Saxton 'A' v Walton Park 'A'
Saturday 13th May 2017, Match Report by Steve Moxon.
Match 4 of the 2017 season saw Kevin’s magnificent seconds frequenting the outskirts of Wetherby to defend their perfect start to the season against a Walton side still looking for their first win. Prior to the start all appeared in excellent spirits perhaps with the exception of a certain Dave Buck – was he grabbing some well needed additional rest following a heavy Friday night or just visualising another glut of wickets or batting master class?
Kevin again avoided the mantle of the useless tosser and elected to field albeit the whereabouts of Jalandhar was still unknown. This minor crisis was averted as said player crossed the boundary seconds ahead of the first ball being bowled.
Prak opened with a maiden and then more drama as Phil entered the stage from the other end. After 4 tidy balls that provided minimal exercise to the scorers, the fifth left him prostrate on the floor clearly in considerable agony. Following application of ice packs to the injured nether regions, Phil was helped away sadly to take no more part in the game and we all hope he has a speedy recovery. Kevin replaced Phil and in his spell the opposition batsmen failed to increase the score – admittedly he only bowled one ball!
Meanwhile Prak’s bowling was mesmerising the batsmen– the leather seemed to have developed an aversion to wood as it regularly beat the bat but just as frequently somehow managed to avoid the stumps as well.
Owen took over from Kevin and helped to suffocate the run rate with 4 very tidy overs. Saxton were on top but wickets were needed. Time for Saxton’s other junior Jack to enter the fray. Three balls in and the castle was dismantled and Jack wasn’t backwards in demonstrating his pleasure! Jack struck again next over and then Prak was finally rewarded with the help of Steph’s safe hands. Jack added another with a neat caught and bowled and Walton were under pressure.
Dave Buck replaced Prak and will admit he’s had better days with the ball. It didn’t help that Walton’s middle order batsman had decided it was time to push on the score. At the other end Steph came on and bowled a phenomenal spell of controlled bowling. Walton wickets started to fall in rapid succession and swung the game back into Saxton’s control.
Dave Buck finally got rewarded for his efforts but there was no doubt that Steph was the pick of the bowlers ending with well deserved figures of 5 for 13. Walton were all out for 112, Owen taking the final catch off of Steph’s bowling.
Tea was taken – any lack in the sandwich department being compensated by large quantities of cake and a small selection of Haribo which was particularly welcomed by Saxton’s chief wicket taker and scorer.
Time to attack the target and it’s hard to believe that this was Saxton’s biggest run chase of the season so far. The first innings had shown it wouldn’t be an easy surface to bat on and this was demonstrated as Saxton lost both their openers early on and in close succession. Steph succumbed first and was soon followed by Jalandhar with only 9 runs on the board.
Nerves needed settling and cometh the hour cometh the old men! Enter Messr’s Buck and Briggs to stabilise the innings. Despite some very enthusiastic appealing from the Walton keeper, Dave and Kevin got on with their task and runs were being scored on a steady but regular basis. The score had moved into the 80’s when Kevin was out after posting his best score for Saxton. Top scorer Dave (34) followed soon after but any thoughts of a batting collapse were dispelled by Dave Walmsley and Prak who calmly knocked off the remaining runs with 5 overs to spare.
So 4 games in, 24 points and top of the league – we may have harder games to come but it’s a great start and good to see a variety of players excelling across those games.
So there was just one question was left unanswered at the end of the game – did Steve really not see that ball until the last minute or was his mind elsewhere? No doubt to be discussed at length in the Greyhound for many weeks to come!