Top of the rankings – They’re not laughing now!
LPFF Ground, Greenford
West X1 continued their recent improvement with a narrow win over a depleted St.Anne’s team who fought bravely right until the end, falling away only in the last few overs. Despite the logistical problems; the players needing a route march to get the pitch via the temporary entrance and facilities, then finding a wicket and outfield unprepared, an exciting and competitive game ensued.
The Beggars’ total was built around partnerships for the second wicket – 59 between Tom Hurley (20) and Chris Boden (48) – and an ultimately match-winning 48 for the seventh wicket from Steve Rennie (19) and James Lord (23). St. Anne’s were right in the game at 121-3 in the 29th over but a needless run out sparked a collapse with their last six wickets falling for only 16 runs.
After Mike Delanian had fallen early, Hurley and Boden consolidated to bring the score to 64 by the 15th over until Tom uncharacteristically lost patience. When Boden was caught and bowled at 80 the innings began to unravel in the face of some accurate bowling from Nicol (1-25) and Grant (3-12 in 7 overs with 3 maidens), restricting the Westies to 20 runs in 10 overs as wickets fell regularly. Chris Dane (15) flourished briefly but it was left to Rennie and Lord to rescue the situation. Both were dismissed in the last over but a final total of 161 looked about par.
Marshall and Grant began St. Anne’s reply brightly with 38 from the first 8 overs, but were pegged back by excellent spells from Chris Wright (1-18 with 4 maidens) and Chris Dane (2-10), though Grant (37), Toohey (32) and Adams (34) kept the score moving within touching distance. As last week, Dave Laing made the vital breakthrough, bowling Adams. Two run outs followed as the tension was ratched up on both sides but the innings fell apart against Chris Boden (3-22), his victims including guests Dave Bender and John McGirr.
Our moles inform me that this game, the 541st competitive match in the club’s history, is the first ever to be played with a white ball, offered by the opposition due to lack of proper sightscreens and a background of dark tree lines. After a while no one really noticed. A ball is a ball is a ball. Personally I think we should use nice pastel colours, a soft green or blue, or perhaps bright pink or yellow. What do our readers think?