Eastwood v Woodham Mortimer Cricket Club FIRST XI on Sat 15 Jun 2019 at 1.00pm
Woodham Mortimer Cricket Club Won by 4 wkts

Match report Oh we do like to be beside the seaside – well, ok, Belfairs Park is not that close, but is close enough, as the 1’s made the annual pilgrimage to the sumptuous Belfairs Park to take on league leaders Eastwood, boasting a 100% record from their first six matches.

Thankfully dry after a week of rain, visiting skipper Wright won the toss and elected to field. The home side started brightly, with opener Pragash, fresh from an unbeaten century the week before at Terling beginning with early boundaries. Thankfully his stay at the crease was not a long one, as a delivery from Wright was skied to mid-on, where George Verlander took a good catch in the swirling winds, an early breakthrough the 1’s.

It could and should have been more, new man Sutherby dropped when on 0, and opener Huckstepp also put down, both off the bowling of Toby Pateman. Whilst Toby did get the wicket of Sutherby (15), a decent snaffle at slip by Dan Smith, though the drop of Huckstepp did prove to be much more expensive. (insert shocked emoji).

Sam Norman entered the attack and induced a top edge from Howe, safely caught at mid-wicket by Nigel Costin, this week without the need of the big gloves to do so. When Toby, again the pick of the bowlers claimed his second wicket, Deeming (8) holing out to George at mid-on, Eastwood were four down for 82.

The usual post drinks break failed to bring any wickets, indeed, the remainder of the innings did not yield another dismissal, despite seven bowlers being tried, as both Huckstepp (119*) and Morrant (79*) enjoyed their afternoons with the bat, in the face of some ok bowling and an indifferent fielding display. By the close, Eastwood had racked up an impressive 259-4 – a big target to chase. It was a challenging afternoon for the bowlers, with the exception of Toby whose figures of 10-2-28-2 where particularly impressive.

The first two deliveries in the run chase certainly set the tone for the innings, as two half-trackers from Deeming were put away by Dan for four and six respectively. Indeed runs were being chalked up at an alarming rate, with the ball flying to all parts, as the home side were becoming increasingly fractious very quickly. In just the seventh over 50 had been reached, and it was becoming even more evident that the pitch was not the easiest to bowl on.

The clearest indication of this was when Brown A launched Stirrup for the straightest of sixes (yes you are reading that correctly), though as it was wind-assisted it is not able to be claimed an Olympic best. Stirrup did have his man shortly after however, as a decent delivery found the edge of Brown A’s bat and the nick behind was very well caught by the ‘keeper. 68-1 from 10 overs though was an excellent start, right up with the rate from the off.

Manoj Tripathi had not long joined Dan at the crease, when the opener brought up yet another half-century of an excellent campaign so far, taking to the opening slot so well.

Once he got himself in, Manu started to play more expansively as he realised just how true the surface was to bat on, and also began to find regular boundaries. Just after the second wicket partnership had passed 50, Manu became another victim for Stirrup, edging to backward point where Sutherby took the catch. 120-2 from 18.

The two Dan’s, Smith and Hunt took up the battle, and with the field increasingly set deep, continued to rotate and maintain a decent run rate both pre and post drinks, going beyond 150 in the process. Just as Dan looked set to bring up another three figures, and a second successive century at the ground, the return of Deeming did the trick, Dan picking out Huckstepp at gully who took the catch at the second time of asking, no doubt determined that he should be the only centurion of the day. Dan agonisingly falling three short, as his 84 ball innings came to a close on 97. 159-3 from 28, the rate still hovering around a very gettable six an over.

No Woodham innings is ever complete without a customary wobble, and so proved the case once Danny returned to the pavilion, dismissed in that all too customary way of picking out a man straight in the deep without looking in any trouble whatsoever. Another fluid 30 which will hopefully be converted into something much bigger in forthcoming weeks. Jack Shipton (12) and Toby (4) soon followed, and suddenly a position of 185-3 had soon changed to 196-6 with 10 overs to go.

But in our ‘keepers we trust, as Nigel Costin and Andy Smith got together to form a key partnership just when it was needed most to keep the home side at bay just when they could sense an opportunity to wrestle the game back in their favour. Whilst not completely faultless, with a chance in the covers spurned off Nigel, the pair continued to go at the required rate of six an over in relative comfort. Going into the final three overs, 20 were needed for victory. Channelling his inner MS Dhoni, glovesman Smythe hit Morrant for a four and six in consecutive balls to half the target with 16 balls left.

Just nine were required from the final two overs – but only five balls were needed to secure victory, as two fours from Smithy, pulling Deeming to the fence brought to a conclusion a fantastic run-chase, and an excellent four wicket victory to inflict a first defeat of the season for Eastwood – Nigel unbeaten on 33, Smithy not out 36, the ‘keepers union taking us home.

A superb win, and great to get back to winning ways and to win at the leaders was even sweeter, particularly when chasing such a large total which looked daunting at the halfway stage. Whilst the track was true, think it fair to say the both teams could have been better with ball in hand and in the field, something to work on in future weeks.

The win keeps us sixth in the table, as the league has already taken a definitive shape, and we must look to continue the momentum when hosting Brookweald at Pheasant Park next Saturday. Until then…

Eastwood Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
6w 5b  
for 4 wickets
259 (45.0 overs)
S. Huckstepp Not Out  119
Pragash ct  Verlander b Wright 12
C. Sutherby ct  D. Smith b Pateman 15
G. Howe ct  Costin b Norman 5
B. Deeming ct  Verlander b Pateman 8
B. Morrant Not Out  79

Woodham Mortimer Cricket Club FIRST XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Kev Wright10.0267167.006.70
Toby Pateman10.0228214.002.80
Sam Norman6.0032132.005.33
George Verlander5.002800.005.60
Manoj Tripathi6.003200.005.33
Dan Smith7.004900.007.00
Danny Hunt1.001800.0018.00

Woodham Mortimer Cricket Club FIRST XI Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
3w 3b 3lb 
for 6 wickets

(43.5 overs)
Dan Smith ct  Huckstepp b Deeming 97 84 17 1 115.48 1
Andrew Brown ct  wk b Stirrup 17 21 2 1 80.95
Manoj Tripathi ct  Sutherby b Stirrup 21 31 4 67.74
Danny Hunt ct  Hill b Sutherby 30 43 3 69.77
Jack Shipton b  Deeming 12 18 1 66.67
Toby Pateman Run out  4 8 50.0
Nigel Costin Not Out  33 31 4 106.45 1
Andy Smith Not Out  36 27 4 1 133.33
Kev Wright  
George Verlander   2
Sam Norman  

Eastwood Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
B. Deeming9.5066233.006.71
B. Morrant6.003300.005.50
C. Sutherby10.0059229.505.90
G. Stirrup10.0058319.335.80
G. Howe8.003700.004.62