Occupying dizzying heights at the top of the league, WAGCC began the second half of the season against Wootton & Boars Hill.
With the prospect of rain and plenty of showers around, both sides were keen to bowl first. Dave Spencer strode confidently out to ‘win’ the toss – this was not to be the case and he sheepishly gestured that we were batting instead.
Pad up Colin and TPL and let’s see that opening partnership we saw so often last season. Alas not. The 15th ball saw Colin chop onto his stumps from outside off and Wantage were 8-1. Fresh off a ton, Winston strode out and everyone belted in for a ride. Dot, dot, dot. And a mighty off drive into the safe hands of Hill – in what proved to be the only catch of the day (bar Hill catching off his own bowling at the end of the innings – always catch your own ones as the saying goes!) 8-2. Not the start pictured by the Wantage faithful.
Time for Spenny and TPL to rebuild. A 54-run partnership in 10 overs was the order of the day as Wantage moved to 62 before Spenny succumbed to King for 35. Next in was JC, who seemed to be finally finding some form. A huge amount is not needed to be written here – those who were there will multiply the numbers and come up with their own ideas for how many times he was dropped…however, JC took advantage of poor catching and scored his maiden WAGCC ton from 88 balls with 2 overs to spare, before succumbing to the final ball of the innings (stumped) for 110.
JC had notable partnerships of 79 with TPL (solid as ever), 48 with Summs (who batted beautifully) and 33 with Craig (thankfully ran even the most audacious runs called) set the foundations for a competitive total of 252-9.
JC – 110
TPL – 39
Spenny – 35
Summs – 32
Over to the bowlers to do the job now. Will H picking up the opener for 5 following a stunning catch from TPL. Will Wilbury (as noted down in the umpire’s scorebook) then producing a double wicket maiden to remove Benson (7) and Webb (for no score). 24/3 after 9 and Wantage were feeling confident of an early beer and the peony shower gel!
Not many expected the onslaught Hill was about put on…smashing his first 7 balls for 22, and then bringing up his 50 in only 24 balls! Thankfully, full and straight from Anand saved us further trips to the neighbours to ask us for our ball back. A King – King partnership put Wootton very much in the frame for the victory, before King Senior succumbed to a beauty from Will H and that left King Junior to try and bring the game home. A valiant effort reaching 50 from 71 balls, however the encouragement from Wantage for him to bring it home resulted in swipe outside off and an edge to Craig to all but end victory hopes for Wootton.
It was now down to Wantage to work out how to get the final 2 wickets and the victory. IC (yes – you read that correctly) was thrown the ball. Many of you will remember his last showing at Cairns (2 overs – 25 runs – 1 wicket) and feel this really is a throw of the dice… Snake Eyes! IC produced magic – 7 balls – 0 runs – 2 wickets and the match was done and dusted. He will be forgiven his Monty Panesaresque celebration after the second – high fiving TPL in the face – as the victory was complete. WAGCC had won by 66 runs and extend the lead at the top.
Will B – 10 overs – 38/3
Will H – 11 overs – 39/3
Anand – 6 overs – 29/2
IC – 1.1 overs – 0/2
Champagne Moment – TPL – that first catch…most of us were looking for the ball at the boundary. What a pluck!
Pigs – IC – slapping TPL in the face when celebrating the final wicket!
MOM – JC – runs runs runs. Jug!
Special Mention – Spenny finally holding on to a catch in the slips…first catch of the season (don’t ask how many have gone down!)