Frustrating end to productive day for the 1’s
N/R as Walton miss out on 20 points by just two overs
After last week’s thrilling victory against Worcester Park, the 1st XI travelled to the Bank of England looking to make it two from two. The great English weather had slightly different ideas however and wanted to play its part as she so often does during our summer season. The toss happened in the relative dry, and the game commenced with Walton batting first again, on a very good looking track at the Bank. Eben Botha and Dan Roberts wasted absolutely no time in putting the opening bowlers under the pump with a combination of drives, slaps, pulls, and basically any cricket shot you can possibly think of. And then the second over came to an end. The runs continued to flow for the opening pairing as some loose bowling was punished and although a couple of lives were given, Dan and Eben put the bowlers under real pressure – the result was an absolute flier. 74/0 from 9 soon turned to 87/1 as Botha (30) got a good one that turned him around slightly. A leading edge found one of the only safe pairs of hands at point, bringing Madoc-Jones to the wicket. The skipper continued to attack and MJ played a couple of authentic drives before he got a good nut to fly through via the outside edge, and the keeper, who previously took five minutes to tend to his’ potentially broken’ finger, took a one-handed blinder, high to his right.
That brought Gorvin to the crease, and while the run continued to fall, the runs also continued to flow. As the skipper went past his first league fifty for the Walt, Gorvin cut, and drove his way to a near run-a-ball (21) before he was bowled by the spin of Maan. The support for Roberts that was required with still plenty of overs to go didn’t on this occasion come from vice-captain Annandale, who skied one to the ring, or indeed from Harris, who was bowled by the second leg-spinner of the day. Roberts continued to accumulate through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and once new man Mann had settled at the crease, the skipper went through to his maiden hundred for the club with a cut from the spinner that went through backward point, much to the delight of everyone under the Walton crest for the day. He finally went for a brilliantly complied 103 from 107 balls, that set up the innings for a really competitive total. However, at 211/6, there was still work to do with the batters remaining, and that work was initially done well by Mann (26) and the ‘platform-setter’ Newell (20), and finished off explosively by Bainbridge (30 from 15) and Dominy (26* from 15). Writer’s highlights were very much a big six over cow by JD and the Toby Carvery display put on by Baino through the offside. 298/8 on a wet day, amounted to a very good team total, one that was set up beautifully by the skipper and included cameos around his hundred, as six players went past 20.
After a quick tea of sandwiches and scones, the Swans headed back out into the unrelenting rain, along with the two opening batsmen for Bank of England. Captain Roberts chose to open the attack with spin from both ends (Bainbridge and Botha) in an attempt to fizz through the overs as quickly as possible. Baino soon had his first scalp of the game and indeed the 2018 league season, as Crowthorne charged down the wicket but failed to make connection with leather, and a simple stumping for MJ was complete. Two further wickets for Baino in the same over, both good length balls edged to a gleeful Gorvin at first slip, and Walton were now certainly in the ascendency, with the score at 34/3.
Botha bowled with great control in the rain at the other end, and soon had a wicket of his own, with Dominy holding onto one at mid off. Mann then ran out Dickson shortly afterwards resulting from a mix up from the batsmen over a second run that was never really on, and the score moved to a frenetic 40/5 after 13 overs. By this point, the game was up for Bank, and the only question that remained was whether the innings would reach 20 overs to constitute a game or not.
The rain continued to pour down and the Bank batsmen slowed the game down by asking for the bowler’s action a couple of times, re-taking guard and backing away after each ball. After 18 overs, Woodroof pointed out a particularly damp patch at one end to the umpires, stating that the game should be stopped. After a discussion between both umpires, the covers were brought on and the players exited the field, much to the dismay of the Walton players.
Once off, the game never really looked like getting back underway again. Indeed, after an inspection an hour or so later and a spell in front of the clubhouse television for the Walton players, the umpires decided to abandon the game, leaving the Swans agonisingly 12 balls short of an all but certain 20 points. It was extremely frustrating not to be able to bowl the last couple of overs given we had played in the rain for around 60 of the 68 overs played. However, Walton had managed to accrue 6 bonus points throughout the game, meaning they would take home 2 more than most sides in the league that day.
Onto week 3 and the hope of sunnier weather, as the 1s travel to Malden Wanderers.