Match Report – Wick 4s vs. Ashford August 5th 2017
Jacob’s 6 Wickets too much for Ashford
Standing at the end of his run, as he started his ninth over of the afternoon, Jacob Povah surveyed his field – 4 slips, gully, leg slip, cover and mid-wicket. The field was a response to the 5 wickets that Jacob had already taken during the afternoon, and each of the 9 Wick 4s teammates hoped that he would claim a deserved 6th. His run up was smooth, his arm fast and Jacob delivered the ball on a full length around off stump; the Ashford number 11 got part of his bat on an attempted drive and the ball flew high in the air over the mid-wicket fielder, U13 Tom Dunmore. With great agility Tom leaped to parry the ball before sharing a one-handed catch. The game was over, the 4s had won handsomely and Jacob had claimed 6-33.
Set an unlikely 250 to win, the Ashford innings had concluded on 173. The early exchanges of the innings were controlled by the Ashford openers who put of 50 without alarm. Wick opening bowlers Ben Chapman and Olly Coles found very little help from a superb batting wicket as the batsmen punished any balls delivered off line or length. The introduction of Jacob into the attack changed the innings. During a superb six over spell, he dismissed the top 4 Ashford batsman with fast, aggressive and accurate bowling. The highlight of this period of play was the off stump of the Ashford number 3 cart-wheeling across the turf as he was dismissed first ball. The 4s bowling attack was youthful and inexperienced but they did a great job, supported by excellent ground fielding and catching. Olly returned to claim 2 wickets in his second spell, Haseeb Abbessi took a wicket with his sharply turning leg spin, Tom Dunmore bowled two good spells without reward and Ben Chapman took a wicket in his final over. Of the 10 wickets to fall, 9 were taken by current Colts and the other by a former Colt of the club; a statistic which should make all Wick members very proud.
Earlier in the afternoon the game had been set-up by the 4s batsman. The Ashford skipper won the toss and invited the 4s to bat. The wicket looked great and so the 4s were confident of achieving the highest score of the season. Openers Hayoush Arora and Ben Houghton set out to lay a foundation for the team. They achieved this, and more, during a stand of 75 for the first wicket. Hayoush scored faster, with his straight drives a feature, and had just reached an excellent 50 when a leading edge was snared. Haseeb was the next man in and he and Ben moved the scored towards 120 before both were out in quick succession as the run-rate accelerator was pressed. Ben was out for 47, his highest scored for Wick. His innings lasted beyond the 25 over mark and was the perfect example of the role of opener at this level of cricket. During the final period of the 4s innings Tim Sturm and Abdur Rehman put together an undefeated stand of 131 to take the total way beyond anything achieved previously this season. Tim was making his debut for the club. His chanceless, undefeated knock of 43 included lots of quick singles,2, 3s and general encouragement for Abdur to run. Later in the day Tim also took a sharp slip catch and made a positive noise in the field. Let us hope that we welcome Tim into Wick sides more regularly in future. For Abdur, his innings of 72* was another fine knock in a season where he has been the 4s highest run scorer and most consistent performer with the bat. Abdur stuck lots of boundaries, both straight and square of the wicket and took full advantage when the Ashford bowling attack tired during the last 5 overs of the innings.
A victory by 76 runs was a suitable reward for a very fine performance by the team. Ashford 4s are a good team and we have had two very enjoyable fixtures with them this season; fixtures against a side that play the game in the correct spirit. The Ashford wicket is by far the best that the 4s have played on this season, as reflected in the high scores, and we look forward to visiting this lovely venue in 2018.