Back home after our first reverse of the season the weather gods at first appeared to be against us as we started in damp conditions under leaden skies. The game however ended up in glorious sunshine much to the relief of the skipper!!
Team for the day saw five changes from last week’s team with Messrs Dave “Apples” Apperley, Pittam Jr, Brunt, Cound Jr and debutant Luke Warren coming in, the latter playing his first senior game for Avoncroft!
Avoncroft won the toss and with conducive bowling conditions kindly offered the opposition to bat first.
The decision to bowl saw quick dividends as the opening pair of Cound jnr and Cound snr quickly had the away team on the back front. Cound snr was his usual miserly self, producing some lift and nibble whilst Cound junior was shaping the ball nicely. The first wicket went to the senior opening bowler producing a ball (so he told us) that pitch outside leg and hit the top of off. Unplayable was the word he kept mumbling to himself as he reached his mark for the following ball!!
One soon became two as Cound snr struck again struck with a lifting delivery that was caught by a diving neh falling Apperley in the gulley region. And was followed up by a third with a smart piece of fielding from the debutante Warren. The men from Croft were on top!!
It now brought in Milton and Roberts who began to rebuild the innings with a combination of quick singles and some clean hitting. A bowling change was needed and the Indomitable Pitt was introduced which quickly paid dividends snaring Milton in his first over for 46.
The game was in the balance as Eastnor’s number 6 Coleman entered the fray. Signaling his intent from the off he proceeded to smash the ball to all grounds and the game was fast being taken away from the Croft.
Wickets were needed and Ant Pittam obliged snaffling 4 for 45 and effectively removing the middle and lower order of the Eastnor innings. The removal of Coleman for 67 and Roberts for 47 respectively were the critical wickets, dragging the momentum of the game back towards the Croft. Cound snr was then reintroduced and quickly wrapped up the final wicket to close the innings at 221 finishing with figures of 3 for 18
Crofts innings started with Cound jnr and the Indomitable Pitt and set the tone of the Croft reply brilliantly going at more than 7 an over for the first few overs. Pitt however was the first to fall when a ball appeared to nip back and bowl him for 20. Apples Apperley then joined the fray. Starting slowly he watched Cound jnr go through the gears and take the bowling apart with the pair putting on 60 in short time before Cound was caught for 56. A great knock and just what the Croft innings needed.
Skipper Wood now joined Apples at the crease the score being 95 for 2. Where Cound had left off Apples now came to the fore as he started to dispatch the bowling to all parts. Wood was playing the minor role nudging and nurdling in support with the pair putting on an unbeaten 128 partnership to seal an emphatic 8 wicket victory in the 33rd over. Apples finishing on a magnificent 99 not out and Wood 30 not out.
A great “team” victory and a tremendous reply to the previous weeks disappointment. There were some notable individual performance from the Counds, Pittam jnr, “Apples” and the debutant Warren who picked up his first senior wicket and was involved in two further wickets falling through a run out and catch respectively.
The team’s next match takes us on the road to Burghill where we will look to build on this performance.
Match Report by Mark Wood, 2/06/2018
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