v Sportsman (27/4/2014)

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Walsall Health and Sportsman drew after rain stopped play.

With crushing inevitability, the weather put paid to an opening day fixture between The Elf and Sportsman which was delicately poised and might have gone either way.

After dismissing the visitors for 109, Walsall were 67 for 7 when a final, fatal wave of weather led to handshakes.

Elf skipper Dave Preece and Raj, skipper of Sportsman, at the toss. Dave Preece later flounced.

Elf skipper Dave Preece and Raj, skipper of Sportsman, at the toss. Dave Preece later flounced.

But with Ian Chuck and Chris Hall looking in good shape, and the talismanic Rich Fell still in the hutch, Elf would have fancied their chances had Mother Nature not intervened.

Fielding first, The Elf struck early as Dave Stephens – having spent much of last season on the sidelines – returned in a manner not unlike Nick Cotton, only it wasn’t poor Dot he returned to haunt, it was the opposition batsman.

First he forced Jonny Boukhobza to edge to the ever-reliable Chris Hall and then he clean-bowled Kahn to complete a handy return to the fold.

Chris Hall - three wickets.

Chris Hall – three wickets.

With Sam Stephens his normal miserly self with the ball, Sportsman found themselves under pressure which enabled Chris Hall and Rich Fell to fill their boots, both grabbing three wickets.

Fell, in particular, showed amazing poise with the ball, a looping full toss straight onto the stumps an absolute highlight.

Although, John Preece’s marvellous grub-hunting effort to dismiss Nasser also promoted plenty of comments of ‘they all count, pal’.

As Fell put the end to a stubborn last wicket partnership by shamelessly bullying a 12-year-old kid, The Elf realised the brooding weather might be an issue.

And so it proved.

Rich Fell - great bowling performance on an emotional day.

Rich Fell – great bowling performance on an emotional day.

Skipper Dave Preece was forced to return on a mission of mercy after angering his future wife by playing cricket while Jonny Boukhobza was in magnificent form for the visitors, taking five wickets in a devastating spell.

With openers Rob Hewlitt and Andy Gorton dismissed for a combined 13, Sam Stephens and Mat Danks were at the crease when the first wave of weather came, drenching the wicket.

When play resumed, both were soon dismissed by Boukhobza – who took full advantage of the slippery conditions.

An excellent cameo by Stuart Slater – after an decent dayboo bowling performance – helped the total along before Boukhobza struck again with the playboy on five.

Stuart Slater asks the wicket keeper if there's somewhere he can land his helicopter for the return fixture.

Stuart Slater asks the wicket keeper if there’s somewhere he can land his helicopter for the return fixture.

Following early dismissals for John Preece and Dave Stephens, it was left to Chris Hall and Ian Chuck to try and see The Elf home.

With the pairing building up a decent partnership, the clouds finally did their thing leaving the home side wondering what might possibly have been.

Batting Runs
Gorton, A c Raj b Boukhobza

2

Hewlitt, R b Keogh

11

Stephens, S b Boukhobza

25

Danks, M b Boukhobza

1

Slater, S b Boukhobza

5

Stephens, D lbw Nasser

1

Chuck, Ian not out

6

Preece, J b Boukhobza

0

Hall, C not out

8

Fell, R DNB
Preece, D MIA
Extras

7

Walsall Health (match abandoned, 19 overs)

 65

Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Stephens, S

4

1

8

0

Stephens, D

8

0

17

2

Hall, C

6

1

13

3

Chuck, I

5

1

10

0

Preece, J

4

1

16

1

 Fell, R

3

0

10

3

 Danks, M

 2

0

8

0

 Slater, S

 3

0

18

0

 

Top bat: Sam Stephens (25)

Top bowler: Rich Fell 10 for 3

Rachel Hangover Rating: 8/10 (Rough as fugg, and Snapchat-tastic)

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5 thoughts on “v Sportsman (27/4/2014)

  1. Anonymous

    Nice report and at least you got most of a game. Good to see Danksy making a big effort to avoid the duck trophy this year.

  2. Kev

    Danksy I must echo Jonty’s thoughts I felt like I was there, looking forward to the next game. As I am again unavailable due to Football will be awaiting to read your match repost.

  3. Rick

    Excellent report and pictures Danksie. As per Jonty’s comments it’s almost feels I was there. Will look forward to keeping in touch via these reports till I can get to see you all. Sue and I were playing in a golf match up the road and got a real soaking on the 16th at the time you finished your game!

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