Saturday 29th May 2021 – A big welcome back to the sunshine! Finally, a glorious afternoon ahead with cricket to be played. With the pitch ever so slightly damp, but drying rapidly after Friday’s unexpected deluge, thankfully the skipper won the toss and asked the visiting team to bat first. G&C CC have never been a team to “hang about” with the bat, so we expected an initial flurry of runs to come. Waqas and Alimar opened up the bowling attack and G&C CC got off to the expected start, squirting the ball between slip and gulley a few times, then hitting the occasional big shot to get off to their usual quick start. Alimar soon took his first wicket though, nipping one back off the seam to remove the opener, but the total seemed to shoot quickly to nearly 60 from the first 10 overs for the loss of one wicket. The skipper persisted with the two opening bowlers though, who in fairness both bowled better as their spells went along, Waqas eventually picking up the other opener, safely caught at long on by Hedders. At 86-2 from 20 overs, a big total looked on the cards if G&C CC batted kept up the tempo, but the introduction of the skipper and newcomer Fitzroy “Roy” Peterkin, both bowling extremely tight line off breaks, severely clamped down on the free scoring batsmen, with both bowlers offering very little in the way of a free shot. A couple of big ugly shots moved the score along for G&C CC, but they were no match for the two wily off spinners and with only 37 runs coming from the next 20 overs, Westcott CC took a firm grip of the game. Firstly the skipper bowled the no 4 batsman (it didn’t turn) and then trapped the incoming bat LBW (with a straight one), attempting a sweep shot. Roy picked up his first Westcott wicket, Hedders taking another good catch in the deep, as the G&C CC batsmen tried to get on with it. With 10 overs left, JK and Hedders came on to bowl and were pretty much on a hiding to nothing, as the G&C CC middle/late order had a swing at pretty much every ball, in the attempt to get the score board ticking again. JK took an early wicket in his spell, getting the ball to straighten from middle and leg, trapping the batsman in front, but wickets weren’t actually that easy to come by.  A few more lusty blows and G&C CC ended up getting their total to 174 for 7 in their 50 overs. A much improved performance by Westcott in the field, with the extras column less than half of the total it was last week, so a great effort.

Dale opened up the batting alongside Stuart, but was given out LBW early doors and Alimar quickly followed him back to the clubhouse, snicking one to the keeper, who parried it to first slip. So, 20-2 and was the seed of doubt being planted? Not so, cue Tanveer for the second time in two weeks, who decided that “today was his day” and once he had played himself in and seen off the opening bowlers, firmly went about destructively smashing the ball to all parts of the ground, hitting four huge sixes, with Stuart playing maturely and solidly at the other end. I must admit both batsmen looked extremely comfortable and with 90 runs coming from the next 12 overs, Westcott cantered to a convincing 8 wicket win in just 29 overs. Tanveer finished unbeaten with an excellent 72 not out and Stuart was 2 runs short of what would have been a well deserved half century (or was it a well constructed jug avoidance?). Roy sat in the clubhouse padded up for 24 overs, awaiting his chance, but to no avail.!! (Maybe next week Roy!). So, a great team effort all round, good fielding, good bowling, good batting… let’s carry this momentum forward to next weeks visit to Long Marston.

Have a great Bank Holiday everyone 🙂