GARGOYLES ARE GENEROUS IN DEFEAT
For 65 overs of a 70 over match, Alstonefield Cricket Club just had the edge over an experienced St. Anselms Strollers XI on a sunny September afternoon . Unfortunately those other 5 overs were so overwhelmingly in the visitors’ favour, they went away with an improbable victory.
Fielding their strongest side of the season, the Gargoyles bowled first, with Ben King and Chris Wilkins both accurate and generating enough pace to hurry the batsmen. Wilkins broke through in the third over thanks to a smart diving catch by wicket keeper Andy Siddons. Opener Frost was playing himself in nicely and he and Paramore took the score to 51, before Ian McKay’s deceptive yorker took the latter’s leg stump. Andy Bray clean bowled the dangerous looking Pathe and there followed a succession of wickets, as first captain Simon Smith, then Chris Wilkins twice and Ben King, all produced top drawer catches, all off Ian McKay’s bowling to leave the Strollers struggling at 98 for 7 off 22 overs. With the heavy rain on Friday, the view on a par score for this wicket was between 135 and 150. In the next 5 overs, Rowney and Riddle had plundered a game changing 71 runs.
Finishing at 191 all out from 33 overs, after being 98 for 7 after 22 overs, the Strollers had set a formidable target, at a run rate of 5.5 per over.
Harry Jones and Dave Singleton began confidently enough, taking the score to 29, before Singleton was bowled by the irrepressible Rowney for 11. Andy Bray got a start, but he too misjudged one and was bowled for 10. Meanwhile Harry Jones was looking good again and much rested on him and Simon Smith to build a sizeable partnership and inject some pace. A superb direct hit from the outfield caught Jones on the hop and run out for 17. Captain Smith followed shortly for 11. Ben King was playing freely and finding the boundary, before he was brilliantly caught low down at deep mid off for a promising 22.
79 for 5 at the half way point was not in the plan.
Ian McKay was joined in the middle by the resolute Rob Handscombe and these two set about building the platform for a final assault. Through wise shot selection and well judged aggression, these two took the score to 151, adding 72 in 14 overs, before Handscombe was bowled for 19 trying to repeat his magnificent straight six from the previous ball. There were 14 more runs off the final 2 overs, but 167 for 6 was the best the Gargoyles could muster. Better than the par score and at nearly 5 runs per over, no disgrace, but 24 runs short of the Strollers improbable 191. Gargoyles lost by 24 runs.