Walsall Health CC 176-6 (40 overs) beat Sportsman CC 140-9 (35.1 overs) by 36 runs
The Elf played their first fixture of the season against Sportsman CC at Aldridge and came off the victors in a real tight game to kick off the 2017 campaign.
Elf Skipper Rob Hewlitt lost the toss to the opposition captain who called ‘bowling’ which created a re-toss which he won and inevitably put the Elf in.
A slim line Gort and Ian Chuck opened the innings for the Elf and really coasted through the first 15 overs or so, even with Gort running his first three of the season which resulted in a ‘trouser pull up’ . Gort unfortunately was the first the depart after being bowled by a bit of a mully grubber for 22 to begin his season.
Andy Carrick playing his first game of the season got off the mark (with as many as FIVE family members in attendance) but then spooned ‘Keith’ to mid off for a measly two.
This led to a bit of a middle order collapse with Nathan Reeves and Rob Hewlitt going for 1 and 8 respectively, Rob ran out by Chuck……
In came in JP who had seen the Elf go from 72-0 to 93-4 and started to steady the ship with a bit of crease occupancy and almost rivalled Dave Stephens for the longest duck in Elf history before Chucky ran him out (VILLAGE).
Dan Hopley and Nathan Martin added 9 runs between them but the headlines were grabbed by Chuck who apart from running out two colleagues put on an absolute batting master class (say that in a South African accent….MARSTERCLARSS) to bring up his first ton of the season and fell 19 runs short of the club record to score 125* in a total of 176 for The Elf.
After the teas had been devoured, the lads went out for their first fielding effort of the season.
Nathan Martin and Dan Armstrong opened the bowling and both picked up an early wicket to restrict Sportsman to 40-2 with Nathan throwing down a pearler to dismiss Hemsley.
Chall and Tom Davies were on at first change and Martin became super fielder and took two catches, one that came down with snow on it off Chall and a sharp off Davies take to give both bowlers their first wickets of the season.
Gort then took a good chance off Chall and the visitors were 75-5 at drinks, seemingly game over especially as they only had 10 players.
JP then came on and got his obligatory wicket, another sharp chance (again, South African accent for that) taken by Martin who had three snaffles to his name with the season only one match in.
A very good partnership but Abeer Ahmed and Keith Tracy saw the Sportsman go from 81-6 to 137-6 in the 32nd over, which included Gort palming the ball on to the helmet for five penalty runs.
However, Nathan Martin capped a superb all round performance by skittling Ahmed for 40 to settle a few nerves for the home side who must’ve thought it was all over once the sixth wicket had fell.
Tom Davies came back on and got his second wicket of the game, an LBW (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?) this also saw Davies get to his 50th wicket for The Elf, a nice bit of irony for the Elf seemer there.
The final wicket was a run out by Dan Armstrong who lulled the batsmen in to a false sense of security by misfielding and firing in a hammer throw to bring about victory for The Elf.
A really solid performance to start the season at home, all team mates contributing to a good win. Long may it continue!
As many as eight for shower club this week which was very pleasing, even Greg Philipott who had only turned up to watch regretted not bringing a towel to freshen up after the game.
Written by Tom Davies
|Gorton, A||b Tom||
|Chuck, I||not out||
|Carrick, A||cb Keith||2|
|Hewlitt, R||run out||8|
|Reeves, N||b Keith||1|
|Hopley, D||b Abeer||4|
|Preece, J||run out||0|
|Martin, N||not out||5|