no stranger to these type of spells throughout his time at W.H.C.C.

Against St Matthews in 1988, Gary, who is also known as “The Doc” recorded figures of 8 overs 5 maidens 7-7. Followed by 3 overs 1 maiden 3-6 against Royal Oak in 1989. Speaking with the man himself last week, Gary told me about his partnership with Frank Jacob. Most weeks, it was Frank who would take all the wickets, while Gary just frightened the life out of the batsmen at the other end.

This particular game against Essington ended with a W.H.C.C. win by 5 wkts. Steve Fell top scoring with a quickfire 18. While John Nicholls had one of his 4,567 DNB’s.  But with no doubt, on this day, W.H.C.C. had its very own Jim Laker type moment. No bowler since, has managed to capture 8 wkts in one game.

The Epilogue…..Remarkably, with figures of 8-22, Gary Reeves was awarded Batsman of the Year in 1990. Yes, I said batsman. His opening bowling partner, Frank Jacob picking up the bowling award. Doc was one of those rare players, who could bat, bowl or keep to a very high standard, but was always happy to do whichever role the Captain needed him to. With over 4,000 runs, 200 wkts, and over 100 catches to his name, Gary reduced his appearances for WHCC in the mid 2000’s, but continued to play League cricket for Rushall on Saturday’s. His son, Nathan, has carried on the family tradition. Hitting one of the quickest 50’s for the club, at Didcot in 2010. And continues to be one of the quickest, run saving fielders we have ever seen.

 

V Bharat Paviar (H) 30/06/19

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Walsall Health CC 137 all out 33.4 overs lost to Bharat Paviar CC 138-8 25.4 overs by 2 wickets

On a day where a few heads from both sides had one eye on an enthralling World Cup encounter at Edgbaston, there was a familiar theme at Rushall CC where the Elf lead the three match series 1-0.

With the first ball bowled closer to ‘Songs of Praise’ rather than ‘Goals on Sunday’ Andy Gorton and Alex Nunns opened the batting for the Elf and thanks to the extras the home side looked to be putting themselves in a decent position until Alex was bowled for 12 by a ball that seemed to not bounce very much at all. Rushall youngster Ryan Scott entered the fray and looked in good touch before he was bowled on debut for 8. With the score approaching 50, the Elf lost a few wickets for just as many runs in what is becoming a repetitive theme throughout this 2019 campaign. Gort was unfortunate to see the ball clip his pads and roll on to the stumps then Nathan Reeves and Andy McClay came and went like Christmas Day being bowled and plumb in front respectively.
Dan Dunn added some much needed impetuous to the frail innings with three exquisite cover drives in quick succession supported by JP who was rotating the strike nicely. JP was bowled and then Dan Dunn was out for 24 and the Elf were seven down before they had made 100 for the second week in a row. Chris Hall was caught cheaply for twelve whilst the last two wickets added 35 runs from Dave Stephens, Tom Davies and Nicka Dunn. The score was 137 all out and now the Rushall outfield has been cut, the score looked at least 30 runs short.

The visitors started as briskly as they always do however wickets fell at regular occasions. Dave Stephens got the first after a sharp catch from Gorton behind the pegs. Dan Dunn opened up the travelator and got two wickets when Ryan Scott took an impressive catch at long on and then Dunn picked up the third wicket for 40, bowled.
Tom Davies came on a bowled a nip backer of a delivery. The away umpire considered all possibilities in his head before raising the finger to a ball that couldn’t have been more plumb.
Then, the shackles came off. With barely 60 runs on the board the game’s two best batsmen Patel and Tejas of the vistors unleashed an array of boundaries to guide them past the 100 mark in quick time.
There was a mini collapse of sorts when Chris Hall and Nicka Dunn picked up two wickets each and the score went from 112-4 to 123-8, however with the impressive Tejas at the crease it was never in doubt. Without the overs to worry about the Bharat number number 10 smacked two boundaries and the visitors got home with two wickets to spare.

Another unfortunate loss for the Elf who will be looking to take their score to level par next week against Sportsman CC after falling to 3 wins and 4 losses this week.

Teas – Olives, albeit purchased by Nicka and not the pub who supply the teas we all know what the rules state….10

Shower club – nice and cosy as ever at Rushall, Nicka brought some lovely Marsh Mellow Imperial Lather shower gel which smelled delightful.

Batting

Bowling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Tom Davies

 

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Walsall Health
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets