Gunnislake chalked up another win after two blank weekends, this time seeing off the challenge of Menheniot Looe. The home team were pleased to find Gunnislake were without both Sam Boundy and Andrew Morris, but their pre-match research had failed to spot the name Andy Astley on Gunnislake’s Facebook page. Although cricket is a team game it must be said that on this occasion much was owed to the former captain…
Gunnislake won the toss (itself a rare occurrence) and elected to bat, with Brian Martin promoted to open with Stephen Lees. Martin did not last long, popping up a leading edge to offer a simple caught and bowled. Enter Astley, who was soon stroking the ball around the field. A mix of perfect timing and also increasing power soon scattered the home side to all parts of the ground. Runs steadily racked up at more than five an over, but there was also a steady fall of wickets, with some excellent swing bowling from the Menheniot youngsters. Iain Barker, batting at number 7, provided support and accompanied Astley past his century. A couple of chances on the boundary were spurned, but Astley eventually holed out to long-on, where Juckett safely pouched the catch. By then the scorebook recorded 135, precisely one hundred more than on his last appearance for the club.
With the youngsters limited in the number of overs they could bowl, Menheniot Looe turned to the wily, flighty, looping leg breaks of Kilorran. Stephen Parsons would have been proud as Gunnislake were bamboozled. It was like a credit card machine as Gunnislake swiped and missed and Menheniot cashed in. With Astley gone Gunnislake collapsed in the manner of an over-confident England, and lost their last five wickets for 20 runs. Kilorran took three of those wickets, with Joyce and Juckett finishing with two apiece. 214 for Gunnislake was a season’s best.
Menheniot’s reply got off to a slow but steady start, hemmed in by tight bowling from Paul Lees and George Jefferis, who was making a welcome return from injury. The breakthrough came in the eleventh over when Sedgely edged Jefferis behind, but by then the score had crept to only 18. Lees got in on the act, with new batsman English caught at deep mid on, and at drinks Menheniot Looe were staring down the barrel at 33 for 2. In reality they were playing for pride. David Emmerson was given a short work-out, but was not able to replicate his bowling in the nets. Never mind David, its coming back! Iain Barker and Sylvan Pook continued to turn the screw, but Dhayal attacked with the bat, being particularly strong on the onside. He fell to a Brian Martin catch, one of three wickets for Pook, just short of his own half century. Ben Allsop, batting at number 8, looked a player of future class, but threw his wicket away, dancing down the wicket to be out stumped by David Battams. But by then the game was up, and Menheniot blocked out the final two overs, their total having crept to three figures.
Gunnislake thus ran out winners by the impressive margin of 114 runs, picking up nineteen points and their first double of the season. A one man batting performance was backed up by a team effort in the field, and a third successive win was recorded. While Menheniot Looe prop up the league table, they continue to bring on some promising young players and perhaps deserve better. There is always next year, if the seconds don’t nick them!
Quote of the Week
“They came to see me bat not you bowl” – WG Grace, putting the bails back on his stumps after being bowled first ball. A cunning plan for next week?