Report: First XI Beat Worthing
Updated: Aug 23
By James Howgate
Umpire: Jim Gee
Scorer: Peter Harding
Another Saturday, brings another challenge and today was no different. A local challenge coming up from the coast Worthing CC. After a very competitive game against the potential premiership club at Bognor from the week before which we believe that we could have and possibly should have won being slight too aggressive in our approach to take wickets when being defensive could have taken us across the line. We live and learn.
We arrived early and in good spirits, however we were not ready for the warm up and received a suitable reprimand from Club Coach Machan, holding our hands up and drawing a line underneath it, we set in to a positive game of football to get the team building underway.
We welcomed back into the side Toby Witham, who bowled well in the 2nd XI last week and with Lyle not being available took his chance to come back into the side along with debutant Oli van Noort replacing Ludo. The side was not weakened at all with their absence showing that we have a lot of strength in depth running through the club.
After a brief warm up, not to mention the weather was pretty well doing that on its own. It was scheduled to be a HOT hot day. In the huddle, I mentioned that it was possible the day to think about learning to chase down a total that would be set, especially as Worthing came along with a few different players from the week before.
Up went the coin and Worthing Captain called “Heads” it came down the other side. So having a difficult decision to make, without hesitation wished their captain a good day in the field.
A slightly different batting line up from previous weeks as we are starting to get to grips with the competition and knowing that a power play in the first 10 overs, meant that we can go even harder in the first 10 than we did last week. Machan put his hand up to go in and play from ball one, with an under edge that carried to the keeper he was out for 0 second ball. It shows the intent to the other team mates in the side that we still play. Ben Lucking another left hander to take his place, went in with the same intent was out for 6 and Reuben Taylor for 0 in quick fashion in the 4th over. 18-3 in 4 overs, a decision to be made by one of the youngest players Charlie Tear (u16s) and Hugo Gillespie (u18s) still play attacking cricket. With a 110 partnership in 13 overs, with some exceptional hitting from Tear finishing with 57 before being caught in the deep on 128/4 from 17 overs, then in came Josh Taylor (U17s) continuing in the same way hitting his second ball back over the bowlers head for 6. So glorious running between the wickets and power hitting from these two young cricketers took our total up to 216 from 27 overs before Taylor is bowled for 45 from his 43 deliveries. The heat was starting to take its toll on Worthing with the need of having many drinks breaks in this heat. Hugo Gillespie went from 95* to 118 and out within the next 10 balls with some explosive 6 hitting down the ground before caught going for his 4th consecutive 6 in the over, this allowed the 14 year old Benji Jackson to the crease, getting off the mark first ball to pick up another 2 and wanted to get on with this hit the ball back hard to the bowler who took a good caught and bowled in the 29th over for 249-7. Charlie Davies was at the other end, getting in on the act, with some glorious stroke play and pressure running was going extremely quickly to 42 from just 24 balls. Debutant Oli van Noort put on a partnership of 50 in just 5 overs with Charlie Davies into the 34th over we were 299-8 and 7 overs left to play, Toby Witham who came back up from 2nd XI to help with the bowling attack wasn’t going to be left wondering, first ball swooshing being caught and bowled within his first 4 balls for just 2, came off and was disappointed that it didn’t go for a boundary. Captain Howgate heads out with 6 overs to ensure that we batted out the overs with Oli, putting on 37 in the last 6 overs, manoeuvring the ball around with less destructive hitting that those who preceded them both. It was the intention to keep Worthing out in the field for as long as possible for the full 40 overs.
With the temperature up to the mid-30s it was a pretty warm day and as we rehydrated in the break, a little ground maintenance and getting ready for the second half.
Opening up with Reuben Taylor and Matt Machan, possibly the two of the most mature players in the side, trying to keep the run rate down in the first 10 would set the tone for the remaining of the Worthing Innings. Worthing got off to a very good start, some great shots being set up by their opening pair of Gould and Dunn. It wasn’t too long before we got the breakthrough bowled Taylor caught Tear, will be something being said many times over the next few years. After a quick drinks break and feeling like we were being a little complacent to be careful as Worthing had some huge talent in their batting line up, some tight bowling but with the scoreboard reflecting back at the set batsman 49/1 quickly became 64/2 with Machan picking up his wicket for the day otherwise would have picked up his first TFC fine. The dangerous Gould was still at the crease, with both Taylor and Machan bowling out, trying to get his wicket they were unsuccessful. Toby Witham coming back into the first XI and started off with a defensive field for a short sharp burst of attacking bowling, left the captain in a little bit of a daze, forgetting to give the nod to Oli van Noort to take over from Machan at the bottom end, had to step up and take a quick over, 1-0-2-0 finishing with the most economical figures of the day. Toby second over of the day and a little bit of consultation about what plans we were looking to bowl to, back to basics, a clever offside field being set, the ball was full and delivered with gusto, great execution of a lofted drive into the ‘Gap’ when Charlie ‘the whippet’ Davies ran 20+ meters round the boundary to take a decent chance running away from him, to finish inches from the rope, stopping the ball from going for 6 and taking the pivotal wicket of Gould. Welcome back Toby finishing with 4-0-26-1 on a flat deck 1st change was a good effort in the heat. Oli Toiled away at the other end, with what looks like pretty poor figures 4-0-47-0, when the middle order was charged with hitting out still going for the qin, he held his line and length well and balls just out of the field placements and being temporarily down to 10 players as Gillespie was overheating from his batting display needed some well-earned rest, Some good striking helped the visitors on to 180/3 from 27 overs, the game was far from over. A change at both ends to bring on the dual spin attack of Davies and Lucking. Davies picked up the dangerous Mayhesh from his first delivery being caught in the deep by the recently returned (1st Ball) juggling Gillespie for a very exciting 47. 180/4 very quickly became 195/6 with Davies getting his second wicket in 2 overs again courtesy of Gillespie at deep long on. Charlie bowled well in his spell and finished with 5-0-37-2. We can’t leave out Ben “Crispy” Lucking with his lazy style of left arm orthodox spin, rattling through the bottom order, who were trying to win the game which is great to see. Two of his wickets were caught in the Howgate position (no one knows where it is, but it’s just around there, yup, that’s fine. Anywhere within 20 meters of there)….. its worked for 5 years.. another one caught at long on. Having 4 wickets to his name, he must have offered the umpire a pint if he let him get a Michelle. With that the trigger came up and got his wish finishing with 6.3-0-32-5.
The most impressive part of the day, was that for 36.3 overs, we remained focused, dedicated and listened to the experienced heads without letting the game get away at any point.
All credit to the batsmen, who at 18-3 played in positive style to push 336-9 from 40 overs, perhaps in previous years, we would have consolidated and possibly only achieved 200-250 on what was a 280 wicket.