• Shrewton Cricket Club

Hat-Trick Heroics from Wood lead another Seconds Victory

On what would arguably be one of the hottest days of the year so far, the Shrews second XI headed south across the border into Hampshire to the home of Brockenhurst cricket club, the pitch lying in the shadow of the swanky Balmer Lawn Hotel. Sat unbeaten atop County 4 West, brimming with confidence and eager to continue their rich run of form, skipper Newbury led a young and athletic side with several changes from last week’s winning team. After the gruelling pre-match carb loading session at the friendly and efficient Haven café, the lads carried out some catching practice, whilst the home team removed the steaming dung heaps from the outfield.

In what is fast becoming the norm, Newbury lost the toss, with the Brockenhurst captain choosing to bat. The Shrews started strongly, with Gray and Bentley opening the bowling. Gray (0/32) steamed in off what must have been a 20-yard run up from the pavilion end. Rolling back the years, he toiled in the heat, getting plenty of movement and zip off the pitch, but unfortunately remaining wicketless. At the other end, Bentley (1/17) trundled in off about 4 paces, bowling a tight line of cutters, removing Shah in the 11th over for 10. Little and Wood were given the ball at the 17 over point, with the run rate nudging 3 an over. Some excellent fielding from Parish and Withers backed up the usual tight spell that the Shrews have come to expect from this pair. Little (1/38) removed the other opener for 20, but Wood at this point remained wicketless.

The Brockenhurst Nos 3 and 4, batted well, scoring what would be the bulk of their teams runs. By this stage, both batsmen had their eyes in, and played some well timed, cleanly struck shots either side of the wicket. With the score accelerating and concern mounting, Newbury made the calculated decision to bring White and Parish into the attack. White (3/22), bowling his customary full pitched deliveries, soon had Cresswell (52) caught off a powerfully hit straight drive by the safe hands of Williams. It wasn’t long before the pace of Parish (1/22) had Colverson caught for 46 and the dynamic of the game shifted into the Shews favour.

Chasing maximum bowling points, and with only a few overs remaining, Wood was brought back into the attack. This was a bit of a gamble on Newbury’s part, as at this point Wood was 32/0 from 6 overs and looking tired. Somehow though, Wood pulled it out of the bag. Combining well with McClure, behind the stumps, he burgled a hat-trick (which no doubt, we’ll be hearing about for the next 10 years) and then took a 4th wicket in the same over, ending a fine spell of bowling with figures of 4/32. Special mention should go to McClure for his meticulous glovework behind the stumps and his overzealous appealing. Brockenhurst ended their innings on 176 from 39 overs.

Following the interval, the opening pair of Little and Wood strode out to the middle to start the Shrews reply. Building on last week’s test match paced innings, both openers tucked into the bowling, finding the boundary with ease and rapidly moving the score to a T20 paced 70 without loss from 11 overs. Wood (21) was the first to fall, caught behind off the bowling of Rogers. 5 overs later, following a huge 6 into the road, Little holed out to mid on for an excellent 56. Battisson, in at 3, decided it was far too hot to be running singles. He started as he meant to go on, smashing almost every ball to the boundary, eventually being caught for a very well struck 49.

With the score on 147, Newbury and Withers were at the crease. Whilst Withers (0) didn’t trouble the scorers and soon headed back into the shade, Newbury (13*) kept the score ticking along. Williams (29*) playing his first game for the 2nd XI this season, struck the ball cleanly and found the rope with ease, closing the game out in the 29th over.

A straightforward win, showcasing some destructive batting, perseverance in the field and fine death bowling, sees Newbury’s boys rack up 4 wins on the trot. With the maximum 24 points in the bag, the second XI continue their dominance of County Division 4 West. Next Saturday, they host Michelmersh and Timsbury at the Rec, and with players returning, Newbury may have some selection dilemmas ahead of him this week.

Brockenhurst (7 points) lost to Shrewton II (24 points) by 6 wickets

Shrewton II – Little, Wood, Battisson, Newbury (c), Withers, Williams, Bentley, McClure (wk), White, Gray, Parrish.

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