GARGOYLES NOT BAD FOR OPENERS
Alstonefield Cricket Club’s 2014 season got off to a serene start in the beautiful setting of Mugginton Cricket Club. On a perfect day for cricket, the Gargoyles outplayed the Derby Sunseekers from the off and ran out victors by a convincing margin of 51 runs. The match was won by the two opening pairs; Arthur Hack and Harry Jones calmly putting on over a 100 for the first wicket, with both making unbeaten half centuries as the foundation for the Gargoyles’ record score of 231 for 5 wickets and then the opening bowling pair of Chris Wilkins and man of the match Ben King tying up good batsmen with a combined spell of accuracy, yielding only 29 runs from 13 overs. From then on the result was never in doubt.
There were plenty of performances to please Captain Simon Smith:
Following the Hack and Jones partnership, he and vice-captain Andy Bray put on 50 runs in contrasting styles, Smith striking the ball sweetly in his rapid 28. Chris Wilkins then launched an assault on the hapless bowlers with a blistering 39 in 21 balls. 231 for 5 from 40 overs, felt like a winning total on a slow wicket and lush outfield.
The Sunseekers’ top order came into the match in good form and were clearly more than useful, but needing nearly 6 runs an over from the start, the sheer accuracy of the Wilkins and King opening spell, although not taking any wickets, left the required run rate at 7.5 after only 13 overs. Opener Ashton had been battling away and made an unbeaten 50, but with scoreboard pressure forcing batsmen to be more expansive, Tony Guest pitched his off spin just right, taking 3 wickets, all bowled, with identical deliveries, all too good for the willow wielders.
Sunseekers’ captain Taylor had played aggressively for his 43 when the ball of the day from Andy Farmer had him playing all round one that looked to shape away and then nipped back alarmingly to take middle stump. Game over.
To round off a perfect start to the season, the captain put himself on at the end with his newfound two way spin action and took a wicket.
There will be tougher matches ahead, but none will be more enjoyable.
Alstonefield 231 for 5 beat Sunseekers 180 for 5 by 51 runs.