Minchinhampton vs Cheltenham 3rds
Minch visited the lovely Victoria Ground on Saturday. The forecasted showers soon appeared, delaying the start of play by around 30 mins. Minch were put into bat, unsurprisingly, and play was interrupted by no less than four rain showers at various intervals. Credit is due to both sides who dragged the flat sheet on and off to keep the pitch dry and get the game on. When play finally managed to get going Minch stuttered against a good Cheltenham opening bowling duo of Bush and captain Hunt. Dave Gordon fell without scoring and Alex Waring made just 10. When Hugo Hall fell for 2, Simon Penn and Ollie Cooper set about re-building the innings, Penn dispatching Bush for 10 in 1 over. Penn then fell for 17 and Ollie Cooper cut loose hitting several well struck boundaries. Cooper and Jaime Waring added 47 for the 5th wicket, with Waring adding just 5 of those 47 before being adjudged LBW. Priest (9), Ittyavirah (16) and Cruickshank (7no) all offered handy support to Cooper who hit a powerful 60 to boost Minchs score to a slightly more respectable 148, despite being 81 for 5 at one point. 3 wickets for just 5 runs ended Minch’s hopes of more batting points. Minch only managing 30 of their potential 36 overs. Hunt with 3 for 43 the main wicket taker for Cheltenham.
After an early tea the rain cleared and despite the delays it was still hopeful that the game would produce a result. Minch got the start they needed, Pete Wallis (1 for 19) removing Bailey down leg side caught well by keeper Cruickshank for 0. Minch successfully bowled 18 dots balls for loss of 1 wicket to really apply the pressure at the start. Turner and Wyatt tried to claw things back, but James Priest (1 for 13) making his 1st appearance of the season bowled with good pace and didn’t allow them to get away. Skipper Jaime Waring entered the attack and finally removed Wyatt bowled for 14 and then, in the next over, a well thought out plan removed Turner for 29, caught on point boundary by Cooper. With veteran John Turton (2 for 29) now introduced to the attack, bowling as miserly as ever, the pressure for runs was really on the Cheltenham batsmen. Turton removed Hunt caught by Hugo Hall on the fence and youngsters Burges and Nicholls tried to go after the bowling. Ittyavirahs (1 for 18) variations were too tempting as Burgess was again well caught by Penn this time and Priest returned to pick up Sapwell caught behind. The run rate was now at around 8 an over and Minch’s strength in depth in bowling showed when 6th bowler Hall (1 for 16) entered the attack and proved very difficult to get away. Minch fielded excellently throughout, epitomised by a stunning direct hit run out from Alex Waring at cover as wickets tumbled regularly at the end. With around 17 now needed off the last 2 overs and the last pair in Jaime Waring (3 for 33) returned to the attack and clean bowled Bush to give Minch a well earned victory by 11 runs, a superb bowling and fielding display and excellent knock from Ollie Cooper.