3's Run Riotby Vince Reddick
Saturday 26th May saw Naj Choudhary deputise for the golfing skipper as the 3rds made the short trip to Countess Wear. This was definitely going to offer the first real test of the season, and so it turned out.
Naj called correctly and wasted no time on having a bat on a good track on a hot day. Sam Reddick and Sinth Theveraj put on 53 for the first wicket before Sam fell LBW for 22 including 5 fours. Sinth added another 32 with Naj before being bowled by James Blackmore for 41. We lost debutant John Hurrell soon after and at 107 for 3 the game was poised to go either way. At the crease were the two inform batsmen, and Naj and Alex Reddick set about taking the game away from Countess Wear. Both played fluently and expansively as the pair added 153 runs in just 17 overs (exactly 9 an over) before Alex was caught at cover for 88 (including 17 fours) with the score on 260 for 4. Sami and Drew came and went before Naj's powers wained and he fell for another brilliant knock of 81.
Soon after, Naj called the lads in at 301 for 7, much to the annoyance of Jake who had just hit two consecutive fours and fancied a piece of the action!
Countess Wear started positively and with the very dangerous Zimbabwean James Blackmore in the line up, we could take nothing for granted. Drew opened up with Sami (I've got to be at work for 7) Islam and things went the way of Coutess Wear early on. Drew broke through in the 11th over to remove the patient Martin Bovey (11), but that only bought Blackmore to the crease. He rattled the score along, hitting 9 fours on his way to 41 before being well caught by Drew off of the bowling of Jake Reddick. CW were 128 for 3 when the wicket fell in the 24th over. Still a long way to go if we were to claim 20 points.
Jake bowled with real control and constantly caused problems, whilst Drew's first stint of 10 overs on a hot day had yielded 1 for 33. Naj kept Jake going, had a go himself, and then bought Jim Wenley into the attack. Jake plugged away for 13 straight overs and finished with a very respectable 3 for 55, claiming the wickets of 2 of the highest run scorers. When Jake had finished CW were on 224 for 7 with only 5 overs left and a draw looked probable.
Jim and Drew then set about finishing things off - even one more wicket for the extra point would be good. They only had a win in mind and cleaned up the last three wickets for 4 runs with Drew finishing an excellent stint of pace on a very warm day with figures of 13.1 overs, 3 for 47. Jim returned yet another 3 wickets as the tail had no answer for his swing bowling, claiming 3 for 18 from 8 overs, with the highlight probably clean bowling Dave Sapiecha for 0.
All the hard work and great captaincy by Naj left Countess Wear 228 all out and secured 20 points to see the 3rd Xl sitting 2 points clear at the top of the league. Next Saturday sees us entertain the struggling Exmouth lll Xl at Bicton where a strong line up will again be looking for maximum points.