The 4’s bandwagon shows no sign of slowing down as we comfortably beat Walton by 7 wickets in a game where patience was the key, as was sticking to our plans and keeping it tight in the field.
Winning the toss (again! – this has to be some sort of record) Sunbury invited their counterparts to have first use of another absolutely belting wicket. An early wicket for the returning Stan Raymonde, well held at Square Leg by Anoop Manro was to be the only real highlight in what was a pretty long, albeit slow, afternoon in the field. Ranjit Gopi bowled an exceptionally tight opening burst, before pulling a fetlock and resident vet Manro was ordered to get the stun gun….Gopi opted to stand at first slip instead, pleasantly keeping the skipper company for the remainder of the afternoon . Jacob Amyatt-Lier bowled an exceptional spell from the far end, where at one point it might as well only have been him and keeper Napier playing, such were the numerous times he beat the bat. Mickey O’Sullivan did what Micky O’Sullivan does, bowled an exceptional line and length keeping the scoring down and picking up two late wickets. It was excellent to see both him and Jerry Smith back in Sunbury shirts. All the bowlers bowled well, it really is a thankless task on such wickets, and the fielding by and large was excellent, as it has been all season. Walton crept along to 211/4 thanks largely to a good 100 from their opener, who blazed his 2nd 50 in no time at all, dispatching several towering sixes into the gardens. Walton were pleased with their highest score of the season.
As has been the case this season, Sunbury showed what a good score is on our home pitch, as our powerful top order set about making light work of the total. All batsmen looked in excellent touch, Mugsy reaching 50 in no time, before the impressive Jack Greaves looked a class above as he raced to 80. The only doubt as to the result was the weather, and as the dark clouds approached, the message was sent to Mugsy and Greaves, who were quietly enjoying life in the middle, and thirdly to Jacob, to “GET ON WITH IT”. Both batsmen were unsure of the message, after all at 180/1 the game was won… but after a few expletives and the word “Pongo” was introduced, with skipper frantically pointing at the sky, the penny dropped with the young pups, Greaves stepped up a gear (Jacob only has one, a fifth gear anyway) and the ball sailed regularly and powerfully to the rope, with those in the hutch despatched round the boundary to get the ball back as quickly as possible. The rain got heavier just as Jacob pulverised the last ball of the game to the boundary to win the game in just the 29th over, a rate of 7.3 an over. Impressive stuff…
Fair play to Walton who at no point tried to slow the game down, and were happy to continue in difficult conditions in a game they knew they had lost, and played the game in the right spirit. We know only too well how difficult it is when availability is poor, but they fought right to the end and were a decent bunch to play against, and we wish them luck in the second half of the season.