After a hard month on the road and a mixture of losing draws and losses in the previous seven games, the hallowed turf at the village, baked under the sun, witnessed the 1st XI’s highest total since 2008. The battle was against fellow league strugglers, Old Tenisonians.
After a brief inspection of the A3 (WVCC Wicket) skipper Dan Roberts called the toss and elected to bat.
Alongside opening partner Jim Sanderson, the pair wasted little time before piling on the runs. With Hopalong Roberts dialled in to hitting boundaries, he required just 26 balls, and a massive 6 over the road, to reach 50. After a further 23 balls of emphatic hitting all round the ground, Roberts reached 100.
Old Tenisonians had missed several clear-cut chances to remove both openers by this point and looked hot and bothered on a rapid outfield.
However, it couldn’t last forever as S. Cumings produced an accurate throw from the boundary causing a tight run-out with the pair pushing for 2. Sanderson narrowly out for a solid 34 (99), playing a vital part in a huge opening partnership of 175. Lewis Razey joined Roberts in the middle and the pair accelerated through to 218 for 1. Roberts brought up 150 (81), a personal high score with 12 fours and 10 sixes, but was caught behind the ball after and walked off to a standing ovation.
Razey (24 off 27), Alex Pomfret (21 off 23) and Terry Pope (19 off 20) continued building the score and all contributed well as the team reached 270 off just 42 overs. Highlights included a sightscreen-busting 6 from Pomfret and a ‘classical-shot-of-the-day’ reward for a cover drive by Pope that Sangakkara actually applauded. For the last 5 overs, Dobsy (10 off 10) and Anthony Falce (16 off 6) bludgeoned the 1st XI to a massive 297 – 8, the skipper declaring after 46.5 overs.
The breaking news at tea was that the old ball would be taken; immediately new ball openers Elliot Minto and Matt Sarchett went up for thirds in preparation for a hot afternoon.
Spin specialists Pope and Roberts opened the bowling and started to produce chances straight away. A wicket apiece in the first five overs thanks to the buckets of Falce and a brilliant low grab from Roberts at slip; both openers were removed, Old Tens reeling on 11-2. Chances came and went as the new batsmen capitalised and began to score quickly. Pope managed to draw lofty shots out of B. Haslam who was put down twice before being given a masterclass in catching from our resident visually impaired non-fielding specialist, Richard Smith; Pope (11-0-47-2) had his man.
Another wicket fell a couple of overs later, Minto holding a catch in the covers off Roberts (9-0-51-2) and celebrating by throwing it for a huge 6. After these wickets fell the Cumings brothers set about repairing the scoreboard, piling on 115 runs for the fifth wicket. This wicketless spell saw Sanderson, Smith, Minto and Falce all take the balls, both old and new, before another wicket fell. Falce had the breakthrough (Shortly before being removed from the attack for bowling too many beamers off a two-step run-up), removing S. Cumings for a well-made 71 (84).
With the new ball in hand Minto set about taking apart the tail finishing with figures of 7-0-37-4. An exhibition of consistent length, frustrated the batsmen and Old Tens collapsed to 210-9. Sarchett (1.1-0-1-1) replaced Falce (2.2-0-27-1) and stole the final wicket, wrapping up a comprehensive team performance of batting and bowling.
Next week, the 1st XI face top of the table Old Paulines hoping to carry on upwards from this weeks turning point. The Village pushed out of the bottom two and are just 5 points behind fourth place going into week.
Man of the Match: Dan Roberts for a brilliant 150 and 2 wickets
Special Mention: Elliot Minto for 4 wickets to seal the victory
D.O.D: Anthony Falce for consistently beaming
Many thanks to umpires Simon Fairless and Dave Petch and scorer Kenneth Perren. Also thanks to Laura Cliff for a brilliant Village tea.
Full Scorecard here: