Woolpit (NVC3) v Woodham Mortimer Cricket Club FIRST XI on Sun 26 May 2019 at 1.00pm
Woodham Mortimer Cricket Club Won by 31 runs

Match report Sunday saw WMCC break new ground in the National Village Cup, as victory over East Bergholt ensured a passage into round 3 and a trip to Suffolk to face Two Counties Division One side Woolpit.

A fantastic venue to play cricket, it would take something pretty special for the visitors to triumph. And how! What. A. Performance!

Electing to bat on a tremendous looking track, WMCC took to the field with opening pairing Dan Smith and Andrew Brown taking on the challenge that our hosts could present.

And a challenge it was, as early scoring was difficult as Jackson and Taylor kept things tight. It was Jackson that struck first, a rising delivery inducing an edge from Brown A who got caught in two minds whether to pull or leave the ball but instead snicked behind to Holmes. 18-1. Chairman Ball joined Dan at the crease and provided what turned out to be a vital supporting role, as the second wicket partnership gradually built and gathered momentum as the overs ticked by.

As bowlers were changed, Dan started to find his range, producing some high-quality strokes to find the boundary with increasing regularity, deservedly bringing up his 50 just before the drinks break. The biggest challenge Dan faced was seeing enough of the ball, as Woolpit began to engineer the field to restrict strike.

The change in momentum occurred when rain stopped play in the 27th over, WMCC 91-1. An early (and sumptuous) tea was taken, and served to energise the visitors who sought to increase the tempo in the remaining 13 overs. Runs did start to flow, particularly from the willow in Dan’s hands, as the run rate started to gather pace. Ian joined in too, and the pair took their partnership to 100. The pair were finally separated when Ian gave a return catch to Whiteman, to be dismissed for an invaluable 28, in a second wicket stand of 117.

With limited overs remaining, a shuffle in the batting order was required to ensure that a competitive total was set for the hosts to chase. Whilst Jack Shipton’s stay at the crease was a brief one, he was in the middle as Dan completed a superb century. Toby Pateman was elevated to 5 to join Dan, and the change to the order had the desired effect, as runs were now being scored with pleased regularity – including two huge sixes from Dan, and what is fast becoming a trademark ramp shot from Toby. In the quest for runs and to reach another milestone, Dan continued to launch the home side bowling attack to all parts. The total moved beyond 200, and in the final over, with 150 approaching, Dan was finally dismissed, stumped by Holmes off the bowling of Whiteman for a quite magnificent 147, a tremendous display of patience, tenacity, guile and striking ability.
Toby remained undefeated on 20, the skipper hit the final ball of the innings for 4, as the visitors posted 212-4 at the close, an excellent post tea response and something to try and defend.

The opening exchanges in the Woolpit run-chase were relatively even, but early success came as Whiteman and Routledge attempted to run a quick single, the latter not reckoning with Gav Cook, who picked up cleanly at mid-wicket and fired to Nigel Costin who did the rest, 10-1, a good start.
With no further successes to follow, a bowling change was required to try and do the trick. Roger Marshall entered the attack and bowled quickly and accurately, hurrying the home batsman and giving them a different type of problem to contend with.
On 44, Whiteman clipped Roger to mid-wicket, and it was Gav again in the action, diving to take an excellent low catch.

Further wickets were to follow, as Roger struck again, getting Flanagan to nick behind with score, whilst George Verlander earnt his first of the day, getting one through the defences of Jackson. 58-4, game on. After edging his first ball, Holmes showed his intent from the off with some big shots, trying to counter-attack and seize control of the game. Together with Coombes, parity was restored, the visitors needed to dig in and they did, to try and stay in the game and keep things as tight as possible and build pressure.

At the halfway stage, the game was finely poised, Woolpit 93-4, and slightly behind the rate. Spin was introduced into the attack as Gav took over from Rog to follow his fie spell. Gav bowled well and together with some good ground fielding the required run rate started to rise, despite passing three figures.

On 120, the key wicket of Holmes was captured, as Gav induced a nick down the legside which was expertly taken by keeper Costin, a crucial dismissal. But still Coombes was established at the crease and he and Wells began to push the field by some hard running between the wickets.
It would take something special to break the partnership and duly arrived in the shape of the diving George Verlander (yes you read that right) who launched himself forward to take a wonderful catch at mid-wicket with the ball just millimetres from the ground. Coombes dismissed, Woolpit now 158-6.

K Holmes showed his intention from ball one, but pressure continued to be built, it could be a tight finish. Then on 177, came the defining moments of the match. First, Holmes, after a couple of unsuccessful sweep shots, tried something different, but ended up giving Gav a routine return catch. Gav was in the action shortly after, taking another catch, this time in the covers, as Tilbrook’s drive off George skewed straight to him. And then, the wicket of Wells, established on 35, who got caught up in some confusion attempting a quick single, caused by some fine fielding from Brown A. With both batsman at the same end, and Brown A on the deck and the ball rolling away from him, Jack had the presence of mind to grab the ball and launch towards keeper Costin, who whipped off the bails with Wells still short of his ground. 179-9, nearly there!

With the dark clouds gathering, Roger returned to the fray. In just his third delivery of his return, a short-pitched ball was sent down to Taylor, who tried to pull, but ended up miscuing to mid-wicket where Toby started to close in on. With what seemed like an eternity, the ball gradually made its way back down and with all fielders waiting and hoping, it sailed safely into Toby’s hands, we had done it!

A superb team performance to achieve one of the finest wins that the club has seen. Underpinned with the bat by a brilliant 147 from Dan, a delight to watch, and notable contributions from Chairman Ball and Toby in 117 and 70 run partnerships respectively, and then followed up by a tenacious fielding display, some superb catches and run-outs, with tight bowling on good batting strip, Roger the standout with his pace and bounce in his 3-21.

Next stop is the Essex and Suffolk regional final, where we will have another huge challenge on our hands, as we visit another Two Counties Division One side based in Suffolk, this time it will be Worlington.

Can we follow-up on today’s victory and claim another scalp? Time will tell, but as one soothsayer (wise) has been remarked to say, you just never know…

Woodham Mortimer Cricket Club FIRST XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
1nb 6w 3lb 
for 4 wickets

(40.0 overs)
Dan Smith st K Holmes b T Whiteman 147 115 19 4 127.83
Andrew Brown ct K Holmes b A Jackson 2 25 8.00
Ian Ball ct & b T Whiteman 28 74 2 37.84
Jack Shipton st K Holmes b C Wells 1 6 16.67 1
Toby Pateman Not Out  20 20 1 100 1
Kev Wright Not Out  4 1 1 400
Manoj Tripathi  
Nigel Costin   2 2
Gavin Cook   3 1
Roger Marshall  
George Verlander   1

Woolpit (NVC3) Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
A. Jackson8.0149149.006.12
G. Taylor5.011100.002.20
J. Holmes6.003300.005.50
S. Lilley1.001100.0011.00
T. Whiteman8.0230215.003.75
C. Wells8.0042142.005.25
G. Tilbrook4.003300.008.25

Woolpit (NVC3) Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 10 wickets
181 (36.3 overs)
T. Whiteman ct G Cook b R Marshall 18
A. Routledge run out (G Cook, N Costin) 8
A. Coombes ct G Verlander b T Pateman 46
K. Flanagan ct N Costin b R Marshall 0
A. Jackson b G Verlander 2
J. Holmes ct N Costin b G Cook 47
C. Wells run out (J Shipton, N Costin) 35
K. Holmes ct & b G Cook 15
G. Tilbrook ct G Cook b G Verlander 0
G. Taylor ct T Pateman b R Marshall 2
S. Lilley Not Out  0

Woodham Mortimer Cricket Club FIRST XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Kev Wright7.004200.006.00
Toby Pateman8.0138138.004.75
Roger Marshall6.312137.003.23
George Verlander7.0042221.006.00
Gavin Cook8.0038219.004.75