Grit and grind not quite enough

Southgate  178-5 (45 overs)

 Luke Hutton 41*

Callum Edwards 37

Wycombe House 182-6 (38.2 overs)


On a Royal Wedding day of high fashion, Southgate, resplendent in their new black training tops, comfortably won the pre-match sartorial competition, but unfortunately lost the actual match by 4 wickets.

However, it was a performance which gave some hope for the season with a number of players making contributions to the overall effort.

Southgate were inserted in the 45 overs game and made steady progress against three high quality Wycombe House spinners. Tom Edrich (20), Mike Stevens (24), Phil Dunnett (22) and Callum Edwards (36) all batted well but with the spinners enjoying the slowness of the pitch they were unable to raise the scoring rate much above 2.5, then 3 per over.

With just 10 overs remaining Rob Johnson (19 not out) was joined by Luke Hutton (41 not out) and they accelerated well to eventually reach an acceptable total of 178.

This gave the home team a chance, if they bowled and fielded well.

In fact, they bowled quite well and fielded quite well, but on this occasion quite well was not quite enough.

However, there were some sparkling highlights in the field, with Tom Edrich taking a magnificent catch on the boundary off Ravi Desai, Michael Stevens taking an extraordinary catch off his own bowling and another good one at mid wicket, and Phil Dunnett claiming a brilliant half volley leg side stumping, unfortunately not given by the umpire. It was agreed by the Club elders on the boundary, including highly successful former Club captain, Chris Payne, on a visit from his home in Spain, that whether it was out or not, it should have been given out for the aesthetic beauty of the take.

In similar fashion to the first innings the slower bowlers Dave Woffinden (1-26) and Ravi Desai (2-34) were the pick of the bowlers and at 134-6 Southgate were in with a real chance of victory. However, the lack of a third spinner proved vital as  opening bat Perera (67 not out) was joined by Malik (27 not out), the latter having a penchant for ‘driving’ to third man for four, and they steered their team home.

Twelve wides by Southgate against just five by the visitors was a telling statistic.

An almost performance !

Peter Jouning

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