Black Swans beat Beddo to make it 4 from 4
By Jack Dominy
Trust XI secure maximum points away from home after solid batting display
After three wins on the bounce this year against Reigate, Guildford and Ashtead, the Black Swans were looking to add to their winning streak away at Beddington. The team arrived at 1pm sharp and started a light warm up in the scorching and unrelenting heat. Captain Jamie Mann then won the toss at 1.30 and had absolutely zero hesitation in choosing to bat first on what looked a green but decent wicket.
Paddy Haddow and Matt Bailey got things underway for the Black Swans against the two opening Beddo seamers. Both saw off the opening couple of overs, with extras adding to the scoreboard early doors. However, it wasn’t long before a moment of confusion. After one of the bowlers over-stepped the front line, Paddy was presented with a free hit the next delivery, only to hit it straight to cover and call ‘yes’. Matt was unfortunately yards out as the fielder knocked over the stumps with a direct hit. This brought Jamie to the crease, and he and Paddy set about accelerating the run rate nicely over the next 10-15 overs. Both batsmen hit some nice shots around the ground, Paddy in particular finding the rope on several occasions with some excellently timed pull shots. Jamie kept the runs ticking over, and Walton found themselves in a healthy position after 15 overs and drinks were taken at 105-1.
Runs continued to flow freely after drinks, both off the bat and through extras. The score reached 126 before Jamie was castled, trying to pull a ball that kept quite low. This brought Cam Allen to the crease and promoted the Beddo skip to bring the field in. It wasn’t long before Cam couldn’t resist freeing his arms as he hit a few powerful shots down the ground and over the infield to the rope. The run rate went up a gear with both Paddy and Cam playing strong shots all around the ground. Paddy then uncharacteristically mistimed a short delivery, and the bowler sprinted in to take a very good catch and dismiss Paddy for 82.
Alex Firth then joined the party and with 10 overs to go, he and Cam looked to push the score onwards and upwards. Yet both batsmen were dismissed playing big shots to the leg side, Cam bowled and Firthy LBW, leaving the lower middle order to see the innings through. Ben Monk and Uddhav Umakanthan provided that contribution to position the Black Swans at 254-8 from their 40 overs.
After a quick 20 minute tea, the lads then entered the field with instructions from the skip to try to take wickets early on and send the required run rate creeping up. Whilst this was certainly the plan, Jamie probably did not envisage things going as well as they did. Uddhav set the tone in the first over, beating the bat with some beautiful swing bowling in the first few deliveries, to then force an edge behind towards the end of the over, and the Black Swans were up and running. 1 wicket then soon turned to 3 as Uddhav again enticed the batsmen to drive after finding the right length with his bowling, Firthy taking three catches with the gloves. Jack Dominy had opened the bowling from the other end, and after a slightly wayward start, he picked up two wickets in his 4th over, one bowled and one LBW, leaving Beddington at 25-5 after 8 overs.
Beddington needed a partnership and that’s exactly what they got from their no.6 and no.7 batsmen. Monky, Jamie and Michael Simpson were all brought into the attack to no avail at first, as Beddington started to push the scoreboard along, helped by too many wides from the Walton bowlers. The partnership lasted over 15 overs before Monky eventually found the breakthrough, bowling Green through the gate. Monky picked up another wicket and Jamie was rewarded for his perseverance with 2 wickets of his own to leave Beddington well behind the rate at 180-8 with 6 overs to go. Jack then returned to pick up the wicket of the captain, after a slower ball was sent towards mid-off and Jamie took a good catch running back. Beddington finished 53 runs short on 201-9 from their 40 overs. Uddhav was certainly the pick of the Walton bowlers with figures of 3-22 from his 8 overs, and he really ensured we got off to a fast start and took control of the game with his opening spell with the new ball.
A few things to work on for the Black Swans for the upcoming fixtures left in the group stage, but it was a good away win in the end. Special mentions go to James Whitehouse and Josh Bartholomew who fielded superbly all afternoon on a tricky outfield. A big thanks as always to Oli Clarke for umpiring and also our legend scorer Ed Hougasian who turned up on short notice – much appreciated. Onto Worcester Park (Away) this Sunday to see if we can make it 5 from 5…