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Venturers vs South Wraxall, Sunday June 14th

Venturers 199-8 South Wraxall 203-6

Last year's away game against South Wraxall had taken place in, at times, pouring rain. This year - especially after our game the previous Wednesday had also been washed out - we were delighted to see bright sunshine at the Sulis Club. Matt was able to vouch that this was in stark contrast to the weather in Eindhoven, having left the Netherlands at 10.35am the same morning after 2 hours sleep.

Matt's delicate condition meant that we had a new captain (our fourth of the season). Kevin was the man in charge, and his instructions to the opening batters were to get a shift on in order to avoid a repeat of the slow start against Bill Owen. Unfortunately the Wraxall bowlers were sharp and accurate, and Matt's feet seemed to be still asleep: after a couple of thick edges he nicked one to the keeper, to be followed swiftly by Chris W. This brought Kevin to the crease, and he immediately ignored his own instructions by facing 11 dot balls before his first run. Then things started to look up, with several nice looking strokes, including a wonderful (so I'm told - I was asleep amongst the kit in the shade by this point) six straight back over the bowler's head.

This is the Venturers though, and Wraxall clearly knew us well enough to introduce at this point their secret weapon - a bowler who hopped in off two paces, threw the ball high and slow into the air, and extracted very little if anything from the pitch. Kevin ran down the pitch, changed his mind, ran back to where he started, and hit the ball hard back towards Matt (who had woken up and was now umpiring); the bowler threw himself across and came up clutching the ball. A mini-collapse followed, before Alex W joined Roger in a partnership of 81. Alex's flicked six over the short boundary was the highlight, and he looked in danger of overtaking Roger despite coming in 20 overs later, but then he too tried to take on the secret weapon and holed out to mid off for 47 from 40 balls. We finished on 199 for 8, Roger carrying his bat for a superb innings of 77 not out.

Our bowling got off to a good start, with a wicket each for Paul S and Saurabh, before new recruit Thiyagarajan got rid of Wraxall's two most dangerous players (or so we thought) with some flighted leg spin. Saurabh's wicket was thanks to a great catch by Chris W which broke Chris's thumb. (Fluffy also injured his hand, Saurabh his knee, and Kevin his back, making it a bad day for injuries all round.) Matt, though, was bowling like a drain from the other end, and Wraxall's number 5 and 6 gradually built a match-winning partnership of 109. Alex W, who had been wicketkeeping for the first half of the innings, gave the pads to Roger and came to our rescue with the wicket of the number 5. Unfortunately it was too little, too late, and Wraxall claimed a deserved win in the 35th over.


Fixtures & Results 2009

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