For the first time in two years Gunnislake had to bring into play the selection committee, with Barrie James taking up the role of twelfth man, raffle ticket collector and umpire, and Geoff Husband apparently spending the day with his family. I write apparently because he did turn up with his wife in tow for the second innings, Pauline having been bribed with an offer of an ice cream at Calstock, and well of course it was only a quick hop from there to see how the cricket was going! With the football season finally over David Battams made his club debut, Babcocks let Sam Boundy off work and Andrew Morris was also available as Gunnislake fielded a strong and unusually young looking side. The opposition for the match were Menheniot Looe third team, who are becoming well known to Gunnislake, as we provided three loanees for their recent game against Saltash St Stephens. Meanwhile Menheniot captain Ryan Knight has played two matches on loan for ourselves.
Menheniot won the toss and chose to bat, but were perhaps ruing the decision as Ryan Knight fell to a gentle caught and bowled, by George Jefferis, before the scorers had been troubled. A promising start for the home side, and one that continued as Menheniot found themselves five wickets down for only 57 runs. Kieran Underhill then decided attack was the best form of defence, lofting two huge sixes. At the other end John English also tried his hand with a six to square leg, briefly changed to a four and then back to six, as the umpires tried to consult the video replays. However, both these batsmen perished, bowled by Jefferis, as he finished with a season best 5 for 24. Youngsters Tom Joyce and Spencer English did a good job holding up the Gunnislake attack, but Sylvan Pook and Adrian Cameron finally mopped up the tail, to leave Menheniot Looe all out for 110, in time for a slightly early tea. Seven catches were held, which made a welcome change, and once again the batting team were bolstered by Mr Extras, who top-scored with 33 runs, including 20 wides. Who dreamt up these dratted blue lines?
Sam Boundy began the Gunnislake reply with some circumspection, but a sixth ball full toss got the treatment and he was on his way. Runs flowed freely at more than five an over, as Stephen Lees watched with some admiration (and, truth be told, envy) from the other end. But the revery was ended as Lees departed to a sharp leg-side stumping, having contributed a paltry 11 to a total of 62. Boundy continued serenely to a half century, but then missed a full toss to be bowled for 52. From there the innings was shepherded home by Andrew Morris and Brian Martin as Menheniot had no answers, capitulating in only the eighteenth over.
And so Gunnislake achieved a welcome win, with an emphatic eight wicket victory and twenty points. In a tight division, the win saw Gunnislake climb several places in the table with a good all round performance. Sylvan Pook returned from his Mediterranean break to record summer temperatures, but it was Menheniot Looe that wilted in the heatwave.
Quote of the Week
“The batsman’s Holding, the bowler’s Willey” Brian Johnston, Test Match Special. Or did he?