Potent Saints Pip Petherton
Jun. 10, 2012
All Saints made it two wins on the trot today, with a victory that saw them leapfrog North Petherton in the table.
After taking the scenic route, most of the side turned up somewhat later than planned at North Petherton’s ground, skipper Mike Nunns included. However, he had no hesitation in bowling first on what looked a lively wicket, having won his first toss of the season. This proved to be the correct decision, as there was plenty of early swing. After a couple of wides, Nunns got back onto the correct line and found an early wicket, nicking the opener for a duck, caught behind by Gillingham. James Rockett shared the new ball, and bowled a tight line, with the number three playing and missing with regularity, getting the occasional edge through the slip cordon.
Opener Jones battled hard and began to play himself in, and the partnership began to gather momentum. After threatening spells, the opening bowlers were replaced with Fraser Wallace and James Nunns. Both started tidily, getting some bounce out of the wicket, and it was Fraser who made the breakthrough in his second over, removing the number three, caught by Shaun Wells-Burr, who was making his first appearance in over two seasons. Fraser then doubled his money, bowling the number four two balls later and putting Saints in control at 44-3 from 16. The score looked even better when another excellent Wallace spell yielded a third wicket, the pinch-hitter bowled leg stump for 1.
Meanwhile, Fraser’s deputy headmaster, Jones was going along nicely, and ruined some tidy figures for James Nunns with a big over of 10, having earlier survived an edge behind down leg side. Nunns was replaced by ‘Golden Arm’ Josh Short, who nearly picked up the vital wicket straight away. In a classic honey trap, Jones went for a six, only to hit it straight to James Rockett, who didn’t help his mate out, by going one-handed and shelling the catch. Short didn’t have to wait long for a wicket though, as he bowled Thurston for four, breaking a useful partnership of 24. Jones passed his fifty soon after, despatching Short for 10 in an over, prompting the skipper to bring himself back on. A fine spell by Wallace ended after 9 overs, and spinner James Trott replaced him with immediate effect – a wicket maiden. Saints now looked to clean up the tail, with the hosts rocking at 100-7, and only 8 runs were added as Trott added the number 9 to his list, ending with 2-2 from 3 overs, and Nunns first had the dangerous Taylor caught and bowled, then Jones excellently caught by Paddy running back for 60. Finally, a slower ball did for Frost, to skittle the hosts for 108.
A fine tea was enjoyed at the break, and the prospect of an early finish either way was happily on the cards, following some very late recent finishes. The low total should have been a straightforward challenge, given the recent batting form of the side, but this is All Saints and chickens should never be counted!
Josh Short and John ‘Cole Man’ Cole opened up, and only two balls later, Short was trudging back to the pavilion for 0. Last week’s centurion, Mike Nunns entered the fray and looked in decent touch early on. The opening bowlers were giving nothing away, and progress was slow. Only 26 had been added when the next wicket fell, Nunns unfortunate to play the ball onto his stumps from outside leg with his back foot for 14, the score at 26-2 in the 10th over. Fraser joined Colesey and set about playing himself in, but John went soon after, gloving behind to go for 6. With Saints rocking and recent run-getters umpiring rather than batting, the 109 required was starting to look a bit more challenging than it might have. James Trott entered at 5, and played the perfect innings for the situation. Both batsmen were very watchful, employing full concentration, but Trott was able to play some more aggressive shots and put a little pressure back on the hosts. After a 31-run partnership though, the balance changed again, as a bowling change induced an edge through to the keeper and Trott departed for 23, the score at 63-5 from 26. The onus was now on Fraser to see this through to the end, and this was emphasised as James Nunns had another bit of bad luck, a forward defensive somehow going onto his pad before hitting the stumps to register a duck.
There was plenty of tension in the pavilion as James Rockett came out, and immediately backed away looking to cream the ball for four. However, risky as it may have been, this proved to be the right tactic. Fraser was picking up singles and twos, with the odd boundary thrown in, and some nice shots by Rockett were starting to push fielders around and open up gaps. Rockett hit a lovely four through wide mid-on to bring up the 100, before falling to a catch at an unorthodox gully position, leaving Fraser at the other end to hit the final couple of blows and win the game. Fraser’s knock had been crucial, and he finished with an excellent 42 not out to give Saints victory by four wickets and 34 points.
A drink was enjoyed after the game, and comments were made about the fine spirit the game was played in. Another victory was very welcome, and our supporter(s?) were once again entertained with a tense finish!
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