As the weather finally resembled proper cricketing weather, the 3's embarked on the second half of the season with a home games against Clyst St George. With plan being to bat first and post a big score, it was inevitable that Skipper Sam Reddick lost the toss!
Clyst decided to bat on a good deck and anything under 250 would be acceptable given the fast outfield and good batting track. Noah Tobias and Tor Ziegler-Evans opened the bowling and the fast outfield held sway as a few drives and edges found their way over the line.
With 19 on the board after 4 overs, we needed to tighten things a little - Noah delivered a maiden and Tor followed up with the first wicket of the match. The relief didn't last long as the scoreboard raced along as opener Allan Welsh headed towards a fifty. Sam made a change, trying Joel 'The Heat' Heatley and Chris 'The Twack' Thackray. Both disappeared all around the Bicton Estate (Joel would have a big part to play later) and The Spin Twins were called for.
Jake Reddick duly obliged with a wicket in his first over, having Coe caught Naj for 25. 93 for 2 and a lot of work still to be done. Jake struck again in his fourth over, having visiting skipper Sean Middleton LBW for 18. Naj then joined the party having opener Welsh well caught by Tor for 56, and bowled the dangerous Paul Laverick soon after. With the score now 127 for 4 after 27 overs, somewhere around 250 still looked on for CSG.
Ex player Ant Beavan came in and made a brisk 28 before being caught low down in the covers by Alex Reddick off of the bowling of Will Street. Jake (2 for 51) and Naj (2 for 24) had completed their 9 overs, and Sam used Streety (1 for 33), Tor (1 for 53) and Noah (1 for 30) to finish the job. A late onslaught from the impressive Ollie Whitton (46 not out) saw Clyst St George reach 238 for 7 from their 45. Below par given the wicket and the speedy outfield.
Tea consumed, it was of in pursuit of another win. Sean Langford, who had again kept immaculately, open with John 'Hot Streak' Hurrell and it was inevitable that he would be on the end of a poor decision sooner or later, given out LBW three yards down the wicket playing to leg from a right-handed bowler bowling over the wicket to left-handed John - I think not!
The early setback (13 for 1) saw Joel 'The Heat' Heatley stride out looking to continue his recent good form. He set off steadily, cautiously, but sensibly - taking what was on offer as he kept an eye on the run rate. Sean was 'doing his thing' at the other end, and the scoreboard moved along merrily. With the score on 61 we lost Sean for 22i in the fifteenth over. This saw Naj Choudhary come out to join Joel, and the pair looked to build a partnership. After good progress, and with partnership on 41, Naj was well caught and bowled by Paul Laverick for 24.
Next cab of the rank was Alex 'Pad Rash' Reddick (having been due in, but not required in recent weeks). He started solidly and looked in good touch, despite not having batted for weeks. At 104 for 4 after 27 overs, it was time to turn up 'The Heat'. As Joel passed 50 and Alex settled in, we moved serenely towards our target. The pair batted well and took the rich pickings that were on offer from the CSG change bowlers. Only Laverick (3 for 25) and Whitton (0 for 38) caused any trouble, and with a total of 36 wides being thrown into the equation, things were looking good for the 3's.
With the end in site, Alex notched a 50 and Joel pummelled his way towards a ton - mixing deft glances with powerful driving in an innings of real character and class. 'The Heat' bought up a well deserved 100, just before the end (his innings including 12 fours), and Alex finished 54 not out (8 fours) as we reached 239 for 4 with four overs to spare.
Another great performance on a hot and sunny day, capped off by the brilliant innings of Joel 'The Heat' and a fine supporting knock from Alex. 19 points bagged, 42 points clear of third, Thorverton to come next week - bring it on!!