Walmley 5ths vs Four Oaks Saints 4ths
Saturday 25th July 2020
The 5ths played their first home game of the season at a new location, Highclare Sports facilities off Braemar Road. A wide expanse of field, open to the elements, the only downside the artificial pitch which actually played very well on the day…
With rain forecast for late afternoon, winning the toss was crucial to batting first… unfortunately Walmley lost the toss and Four Oaks elected to bat. Walmley were fielding another strong team, and opened the bowling with 13 year old Krish Chauhan, who bowled superbly again for little reward, his 5 overs going for just 5 runs! Saints nevertheless building a strong opening partnership amassing 60 runs inside 14 overs. The introduction of Zain Ali (10 overs 3-18) dispatched opener Ward for 45, and quickly removed the No3, whilst Michael Shackleford picked up the other opener to leave FO 70-3 after 18. FO built another strong partnership before another flurry of wickets had them 139-6 off 30 with 200+ looking likely. Final overs from Nevitt (1-12), Hamza Swaleh (3-14) and Zain’s 2nd spell restricted FO to 172-9 off 45 overs, well pulled back in the end.
After tea, Walmley’s response was disciplined, Henry Nevitt once again getting a start, whilst Dhruv Malhi (18) looked in confident form with 4 boundaries, before a thin knick off the spinner brought his innings to an early end at 35-1. A flurry of wickets left Walmley on 66-5 off 22 overs and the game began swinging to FO — a 50 run partnership over the next 15 overs between Michael Shackleford (23 top score) and Hamza (16) seemed to be making the game safe at 116-5 with 8 overs to go…. But we like to make it interesting, and four wickets in 3 overs meant Krish Chauhan and Captain Yeates had to survive the final 5 overs. Krish Chauhan’s nerves of steel were enough to see off the final overs surrounded by close in fielders to earn a losing draw and 10 points overall.
Whilst the fielding and catching performance was good again this week, a lack of discipline in the bowling pairs to bring consistent pressure to the batsmen allowed FO to amass a score which was just too much to chase down. Some poor shot selections early in innings let some players down, although that said, a number of players got themselves in, only to get themselves out…
Standouts on the day, Krish, Zain and Hamza’s bowling, and Michael Shackleford’s 23 top score.
We look forward to next week and Streetly 3rds away.
By Darren Yeates