Match Report from Ian Garrett
After looking down and out following the first few overs of their innings, Ian Garrett and Laura Hill rebuilt the innings, before a typically rampaging innings from Steve Moore and a century partnership with Ian Garrett chased down the target with something to spare.
This had seemed less than likely as Pedmore got off to a lightening start, with our opening bowlers showing signs of rust, too full at one end and too short at the other. The score had reached 40 in the 7th over when Lucy Hardy put a beautiful inswinger through the Pedmore opener’s defences. Molly Burke, wicketless all last season, replaced Lucy at the top end and began with a knee high full toss, which Baker obligingly middle straight to Harry Mac at a deepish square leg, who judged the catch nicely. Molly settled into a decent spell, and Steve Moore bowled his eight over spell as tidily as always, finishing with 1-27. Skipper Gavin Anderson also bowled an excellent spell, taking 3-29 in his allotted overs, including perhaps the crucial wicket, winning an LBW decision to dismiss one of the Pedmore middle order who was going well, then hitting the stumps twice more. When a smart piece of fielding at mid off by Lucy Hardy ran out Denton, Pedmore at 146-7 had been held back, and the overall run rate had dropped from 5 ½ earlier in the innings to just four. The eighth wicket partnership though added a confident forty, as Ways outcricket came under pressure, having been excellent up until the last few overs. A few catches went down, and Ian Garrett provided the first comedy moment of the season as he circled under a steepling skier, and then barely laid a left hand on it as it swerved on descent. Abid Hussein came back to bowl a very good spell at the end, and a final score of 186 seemed about par. Of Pedmore’s nine batters, seven reached 17 but the highest individual score was only 25 – the failure to kick on was what probably cost them the game.
As stated above however, that didn’t seem likely in the first ten overs of Ways’ innings, as both openers bowled well, 13 year old Skelding in particular bowling a hostile spell of 4-1-3-1, with pace and movement, backed up by an ever voluble effort in the field. Both Abid and Will Leach fell cheaply and runs were hard to come by. Ian and Laura dug in though and began to build recovery, Laura striking some excellent straight drives, and Ian pulling opener Baker for two fours in an over as he tired towards the end of his spell and began to drop short. Laura fell for a well crafted 21 with the score 57, getting a thin edge off Denton to the wicketkeeper. Kiyan Jayhanie on debut played a splendid cameo with two swivel footed pulls for four and a baseball style smash over midwicket for 6, before going to the well once too often and heaving across a straight one.
At the twenty over mark and 79-4, 187 looked a long way away. Even at the 24 over drinks mark though, it looked closer, as Steve Moore began to unfurl one of those typical “Mooro” innings. He was lucky once or twice with slices that just evaded fielders, but 14 off a Denton over including three powerful boundaries took us to 105-4 at the break, and after that the scoring accelerated, Ian joining in taking two 2s and a four to third man in the over that play resumed, and Steve continued to open his shoulders and bludgeon the ball through extra cover or over the onside.
Boundaries flowed, the Pedmore fielders began to go quiet, and Steve actually beat Ian to fifty with a swat through midwicket from Mabley. A four over midwicket and a typically dashed quick single saw Ian to fifty in Mabley’s next over, and by now the required run rate had fallen from 5 ½ to under four. Even the return of Skelding could not stem the runs, and Ian hooked him for a one bounce four in his most authoritative shot of the innings to take the target below twenty. Steve continued to hit boundaries, Ian tucked singles in his slip stream, and the hundred partnership was raised.
With five overs to go, the target was just two, the winning runs coming in less than dramatic fashion with a leg bye, Ian finishing on 64 and Steve 76. So an excellent start to the season with in the end a convincing and well earned win over some old rivals.