Despite putting out a stronger
team this week, once again WSL 1st XI were
defeated by a hundred runs by Woodcote away. Although
some key decisions did not go in their favour, they
were outplayed in all areas of the game.
Once again stand-in skipper
Chris England won the toss and elected to field with
the intention of keeping the opposition under 200 and
chasing the total. When Woodcote were 36 -2, this looked
like a shrewd move. But, this was as good as it got
for Waltham and from there on in, the Woodcote batting
took completed control through strong partnerships from
Wheeler and Topham, and especially Wheeler and Silver.
The former went on to score a match winning 85. Things
might have been very different had England
not had a strong appeal for caught behind turned down
on Topham second ball. Woodcote went on to muster a
commanding 233 – 8; only Gareth Johnson emerging from
the Waltham all seam attack with
any credit, taking 4-34. The absence of a spin bowler
to vary the pace is beginning to prove highly significant
in the quest to bowl sides out.
In reply Waltham
needed a strong start. However, they immediately struggled
against Woodcote opening bowler Benson’s considerable
inswing. Ashton was promptly bowled and after a brief
flurry, Jackson and Abid were also back in the pavilion.
At 42- 3, Waltham were struggling
once again. A lot rested on the pairing of Johnson and
Hill but when the latter was harshly adjudged lbw, it
appeared it simply wasn’t going to be Waltham’s
England was lamely bowled by Topham’s slower
ball, bringing the returning Rasool cousins to the crease.
Shah batted sensibly but finally decided to chance his
arm against the Woodcote spinner and was smartly caught
and bowled. Amir contributed a lively 20, including
an impressive six over extra cover. Unfortunately, no
one could keep Gareth Johnson, who went on to fifty,
company long enough to establish the much needed partnership.
Still going for their shots, Waltham
capitulated to 133 all out. Considerable application
will be needed to turn things around.