December 14th 2016

Indoor Drama for Sway B

Sway B 104-4, Mudeford A 101ao

Sway B pulled off a dramatic and frankly unlikely victory against league leaders Mudeford A at the Dorset Cricket Centre.

Sway lost the toss and were asked to bat first and immediately openers Pete Bennet and George Lewis found themselves under intense pressure from Mudeford’s hostile attack of Rich Wakelin and Vines Gareth Vines. Back in the summer Wakelin had ripped through Sway’s 1st XI top order picking up a 5 wicket haul, so it was pretty tough going for the Sway batsmen. Pete Bennet succumbed LBW in the first over which yielded just 3 runs. Fellow opener George Lewis  then drove a low catch to mid-off in the 3rd over to give Wakelin his second wicket and he immediately picked up a 3rd wicket when Steve Hannibal was bowled. Matt Burton came in at number 5 to join Dave Marshall and the ship was steadied somewhat but runs were hard to come by. When Burton was bowled by an absolute snorter from Vines, Sway found themselves at 31-4 and in danger of being skittled. Marshall and Steve Drayton dug in, with Marshall playing out a maiden in Wakelin’s third and final over, in the hope rather than the expectation that the opposition might have less effective change bowlers. Wakelin finished with improbably good figures for 3 wickets for just 5 runs off his 3 overs. With the opening pair bowled put, the going did get easier for Sway and the run rate slowly picked up with some decent acceleration at the end with 73 runs put on. Sway finished up on 104-4 with Marshall 53* and Drayton 19* - a very modest total but something to bowl at.

Sway opened their bowling attack with George Lewis who produced a fine display of controlled pace – his first over going for just a single bye. The pressure paid dividends when in the following Burton over when opening bat Foster was caught by George Lewis. Mudeford were, however, still very much in control, reaching 42 off 4 overs without any further loss of wickets. This cracking game then took another twist with the introduction of Marshall who had the cheek to pick up two wickets with filthy deliveries – firstly a waist high full toss that was whacked to Burton, then an uber-wide ball that was chased and edged – brilliantly taken low to his right by Bennet behind the stumps. The lucky first over was followed up by a more accurate maiden and when Vines was caught by Hannibal off Drayton, Mudeford were 63-4 at the halfway stage. Despite the loss of wickets, left-handed opener Jake Smith had looked untroubled and with the loss of the 4th wicket found himself back out in the middle. For a while Sway tried to keep him off strike to put pressure on number 5 Wakelin who did not look so assured. When Wakelin was bowled by Drayton in the 10th over, Smith found himself last man standing with 17 runs needed off 13 balls. This task looked relatively straightforward and after he picked up 9 runs off the first 5 balls of Marshall’s final over and so now the task looked straightforward – just 4 runs off 7 balls. Marshall, in an act of desperation, decided to come over the wicket for his final ball but could only serve up a juicy half-volley. Smith could not resist smashing the ball back over the bowlers head…..but a deflection off the low ceiling net allowed the bowler to pluck the ball from the air so spark scenes of disbelieving joy from the Sway team and understandable despair from the batsman.