On an afternoon the weather forecast deemed challenging for cricket, Tim Riley’s faith in the skies proved correct, rewarding us with a full day of cricket.
After a bit of back and forth with the covers, Tim Riley in his trademark style elected to bowl on a slow and green looking wicket.
George Williams and Asif Kamal were given the new ball in the hope of some early wickets. Tight bowling from both ends led to an early wicket from George Williams. George continued in this vein and picked up another 3 wickets. Middleton Stoney were on top, and in a push to complete George’s five-wicket haul, 5 slips and a gully were employed eagerly anticipating the edge. When George found the edge of the bat, his father Jason Williams standing at third slip denied him his five-wicket haul as the ball slipped through his hands. Asif then bore the fruits of his labour, bowling the number five batsman leaving the score at 31-5.
Jason Williams and Paul Wordsworth took over the bowling in an effort to break a flowering 6th wicket partnership. Both bowlers bowled tidily, keeping the scoring to a minimum as the game began to meander. Neither were able to pick up a wicket, but the pressure was placed on the batsmen to score. Stevyn Jackson’s extendable robotic arm fielding technique provided some light entertainment in the outfield as the game slowed. An honourable mention to Jamie Lumb who kept us up in the field throughout the overs and to Howard Lancaster’s efforts in the ring while nursing an injured hand.
Tim Riley and Jacob Ford-Langstaff were then brought on in search of a wicket as Katie Williams’ much awaited tea neared. Tim Riley bowled economically while Jacob Ford-Langstaff got the breakthrough bowling the number 7 batsman. George returned to complete his much deserved five-for to end the Pelicans’ innings at 109-7.
After a well-earned and fine tea (the lemon cake and brownies were outstanding) another father-son partnership of Mark and Jacob Ford-Langstaff stepped out to open the innings for Middleton Stoney. Scoring proved difficult as both batsmen discovered the slow and variable nature of the wicket. The partnership was broken as Jacob Ford-Langstaff fell to an incredibly nonchalant one-handed catch at mid-on to make the score 41-1.
Tim Riley then joined Mark Ford-Langstaff at the crease as the two looked to build the total. Tim Riley was caught at mid-wicket bringing Squiff Wordsworth to the middle. Mark had now got the pace of the pitch and was starting to free his arms bringing up a nicely struck 50. A dubious LBW shout then saw the end of Mark for 60 giving Stevyn Jackson the job of finishing off the game. Squiff and Stevyn were well up to the task both ending 21* and 2* respectively to earn Middleton Stoney a merited victory by 7 wickets.
A special thanks to Pelicans for the game and to everyone who helped with the barbecue and bar after play.