Faringdon v Westcott 4 May 2019: Won by 42 runs
Westcott started the new season with a potentially tricky away fixture at Faringdon. In winter like conditions (sunny, but blooming freezing), Westcott batted first on a decent wicket and Stuart Symes started off in fine fashion, playing a sublime cover drive for four in the first over. Rehman followed suit with a couple of “streaky” aggressive boundaries, before skying one when on 15. Tanveer played a lovely shot for four, before being caught behind a few balls later. Overseas star Keegan strode out to the middle and was promptly bowled by a slower ball yorker that cleaned him up and rattled the bottom of the stumps. Not a nice ball to get first up!
At 50-3, skipper Strongy entered the fray and in all honesty made batting look fairly easy, playing some lovely late cut shots and with Stuart continuing to look extremely solid at the other end, Westcott made steady progress, until a slightly bizarre dismissal led to the demise of the skipper when on 26, who was looking like he was going to go on to make a substantial total. Not sure if the ball came back off the keepers gloves on to the stumps, but it didn’t look like he had been bowled and he didn’t seem to hit his own wicket, but he was given out by the umpire none the less. Alimar joined Stuart and played a delightful clip of his legs for four but subsequently chopped the ball on to his stumps a few balls later.
So, at 115 – 5 from 30 overs it needed the lower order to help the resistant Stuart to reach a decent total. Unfortunately, Stuart played a late cut straight to gully when on 47 (jug avoidance) but Dale and JK added 30 runs for the next wicket until Dale was out caught, which brought the ever youthful Tiz to the crease, who sensibly played himself in before taking the attack to the Faringdon bowlers, smashing two huge sixes over square leg. JK was out stumped, dancing down the wicket whilst looking to be positive for 20, but Hedders and Waqas ably supported Tiz onto an unbeaten 27no, before the innings came to a close with three balls left of the allotted 45 overs. Westcott had reached 197 and the skipper breathed an inward sigh of relief as this seemed like a very defendable total.
After an unmemorable tea, Waqas and Rehman opened up the Westcott attack, bowling tight lines which restricted the Faringdon batsmen from the off. The key wicket of Rob Owen was required and Rehman did the trick with a full pitched delivery clean bowling the opener. Some more excellent straight bowling restricted the batsmen further and although a couple of aggressive boundaries came off Rob Browns bat, the first change bowling from Tanveer proved key as he quickly took a wicket with his first delivery and then nipped out a couple more in his spell (#skipper took a cracking catch above his head at cover). At 30 overs in, the Faringdon score was pretty much level in comparison to the Westcott innings and it looked like it may be “game on”.
Not to be – the skipper chose the perfect time to bring himself on and slow the pace down, which proved to be the turning point of the match, taking two quick caught and bowled chances as the batsmen tried to be aggressive, as the run rate increased to six an over. With 4-24, the skipper took himself off (jug avoidance) leaving Waqas and Rehman to mop up the tail and Wescott ran out comfortable winners by 42 runs with 6 overs left.
An excellent all round performance by Westcott, with the lower order batting proving crucial to posting a decent total and then some excellent straight bowling and tight fielding restricting the batsmen in the second half.
Looking forward to next weeks fixture at home to Chipping Norton already….