Sat 18
Hagley CC - 2nd XI
Win
League
1st XI
207/8
208/3
Winning Start For The 1's

Winning Start For The 1's

By Iain Wingfield
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Ways seal opening day victory


The first ‘league’ match of Season 2020 saw the 1’s travel to Hagley CC, a beautiful ground in the shadow of Hagley Hall. With all of the COVID restrictions in place, it was far from a normal day at the office for Jon Bassett’s team. Social distancing, regular sanitising breaks, no changing rooms, and ‘bring your own’ tea and drinks were just some of the changes that faced the two teams in Worcestershire County League Regional Championship Vase – Group B’s curtain raiser.
Having won the toss, Bassett elected to field first, feeling that his side would be better chasing a total than setting one. He opened the bowling himself, with Hannah Murray getting the new ball at the other end. It was the visiting skipper that claimed the first wicket too, Stockdale caught behind by Dave Potter for an opening day duck. Wickets fell regularly at first, Bassett proving too good for all of Hagley’s top four. Murray bowled a tidy first spell, and was replaced by Dave Kendall, who had the home batsmen groping desperately for the ball outside the off stump with his slow medium swing bowling. After Bassett completed a fine spell of 4-21 from his maximum of 8 overs, Craig Heath came on and bowled well without luck. Hagley had consolidated their innings somewhat, with a decent stand forming between Mandiratta and Baker. Bassett decided on a change of style, and replaced Kendall and Heath with Jon Tovey and Iain Wingfield. It was the latter that made the breakthrough, Mandiratta nicking one to the keeper for 57. Hagley were now looking to push on, and Kendall was bought back to replace Tovey in the light rain that had begun to fall. Despite a lack of swing due to the wet ball, Kendall somehow induced the batsmen into making some rash shots, and started to work his way through the hosts’ middle order, Heath and Usmaan Mahmood taking easy catches, & Potter pouching a fourth of the day. However, Ways hadn’t bargained on some late lower order fireworks from Hands, who clobbered some mighty hits to finish on 33 not out, mainly from Wingfield’s last over. Perhaps the skipper leaving a spinner on for the last over with a 50 yard leg side boundary was a little over confident, but it made for a decent spectacle!
Ways were left to chase just over 200 after the interval, and on a batting track that didn’t really offer the bowlers an awful lot of help, Bassett decided to promote himself up the order to see if his pinch hitting could get his team off to the flying start he was after. Not quite, was the answer. ‘Steady’ would be a more realistic term, with Chris Curtis looking very solid. In fact, Bassett had made only 9 when he inexplicably missed a straight one, and was bowled by the fairly sharp Baker. Sukhraj Gill came in at three, and looked in fine touch from the word go. Unfortunately, Gill failed to capitalise on his start, and was out for 23, playing a rash shot just as he looked set to push on. Mahmood joined Curtis at the wicket, and the pair continued the steady accumulation of runs, capitalising on some loose bowling from the home side. With victory in sight however, Curtis managed to get himself out in the 50’s for the umpteenth time, albeit to a brilliant catch at slip by Hands off the bowling of Iqbal. Mahmood had coasted past the half century mark by this stage, and was beginning to hit some expansive shots on his way to 72 not out. With Potter looking in great touch from ball one, the pair finished the game off with no trouble at all as Ways cruised to a 7 wicket victory with a couple of overs to spare.
A fine start for Bassett’s team, despite a decidedly under strength bowling attack. With key players due to come back, there is a chance this team could enjoy some success as long as they don’t get complacent.
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Match details

Match date

Sat 18, Jul 2020

Kickoff

13:00

Meet time

12:00

Instructions

12:00 meet at the ground. Approximate travel time from Masshouse - 20 minutes.

Players to arrive ready changed to play. Players to provide own equipment if possible. Players to provide own food and drink. Players to provide own hand sanitiser.

Match fees: £8 waged, £5 unwaged.

Competition

Regional Championship Vase - Group B