Walsall Health CC 237-7 (40 overs) beat Sportsman CC 103 all out (37.2 overs) by 134 runs
The Elf were at home this week (well, their spiritual home of Rushall…like what Wembley is to Spurs) against the always great bunch of lads from Sportsman CC.
Skipper Hewlitt won the toss and elected to bat first on a track that had already been played on earlier in the day in a lads vs. dad friendly between Aldridge and Rushall youth (Nicka Dunn definitely got out to a 15 year old).
After the lads had swept the wicket and Chuckie had painted the lines, Dave Preece on season debut and Chuck himself strode out to open up for the hosts.
It wasn’t long before Chuck was out, he knicked off and instantly walked of\f eager to not replicate ‘glovegate’ from a few years ago.
Andy Carrick joined Dave out in the middle and the two men put on a solid second wicket stand, seeing off some of the better bowling the away side had to offer. Unfortunately, Andy received a delivery that bounced as much as a bag of cement and was out for 11 hard fought runs.
Sam Stephens joined Dave, who hit ‘Zhish’ for 17 runs in one over to bring up his fifty, to put on another decent partnership for the Elf to see them comfortable at 85-2 at drinks.
After this, the lads dug in and ground out a few runs but unluckily Sam was out for 27 and shortly followed by Gary Fitzpatrick who ‘did not bat’ in the hutch and the Elf started to wobble at 140odd for four.
Up stepped Elf heartthrob Greg Phillpott who in a good partnership with Dave saw the hosts pass 200 and Dave reach his ton with a boundary. A word must be said here for the ex Elf skipper who made batting look easy, when it seriously was not. It was also Dave’s first knock of the season and to reach treble figures was a feat only legends could amass, and amass he did. A final point on this was his highest score for the Elf and in doing so, passed 2000 runs for the club.
Phillpott was out going for runs, Jonny Preece or ‘Breeze’ managed to nurdle a single on the ‘good batting deck’ before being bowled and then the innings was summed up by Chris Hall who came out with three balls to go and biffed two straight fours down the ground to finish with a strike rate of over 300.
After the scrumptious tea was demolished by all concerned (please see ‘tea review’) the Elf came out to bowl in the late afternoon heat.
The only men not to bat, Nathan Martin and Tom Davies opened up of the Elf and it wasn’t long before Martin got the Sportsman opener to knick off to Fitz for his first of the day.
Martin also picked up his 2nd and the Elf’s second when the other opening bat under edged one to Fitz who was making wicket keeping look easy in the sunshine.
Tom Davies bowled his eight overs off the bat and was finally rewarded for some tidy bowling when Khan was bowled in his final over to get a wicket from his penultimate delivery.
If you think N.Larkin and T.Davies are a formidable opening pair, what about a 1st change pair of C.Hall and S.Stephens? An absolute joy to watch these two bowl today, Chall coming up the travelator in the heat only went for seven runs off his five overs and Sam bowled tight and really fast to skittle through the Sportsman middle over, his five overs going for ten runs and three wickets. The third of these saw potentially the best catch in Elf history by Dave Preece at slip. The batsman drove at one, got an edge and Dave outstretched his right paw and the ball stuck….think A Strauss at Trent Bridge in the 2005 Ashes to dismiss Gilchrist, it was that good.
With Sportsman six down and not looking likely to chase down the high score of 237, Hewlitt turned to spin in Jonny Preece/Breeze and Chuck who managed to pick up a wicket each and Sportsman were 8 down for 75 runs. With a 150 run victory in sight the Elf wanted to bowl out the opposition for less than 87 but a few lusty sixes from the lower order propelled them over 100, Jonny Preece picking up the ninth wicket after a tough chance was taken by Chuck on the boundary and Greg Phillpott got the final wicket caught by Sam Stephens at mid off.
The Elf marched on to their eighth victory of the season and are back at Aldridge next week to face Oak n Ash, a strong side who they managed to get a victory over earlier in the season.
Drinks this week for the perfect blend of squash and water kept refrigerated in the July sun to keep the lads cool during the break. Cups were also expertly washed by George Fell who definitely earned his keep with drinks but also becoming the resident sous-chef to G.Brad for the teas. 9/10
What a spread. Olives, I mean OLIVES at a cricket tea. Absolutely sensational. Ham & Mustard sandwiches, Cheese & Pickle sandwiches, sausage rolls, pizzas, SAMOASAS…you name it, it was there. The cakes as well are something dreams are made of. Superb spread produced by Gail who slaved away all afternoon BIG HAND/QUADRUPLE DANGLE/……STILL DANGLING. Brilliant. 10/10
Love Island Update
Massive development on the island of love this week. Fitzy admitted his doesn’t like ‘Dom’ ? We discovered Andy Carrick is hooked and watches every night, Chall discussing someone called Camilla? It’s all kicking off and apparently all members of the island are going back into a house or something? Sounds ‘thrilling’.
Great British update
Chall & Rob both chatted about GBM this week with Andy Carrick mentioning he went to school with Tommy Banks who has made it to the dessert final once or twice? No idea. He used to run a ‘posh pub’ up north and charged an outrageous twelve quid for fish and chips. We never want him to do the tea by the way, we’ve got Gail.
Tails from the travelator
Nath and Chall both fancied the task of running up the travelator (the far end at Rushall is similar to the final task on 90s TV sensation ‘Gladiators’ as it’s that steep) no Kris Ali for the Sportsman to get the monkey out of hibernation, 11 overs from the fellas going for 40 with two wickets falling. They would definitely be going on the ‘first whistle’ if this were the live show.
Written by Tom Davies
|Chuck, I||ct Mally b Gam||4|
|Preece, D||not out||124|
|Carrick, A||b Saqib||11|
|Stephens, S||c Amar b Saqid||27|
|Fitzpatrick, G||c Mally b Farhad||0|
|Phillpott, G||b Gam||16|
|Hewlitt, R||lbw b Gam||0|
|Preece, J||b Gam||1|
|Hall, C||not out||8|