Match report by Ian Garrett
Five Ways 3rd XI fought hard to earn a draw against Selly Park on Saturday, with Megan Hancock-Nolan and Amanda Benyon battling through the last ten overs to ensure a draw. Facing a much stronger team than the previous week, Ways found it harder both in the field and at the crease, but were not disgraced.
Against a strong Selly Park batting line-up making use of the fast outfield (like last week, there was barely a two in the whole game), runs flowed from the start, with opener Ben Vincent playing the major innings, fierce on anything pitched at all short, and accompanied in a series of partnerships that maintained a good rate of scoring throughout. Lucy Hardy and Steve Moore did best at keeping the runs down, and Steve took the first two wickets, helped by a smart catch from Abid Hussein and backward point.
Other bowlers found it difficult to keep the scoring down though, and Vincent increasingly dominated, until deceived on 84 and trapped LBW by an Ian Garrett slower ball. Skipper Gavin Anderson bowled well again and struck the stumps twice, and on 30 overs there seemed a chance of keeping the Selly Park score within bounds, but a powerful 7th wicket partnership took the score well past 200, with SP skipper Richard Parslow striking two huge sixes in the last over.
This proved too much for Ways to chase. Like our opponents last week, what was a little frustrating was that almost all the batters made a start but none could go on to play the major innings that was required, with Abid Hussein’s 24 the top score. Ian Garrett struck three boundaries in one over before playing outside one and being bowled, and Laura Hill chipped to mid on. Will Leech and Harry McDermott batted well together for a while, with Harry finding the boundary more often and Will playing solidly, but he then fell slightly unluckily to the extremely slow left arm spinner, and Harry picked the wrong ball to look to hit. Abid played nicely, and on drove a number of boundaries before falling for 24, and Lucy Hardy was unfortunate to be spectacularly caught and bowled by Richard Purslow.
With ten overs left, Ways were eight down and sinking. But then Megan and Amanda came together and resisted determinedly, both playing a few nice pull shots, and being solid and sensible in defence. Both had moments of good fortune, but the others ticked down, and they were still together at the forty over mark, earning Ways a draw.
So, a win and a draw to give some confidence as we move into the League season next week.