August 19th 2017

2nd XI one game from title after nail-biter

Sway II 157-6 v Mudeford II 156-5

Sway 2nd XI edged a very close encounter against a competitive Mudeford side to set up a league title decider in next weekend's final game against Lyndhurst & Ashurst at Bolton's Bench.

Mudeford batted first on a low bouncing pitch and openers Sean Kelly and Sean Fuller found runs hard to come by - but gave few chances in cagey opening exchanges. Sam Harvey in particular bowling well for Sway - his first 7 overs going for just 11 runs. With the score 59-0 at the half way stage, Sway expected that an attack would be imminent - but it still did not come. In fact the run rate barely picked up as the visitors nudged their way to 88 off 27 overs. It was skipper Sam Nailor (6-0-26-1) who got the breakthrough dismissing Kelly for 41. Mudeford then lost their other opener when Fuller finally tried to take on the naggingly accurate Dave Marshall (10-2-30-1) and was well caught at deep mid-on by Will Millard. Mudeford tried to pick the pace up a little, but progress was checked towards the end of the innings by two wickets from F-J Charton (6-0-24-2) and a fine run out via the rapid arm of George Lewis as the visitors finished up on 156-5.

Mudeford knew they would have to bowl and were really fired up right from the off with accurate opener Callum Horton unlucky in the first over when Dan Stevenson nicked one between keeper and slip. Stevenson's luck was not to last however when he attempted to pull a shorter ball that kept low off the pacey and marvellously-named Bronson Carrasco. Fellow opener Oscar Marshall was also struggling, riding his luck on a couple of occasions however number three Chris Hammond steadied the ship even if runs were not easy to come by. The ship however was rocked again when Sway lost two wickets for just 4 runs - first Hammond was bowled by Horton for 18 then Sam Nailor was bowled for a duck by a cracker of a delivery by the ever-competitive Liam Penttengel. Marshall was joined by the experienced Will Millard and for the first time in the innings Sway looked to be in full control of the chase. The run rate picked up with Millard in particular putting away any bad balls as Sway moved on to 80 off 24 overs. The game was to have yet another twist however as Millard (27) looked to smash a bad ball but unluckily picked out the only fielder for acres. When Charton was trapped LBW for 0 and then George Lewis was caught for 11, Sway had subsided to 100-6.

Dave Marshall then joined Oscar Marshall with the (clearly unrelated) pair needing 57 runs off 11 overs. Against tight bowling there were few easy runs on offer but the pair ran well between the wickets to keep Sway in the hunt. With 39 needed off the last 7, nerves were jangling on the Sway balcony. Dave Marshall (28*) had however spotted the bowler he was going to go after and plundered 12 runs from the 40th over and after some more quick running it was left to Oscar Marshall (64*) to complete a fine knock by cracking the ball to the mid wicket boundary to bring Sway home with 7 balls to spare.

Oscar Marshall - practicing for low bounce!