Roberts hundred as Village suffer first round cup defeat

‘Catches win matches’ were the words left ringing round the Whiteley Village dressing room as Newdigate made the most of some sloppy Village fielding. A much changed 1XI from the league game on Saturday made the journey to the picturesque and rural Newdigate with only 3 of the side who were part of the victory against Frimley taking to the field. With the side struggling for numbers the team was bolstered by the last minute addition of, albeit worse for where looking, vice-captain Lewis Razey.
In true village fashion skipper Dan Roberts, after having a nice long chin-wag with the opposition captain, predictably called incorrectly and we were invited to make first use of the Newdigate track. Opening pair Roberts and Razey stuck their kit on and trotted out to the middle in their own unique fashion ready to face the music.
The first over brought only an extra as Razey attempted to pick out the correct ball from the three he was seeing. At the other end Roberts got off to a flyer smoking his first ball through the covers for 4 before plundering another couple of boundaries before the end of the over. Razey got off the mark with the first ball of the 3rd over with Newdigate skipper Cooper dropping slightly short and Razey deposited the ball over the square leg boundary for 6. The next few overs brought a flurry of runs with both batsman complimenting boundaries with 1’s and 2’s. The biggest over of the innings came in the 5th as Roberts plundered 3 consecutive sixes followed by a 4 to take the pair past the 50 mark.
This quickly brought the introduction of spin and the tidy Rucky Wickremasinghe (Rucky) slowed both batsman down. In the meantime Roberts continued to score freely and moved past his half century. With the score on 96 Razey attempted to whip a full delivery from Rucky and dragged on. The score now 96-1, Razey out for 36. Kane Oughton strode out to the crease to join Roberts and the two began to build their partnership. After the drinks break the two quickly moved their partnership past 50. Oughton chipped in with 4 4’s and a 6 before he was bowled by Hughes for 29. The score now 169-2 and still plenty of overs to go. Jake Knowles was the new man to the crease playing his last game before jetting back off to America for the summer. Unfortunately, Knowles wasn’t able to go out on a high as he was bowled by an inswinger from Cooper for a duck.
Jamie Connolly joined Roberts who was creeping closer to his first hundred of the season. As he made his way through the nervous 90’s Roberts was given a lifeline after a skier was dropped at square leg. Roberts didn’t let this chance go to waste and a few overs later smashed a short ball into the trees to bring up a fantastic hundred a real captains innings! With the score on 196 Connolly was bowled by Irvine (4) before Roberts was caught on the boundary for a superb 125. The catch by Irvine particularly good given the distance he had to cover to get there. 200-5. With a handful of overs to go Tubby and Shambler kept the scoreboard ticking over before Tubby was bowled in the last over for 7. Steve Cliff came to the crease and got Shambler back on strike for the last ball of the innings and in true filthy style fetched a ball from wide outside off stump and hacking it through cow corner for 4. Village finishing on 230-6 at the end of their 45 overs.
After the boys indulged in some tea, skipper Roberts led out the team, knowing that early wickets were key on a high scoring ground with short, fast boundaries.
Newdigate opened the batting with their hard hitting overseas Irvine and Rucky, the pair looking to set an aggressive tone against the opening bowlers of Steve and Mikey Cliff. Unfortunately for Steve his first delivery didn’t quite go to plan and his chest high full toss was hammered over the square leg boundary for 6. The first chance came from the bowling of Mikey Cliff as Rucky attempted a sweep shot, only for his leading edge to go straight up into the air. After a slight pause and moment of ‘who wants it?’ wicket keeper Shambler called loud and clear. Unfortunately for Shambler the ball took a little swirl in the air and the ball moved just out if his reach. Drop number 1. With both batsman ball watching, Razey saw an opportunity of a run out but his diving underarm throw at the stumps was just wide.
In the opening stand of 42 Irvine was particularly dominant, smoking the ball to all parts with the village fielders only able to watch as the ball was hit with such force. He was eventually dismissed for 36 after a great inswinger from Mikey got through his gate and rattled the stumps, 46-1. This brought to the crease Renwick. Cliff has his tail up though and looked to get wicket number two and brought about an edge from Renwick. Drop number 2 (sorry Shambler)! This mistake proved to be costly and the two batsmen began building a partnership. Skipper Roberts brought himself and Rich Smith into the attack in an attempt to slow down the run rate. With both batsmen playing their shots surely another chance was round the corner. Rucky chased a wide ball from Roberts and the ball flew towards the stretching arms of Jamie Connolly, surely wicket number 2! No, drop number 3!
Roberts built some pressure with his tight off spin meaning the Newdigate batsman had to bat aggressively against Smith attacking anything dropped slightly short. Fortunately for the Newdigate batsman the leg side boundary was fairly short and even their mistimed shots were going just over the head of Oughton at midwicket.
With the score on 111 the breakthrough arrived as Smith skidded one through and with Rucky squared up attempting to hit to the leg side he was hit on the pad and after a big appeal and much deliberation by the umpire was given out for 32 (111-2). Roberts completed his 9 overs and brought Knowles into the attack hoping to use his flight and guile to lure the batsman into a false shot. At one end Renwick continued to play his shots and moved past 50, at the other new batsman Bowley gave very little away other than a forward defensive. After getting a couple of boundaries away Bowley looked to be aggressive against Knowles and a mistimed shot carried to Tubby at mid-on…. Drop number 4! Knowles eventually getting his revenge as Bowley skipped out of his crease, missed the ball and Shambler whipped off the bails behind the stumps. 157-3 game on!
Adam Moon walked to the crease for Newdigate and here the phrase ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’ comes to mind as he didn’t look the most technical of batsmen. He signalled his intentions from ball one as he attempted to smash Knowles back over his head ‘he’s here for a good time, not a long one) rings around the outfield. After Smith had completed his 9 overs Connolly was brought into the attack who looked to rough the batsmen up with the odd short ball. Renwick continued to go about his merry way knocking the ball around and capitalising on any width the bowlers gave to him. Moon on the other hand was all out attack and soon started to find his timing. The field was spread but Moon continued to play his shots. A change at both ends brought Oughton and Tubby into the attack. Oughton quickly brought a mistimed shot from Moon and the ball travelled down the hill to the usually safe hands of Roberts. Unfortunately like a cold virus, dropped catches is contagious and the ball hit the deck. Drop number 5! At this point the game looked to be slipping away from the Village and the next chance came soon after when the ball was nailed at Razey at extra cover. With both batsmen in the middle of the pitch Razey saw the opportunity for a Jonty Rhodes style run and dive at the stumps, however mid run Razey panicked and fired an underarm throw at the stumps from 5 yards aware only to miss by 2 feet.
With the score on 226 and Renwick on 98, Tubby got himself in the wickets column. His two tight overs creating some nerves for Renwick as he made his way through the 90’s and a false shot saw the bails fly. Nevertheless, a match winning innings by Renwick who made the most of his early drop to take his team to the brink of victory. This was to be the last of the celebrations for the village as Moon finished the game in style smashing Oughton for 6 to finish 43 not out.
A gutting defeat but a lot a positives to take from the game. A big shout out also has to go to Keith Dimond who threw his body around the outfield like he was back in his teens!
Good luck to Newdigate in the next round of the cup.
MoM – Dan Roberts for his 125
DoD – James Tubby for taking his guard left handed by accident!