Winter returned with a vengeance and we’re all reaching for the thermals, jumpers and as many layers as we can get on again. A cold and very windy day and a damp soggy pitch after several days of rain so definitely a day to win the toss and field first. Which as expected was exactly what happened for Beaulieu.
Chris Martin and Keith Turner opened up again looking for another good start but the going this week was tough, partly due to the pitch and wind but also because of some tight bowling by Locket cutting the ball back at reasonable pace making runs very hard to come by. Chris Martin (3) played on for the 2nd week running before I skied one into the wind which just hung there to be caught at mid off. Cameron Little followed us back a few overs later after again making a brick 21 and we were 45-3 from the 1st 14 overs. The runs then dried up for while with us grinding out only 15 in the next 8 overs and loosing 2 more wickets along the way. The departure of Andy Little (10) bought Mark Taylor and Ian Crane together at the crease and a good stand moved the score along well Mark making a valuable 29 before slapping a wide one straight down extra covers throat. Ian batted well hitting some good boundaries in the last few over amidst a flurry of wickets at the other end as we chased last minute runs. Ian being finally bowled for 45 of the last ball of the innings as we finished on 165 for 8. A good effort given the conditions but very reachable we thought as the pitch and especially the outfield were drying out fast in the wind, time would tell if it was good enough.
Rohan Hatton and Ian Crane started off and we picked up 2 wickets inside the first 6 overs for 20. Andy Beesley then came on and bowled yet another really good spell and after 10 overs Beaulieu were 25-4 and things were looking good.
With Andy bowling well at one end we just needed the same at the other. Unfortunately it didn’t quite go that way. Tom Holder came on and went for 23 in two overs but crucially picked up the wicket of S Evans who was looking dangerous having made a quick 19. Cameron Little replaced Tom and had an even worse over going for 22 in a 12 ball over. By this stage Beaulieu were 90-5 of 19 overs and things were looking tight. Ian Crane was came back and a sense of normality returned with runs coming at a much reduced rate. But as runs came steadily so did the wickets with Andy Beesley finishing with 4-32 from his 9 overs. The final two wicket fells in the space of three balls with Gamage being clean bowled by Ian Crane followed 2 balls later by a chaotic run out leaving skipper S. Govus stranded on 31 and Beaulieu 38 runs short of their target.
In the end a really good win given the conditions and a mixed bowling performance which extended our lead at the top of the table and leaves us still undefeated.