Walsall Health CC beat Springhill CC by 6 wickets
Springhill CC 121 – 10 30.2 overs
Walsall Health CC 122 – 4 30.3 overs
Walsall Health returned to their home ground this week as they welcomed Springhill to Carter Park.
The Health made 6 changes from the previous week; including in those changes were 4 debutants, a new Health record and also testament to the clubs recruitment drive during the winter months.
With the overhead conditions likely to favour the Elf swingers skipper Nunns was keen to make first use of the new ball and conditions and he got his wish when Springhill captain called incorrectly Nunns did not hesitate when inserting the opposition to bat.
The 2 Dave’s took the new ball and soon had it moving around. Dave Stephens bowling up the travelator we his usually control and cunning line and the length made runs hard to come by for the Springhill opening batters, DS was well supported at the other end by Dave Clive with some beautiful in-swinging deliveries which keep the batters and Mac behind the stumps on their toes. The break through soon came for the Health as DS had Sabz trapped in front for LBW for 15 with the visitors 22-1 Dave Clive was unlucky not to get the 2nd wicket in his next over as he forced an error from new batter Dee, in was a very clever slower ball from Dave Clive the batter mistimed his shot and the ball looped up to backward square leg to JP, Jonathan was charging in and dived forward only for the ball to fall agonisingly short of JP it was a great effort from the Elf wizard. Walsall Health kept things tight in the field and supported the bowlers well the energy from the 4 debutants certainly made a big difference. Dave Clive continued to mix things up with big in-swingers and slower balls but he couldn’t get the wicket that he deserved, Dave finished his spell with 0-27 from 5 overs. Nunns turned to club Pro Dan Dunn to replace Dave from the pavilion end for his first bowl of the season, despite not bowling for a while it didn’t take Dan long to find his rhythm. DS continued to keep control from the other end and picked up his 2nd wicket of the day when he bowled Qad for 15 and finished off with figures of 2-39 from 8 overs Dan Dunn also got in on the act as he bowled Dee for 13 leaving Springhill in trouble at 55-3 number 4 batter Jabz came in and went on the attack with some big blows to get the score moving. Josh Butler replaced DS from the dog kennel end and Jabz soon took a liking to his bowling by hitting a couple of big sixes into the neighbours gardens, Jabz was looking dangerous and had moved the Springhill score into the 80’s the Elf knew that they needed a wicket so with drinks approaching Dan Dunn came up with a plan which he executed superbly, a brilliant slower ball bamboozled Jabz that he could only chip it back to the club pro to be caught & bowled for 33 this after having a life as he was dropped at mid wicket by Nunns the previous over. Dan finished his spell with fine figures of 2-11 from 5 overs. With Jabz now back in the pavilion Josh soon settled into his spell and found some turn which made it very difficult for the new batters and his reward soon came as he had Marlon caught very smartly by debutant Jack Stenson at mid on, Jack was in the action again 2 balls later as new batter Ali hit Josh high up into the sky Jack back peddling from mid on to the boundary dived full length and nearly clung onto what would have been a stunning catch unfortunately Jack admitted to getting a finger on it so under Elf rules it goes down as a drop unlucky Jack. Replacing Dan Dunn from the pavilion end was going to be JP but the wizard had an idea and very unselfishly asked skipped Nunns to throw the ball to another debutant Ben Lester big hand JP. Ben and Josh continued to apply the pressure to the Springhill batters and the pressure soon told as Josh took his first ever caught & bowled as he got Banks for 2 Springhill were now 6 down with 100 on the board. Ben Lester managed to get through his nervous first over and started bowling some beautiful deliveries to back the pressure that Josh was creating at the other end. Ben was soon rewarded with his first Elf wicket by bowling Chris for 0 and then 2 balls later Ben picked up his second wicket when he bowled Richie also for 0 not before Josh picked up his 3rd wicket by having George caught at slip by Nunns for 2. With Springhill now 9 down danger man Ali tried to get their score moving but the Elf starved him of the strike and kept the pressure on the last batter. Desperate to get on strike Ali tried to take an unlikely single to Jack at mid on Ali was sent back by number 11 Zakey but it was too late as Jack swooped in picked up the ball and executed a superb direct hit to run out Ali for 14 to leave Springhill all out for 121 in 30 overs. It was a fantastic effort from the bowlers and fielders the 4 debutants all contributed in the field and they energy rubbed off on the other Elf fielders as everybody was throwing themselves around to try and save runs. Josh finished with 3-26 from 7.2 overs and Ben 2-16 from overs.
The sun came out as the Elf began their innings skipper Nunns wanting to continue his early season form opened with new man Jack Stenson. The pair made a good start as the Elf chased down their target of 122. With the score on 37 Jack nicked one behind off the bowling of Saqib to be out for a well made 15. Vice captain and club pro Dan Dunn joined Nunns at the crease and continued the good work started by Jack the pair ran well and picked up some quick singles as well as a few boundaries to bring up the 50 partnership between the captain and vice captain with the score moved onto 87 Nunns thinking about drinks at 20 overs missed the next ball and was bowled by Jabz for 36. Debutant Will Lauchlan joined Dan in the middle. Will was very cautious at first and took his time to get in but soon registered his first run with a single both batters looked at ease at the crease and took the score onto 106 before Dan Dunn was out caught by Dee off the bowling of Ali for a very good 37 to top off a very good all round performance from Dan, living up to his nickname. Jack Lester was the next batter for the Elf and was off the mark second ball with a 4 through third man. With the score on 118 it looked like the 2 new players were going to see it through to the end but it was not to be as Jack Lester became Ali’s second wicket of the day as he was bowled for 7. Mac joined Will but he wasn’t required and didn’t face a bowl as Will hit the winning runs next over as he cracked a superb 4 through the covers as Walsall Health reached their target of 122 in the 31st over. Will Lauchlan finished 11 not out on debut.
It was an enjoyable game played in very good spirits. It was also a good day for Walsall Health as they welcomed 4 new players to the club who all played a part in the game and settled in brilliantly. It was nice to see lots of supports at the club from both teams and our regular support from Dai Preece who said before the game that we hadn’t got a lot of bowling today!! Walsall Health then proceeded to bowl the opposition out in 30 overs!
Next week Walsall Health travel to Lapworth in Solihull, good luck lads.