It was nice for the Eastry pigeons to finally play in non gale force winds for the first time this year, as they were again led by vice captain Matt Deveson. Elham won the toss and chose to bowl, which proved to be the right decision as Friend and Deveson were strangled for runs during the first 10 overs. However after the dismissals of Matt and Kevin Deveson, Dicky Swain was brought to the crease and proceeded to attack the bowling with force. He quickly overtook the cautious Friend to reach 50 with some lusty blows over cow corner combined with drives that lanced through the cover fielders. Friend eventually accelerated his innings, reaching 59 before being caught and bowled by Tutton. After cameos by the fielding virtuoso, Robin Smit (12), and then Weathered (9), Eastry finished on exactly 200 for the loss of only four wickets, with Dicky Swain still at the crease with an unbeaten 74.
After tea Eastry then took to the field to defend what they thought was a par score for the wicket, knowing that the match could swing either way. Elham started strongly with Risby sending the ball racing to the boundary on several occasions with crushing cover drives, taking the attack to the Eastry opening bowlers. However, Risby then chipped one up, which appeared to be safe, until the form of David Waring glided underneath the dropping ball, and plucked a sensational acrobatic catch with one hand. The taking of the wicket was little relief to Eastry as the new batsmen continued to score runs, until the bowling tandem of Andy Betts and Pete Eastman; combined with excellent fielding, managed to bring the run rate down. The drying up of the runs brought wickets, as Elham lost 4 wickets without score, as they tried to keep up with the required run rate. With 7 wickets down and requiring 70 to win off of the final 10 overs, the youthful lower order set about bunkering down to try and force the draw. The match was finely poised with only 8 overs and 3 wickets remaining, however the astute captain Deveson turned to his second spinner Matt Sumner, who proceeded to claim the final 3 Elham wickets in just two overs. The win leaves the Saturday XI undefeated after three games hopefully the good run of form continues over the next few games.
View the scorecard: http://eastry.play-cricket.com/scoreboard/scorecard.asp?id=11772036