Walsall Health CC 195-7 (40 overs) beat Peopleton CC 145 all out (34 overs) by 40 runs
The Elf made the longish trek down the M5 to leafy rural Worcestershire this week to play Peopleton, a side they lost to last season in the same fixture.
The Elf welcomed back Sam Stephens, Gary Fitzpatrick and Greg Phillpott all for season debuts in the glorious early summer sunshine.
Rob Hewlitt won the toss and chose to bat with Tom Davies licking his lips at the new iPad scoring app which brought the Elf right into the 21st century instead of using the more traditional pencil and paper.
Usual opening pair Andy Gorton and Ian Chuck did their thing and saw off the new ball and also created a steady base for the Elf to post a decent score, It was the 24th over and the score well past 100 before the Elf lost their first wicket.
Not before slapping the rather pacey ‘L Deprose’ over his head for a straight six to bring up his second consecutive 50 and his 250th run of the season (already) Ian Chuck was triggered by Sam Stephens for exactly a half century.
Alex Nunns came out to bat and joined future father in law Andy Gorton in the middle but Gort fell one short of notching his first score of the season, serious jug avoidance after he was triggered by JP for 49 (VILLAGE).
Rob Hewlitt came in at four and a rather miniature collapse ensued for the Elf. Hewlitt was out to Shah for 9 and Nunns was shortly to follow for 17.
Sam Stephens steadied the ship with a handy 24 off 18 balls in good time but the rest of the Elf batting line up left a lot to be desired; solitary runs for Fitzpatrick and Phillipott, 3 not out for Nathan Larkin and JP saw off the final over for a red inker in rather bizarre fashion.
After the players had what was on offer for tea (more on Rachel’s blanket and Gail’s bag of tricks to be honest) they gave a warm guard of honour to fan favourite ‘JP’ Jonathan Preece who was playing in his 100th game for the Elf and he did not disappoint with the ball either.
Sam & Nath opened the bowling and delivered 14 of the most sumptuous overs of seem bowling you’re ever likely to see. Sam chipping in with two superb deliveries that took out two of the Peopleton’s batsmen’s off pegs and then his third was a catch by Greg Phillpott that will live long in the memory. Running in from long on, he took a catch inches off the ground, almost taking Gort out with him. It really was a top snaffle.
Nath Martin bowled his 8 overs right through and picked up two wickets for his superb efforts, the Elf had Peopleton 33-5 at the end of the 16th over.
However, the left handed ‘Shah’ who spun his way to two wickets whilst bowling dug in and got a few runs along with Azeez at the expense of wily campaigner Chris Hall who watched his bowling land in the cow field at the back on more than one occasion (cue monkey). Tom Davies also chipped in for a decent spell for no reward having bowled at two of the home side’s better batsmen.
Ian Chuck came on and produced a large appeal first ball after the batsman had trundled down the wicket and it clattered into the pad, not out Chuck.
Chuck got his man a few balls later with a real ‘decibel level raiser’ he screamed the umpire into raising his finger and the Elf knew they only had to get Shah and they could celebrate victory.
This did not come until Chuck’s fifth over when Shah smashed a straight drive right into the path of fielding lothario Greg Phillpott’s waiting arms for his third snaffle of the game.
In his 100th game, JP came on and picked up two wickets, getting Azeez caught on the boundary after a great grab by Chris Hall and then the number 11 batsmen who was caught at mid on (who didn’t even take a guard…VILLAGE) to see the Elf home for their third victory out of three so far in the 2017 campaign.
Shower club update
Only three showers on offer this week and they certainly weren’t the best the boys had ever used. Water pressure wasn’t great and the heat, well there wasn’t any. The lads certainly weren’t impressed with such village facilities. Strangely enough, star batsman Ian Chuck was the first man in and the last man out this week. Something worth keeping an eye on for future weeks.
Written by Tom Davies
|Gorton, A||lbw M Deeprose||
|Chuck, I||lbw L Deeprose||
|Nunn, A||c ? b Sharr||17|
|Hewlitt, R||c L Deeprose b Sharr||9|
|Stevens, S||b L Deeprose||24|
|Fitspatrick, G||b L Deeprose||1|
|Phillpott, G||b L Deeprose||1|
|Martin, N||not out||3|
|Preece, J||not out||0|