Once again rain and weather forecasts dominated the plans for today’s game. Heavy overnight rain gave way to cloudy weather around 10am, and the forecast was mainly dry, so a decision was made to travel and hopefully play. With Menheniot Looe’s second team not having a game Gunnislake were greeted with a few unusual faces, so a stern test was in prospect.
While the weather closely matched last week, so did the toss, with Mark Everett calling incorrectly. Unsurprisingly Menheniot Looe asked Gunnislake to bat. Adam Emmerson set off like a train, but Stephen Lees was rather slower to get going, the low bounce not helping his famed leg-side pull. The fast start was interrupted in the seventh over when Keira De Villiers struck twice. Emmerson skied a pull to be caught at mid-on and Dinesh Thirupuvanarajah missed a straight one. Thirty-two for two: not what the doctor ordered! Five overs later last week’s stars, Ross Potter and Andrew Dickerson, were also back in the pavilion. Gunnislake were reeling with four wickets down for only 63 runs.
Owen Patton showed how to defend his wicket, but the Menheniot Looe bowling was parsimonious. Mark Rundle and Brian Caddy conceded less than two runs an over from their ten over spells. Eventually Patton’s defences were breeched, bowled by Caddy and Lees departed soon after, to a flying slip catch taken by Mike Conbeer from one that lifted sharply. Lees had held the innings together with a steady 53, but there was still a lot to do. By the end of Rundle and Caddy’s spells Gunnislake had crept to 104 for 7, with only seven overs left. But this year’s side have a bit more belief, and Dean Organ and Spencer Whatley took advantage of the enforced change of bowling. Organ made use of his strong bottom hand and Whatley continued to show he can bat as well as bowl. Shot of the day came in the last over as Whatley carved the ball over extra cover for six runs, to secure the fourth batting point. The late flourish saw Gunnislake reach 166 for nine. The sides were level on four points each, but what would happen in the Menheniot Looe reply?
Captain Mike Conbeer was joined by Jake Baker, on loan from the seconds, to open the Menheniot Looe innings. They proceeded with few alarms, but the scoring rate rarely exceeded three an over. First change brought Dinesh Thirupuvanarajah and Mark Everett on to bowl and the runs dried up a bit further. The breakthrough came in the eighteenth over, with Conbeer guiding a catch to gulley off the bowling of Thirupuvanarajah. Four balls later he had a second, clean bowling Alex Caddy. This brought danger man Mark Rundle to the wicket, with Baker still going strong at the other end.
But Rundle was strangely quiet and the required scoring rate climbed steadily. Thirupuvanarajah bowled particularly well, ending his ten overs with the fine figures of 2-15, in possibly his best spell for the club. With seven overs to go and seventy runs required Menheniot Looe finally decided to go for it. However, things did not go according to plan: Baker hit Whatley’s first ball to gulley, where the safe hands of Ian Dawe clung on. At the other end Rundle finally went for it, changing from watchful defence to unfurl a series of drives and boundaries. Fourteen on one over from Dawe raised alarm bells, but fourteen year old Whatley rode to the rescue, taking three more wickets in successive overs. He finished with the excellent figures of 4-29, as Menheniot Looe came up short on 129 runs for the loss of six wickets. Rundle top scored for thehome team, finishing unbeaten on 48.
Seventeen points and another win were in the bag. The bowlers kept it tight when we were defending a modest total. Some catches were held and we overcame a mid-order batting collapse. And we all beat the rain! Photographs courtesy of Dinesh Thirupuvanarajah (gosh wish my computer had predictive text).
Gunnislake 166-9 (S Lees 53, A Emmerson 23, D Organ 21no; K De Villiers 3-56, A Caddy 3-66, M Rundle 2-17). Menheniot Looe III 129-6 (M Rundle 48no, J Baker 33; S Whatley 4-29, D Thirupuvanarajah 2-15) Gunnislake (17 points) beat Menheniot Looe IIII (7 points) by 37 runs.