Walsall Health beat Yoxall by 9 wkts.
It was nice to visit Yoxall again, for the first time since the 2012 season. Always a lovely welcoming ground….so lovely in fact, it encouraged Rob Hewlitt to be punctual for the first time in 100 appearances as suggested in a lively fines committee. Making his debut on 19th August 2012 against Highwood Park, Rob joins a list of 18 players to complete 100 games for WHCC. Well done Rob.
Skipper Alex Nunns lost the toss, so Yoxall elected to have a bat. Not a bad toss to lose, as it soon became apparent that the deck wasn’t exactly a batsman’s paradise. Nathan Martin and Dan Armstrong opened the bowling, both men producing high quality spells. It feels like Dan Armstrong’s favourite Sunday pastime is breaking records (more on that later) After last weeks 104, Dan steamed in to wreak havoc amongst the Yoxall top order. Clean bowling Tom Reynolds with an absolute peach for 3, with the first ball of his spell. Dan then removed Gale and Turner for ducks to leave Yoxall struggling on 4-3. With the shine on the new ball, Dan was pretty much unplayable at times, so the left handed opener Gareth Lewis did really well to survive, whilst others perished around him. Nathan Martin had one of those days, bowling really well for no reward, and i think its only fair we hold a minutes silence for his water bottle, which had absolutely no chance of surviving the violent beating dished out to it on the fine leg boundary.
Its fair to say Yoxall never recovered from their bad start. Chris Hall came on at first change, to team up with Dan for combined figures of 16 overs 9 maidens 7-15. The pitch didn’t get much easier to bat on, with bad balls in very short supply. JP, who had already displayed tremendous courage, turning up dressed as the pink panther, entered into the action. Two more wkts were deposited into the bank on his road to 100, clean bowling Asghar 0, then dismissing Maczkowski 7, courtesy of the safe hands of Nathan Martin. Josh Butler, who had fielded really well, then came on to wrap the Yoxall innings up. Taking his 10th wkt for the club, with Rob Hewlitt poaching another dolly land snaffle to mark his 100th appearance. Gort deservedly gets the final mention, keeping on that pitch wasn’t easy. Taking a sharp blow on the grill, plus 2 excellent catches summed up a solid all round effort…..Yoxall 87 all out.
The WHCC Guv’nors, Rick Jarrams and John Nicholls had strolled around the boundary enjoying the game. It really shouldn’t surprise anyone that Jonty made full use of the nets over the far side of the pitch, in preparation for his return at Lapworth on the 16th May.
After tea, we set about the chase of a tricky low total. But it didn’t take Dan Armstrong long to remove any doubt about the result with a quickfire 29 off 20 balls. As mentioned earlier, it was another day of milestones for D.Arm, taking his 50th wkt, and scoring his 1,000th run in the same game. At the age of just 20 years and 343 days, by far the youngest WHCC player to achieve this feat.
Meanwhile, Ian Chuck who announced his only priority for the day was a red inker, stood firm to finish on 31 not out. Quietly negotiating a path past his 3,500th run for WHCC, still at average in excess of 50. A superb effort from Chuck, who also raised a few eyebrows at tea, with a masterful display of carb loading to rival Sam Stephens’s 27 sandwiches at Didcot in 2009. Talking of red inkers. Skipper, Alex Nunns 11* joined Chuck to take us over the line, to maintain his 100% record. Another strong all round team effort, played in a positive spirit against our friendly Yoxall hosts. So friendly in fact, that Greg Philpott and Dan Armstrong kindly offered to help out with a spot of early evening ground maintenance. Greg, who earlier in the day, had shrewdly offered to wear all the bowlers jumpers to combat the chilly wind, suggested a solid hour of heavy rolling. #spiritofcricket. I get the feeling the Yoxall square will play nice and flat next weekend.
See you at Much Wenlock.