Walmley 1st XI v Leamington 1st XI at The John Findlay Memorial Ground
45 over Friendly
Saturday 11th July
As the season finally got underway, Leamington won the toss and decided to bat first on a wicket that was very well prepared, but retained some of the moisture from the previous week’s wet weather.
The opening pair battled belligerently through an excellent opening spell from opening bowlers Fahim Jan (2/22) and Jordan Hoffman (1/14), before the tall young pacer took the first wicket with the score on 21.
However, it was the change bowlers that turned the game in favour of the home team. Firstly Michael Waugh (1/11) and then 3 quick wickets from Jamie Hall (3/30) reduced the visitors to 63-5.
Kiefer Woods and Dinuk de Silva (1/29) took the pace off the ball as Leamington slowly rebuilt their innings thanks to an excellent half century from their wicketkeeper, Chris Calcott, which saw them recover to 139-6.
With 200 suddenly looking a possibility, captain John Newis (2/10) gave the ball back to Fahim Jan who proved too good for the tail and the skipper himself picked up the final wicket as the wickets tumbled very quickly to become 150 all out.
As the great cricket saying goes – you don’t know a good score until both teams have batted – but 150 looked more than achievable on a sunny afternoon at home.
The top order however decided to bring a bit of drama to the situation, thanks in no small part to a phenomenal spell of bowling from the Eldon Drive End. Coming down the hill, Oliver Currill accounted for 3 early wickets and suddenly Walmley were reduced to 17-3. This was compounded when debutant Demari Prince, who had earlier taken two excellent
catches, fell to see the home side’s response in tatters at 33-5.
Enter Mo Sheikh! (36*) His calm composure, in partnership with the skipper, dragged Walmley back into the game with a vital partnership of 56 for the 6th wicket before Newis (36) fell to the dangerous Currill. Sheikh’s zen-like focus continued as he built two further partnerships.
Initially, a hard hitting 36 from Jordan Hoffman and an assured innings from de Silva (13*) saw Walmley win a very exciting game.
Walmley win by 2 wickets
Photos: Sue Hey