Wherwell v Hursley Park (home, 12/06/2021)

We clawed, we chained, our hearts in vain, We jumped, never asking why We kissed, I fell under your spell, A love no one could deny Don’t you ever say I just walked away, I will always want you I can’t live a lie, running for my life, I will always want you

Chasing 185, Hursley were 157-4… Wherwell came in like a wrecking ball Having won the toss Wherwell elected to bat, the pitch looked good and the weather better. But for the third week in a row the batting line up failed to fire on all cylinders. A splutter from the openers, a sputter from the top order and Wherwell were struggling at 51-4. Hammett (2-15) put the effort into the pitch and got his rewards. At 86-5 Dawes was the fifth batter to get a start and fail but it brought Cutts (41) and Holewell (52) together. Both will be disappointed they didn’t bat for longer but importantly they upped the scoring rate and shifted the momentum. Hursley had to switch from attack to defend and for a few overs it looked like a big score was on the cards. But Hursley with O’Connor (3-47) kept picking up wickets and managed to cut off the free scoring and eventually bowl Wherwell out for 185 – a few overs remaining chaps… And so, to the chase where the ebbs and flows of the game continued. Wherwell gave nothing away in the first 10 overs, debutant Jon Vokes going for 4 runs in his opening 5 overs. The strangle on runs inevitably lead to wickets and Hursley found themselves 37-3. Did Wherwell take their foot off the gas or did Hursley really dig in – probably a bit of both. Bacon (32) wasn’t in sizzling form but having been gifted a couple of lives he combined well with Khurana (57) and now it was Wherwell’s turn to shift from attack to defense. With Dawes (2-29) finishing an impressive spell Hursley sensed a chance to get themselves back into the game, picking up singles and the odd boundary to get the scoreboard ticking. With Bacon falling to a miscue Hursley were 157-4 with plenty of overs to see them home… and suddenly Wherwell realised there was a game to win. Emslie (5-27) brought himself back and the wrecking ball began to pick up pace. First, removing the battling Khurana and then Wathen (18) who’d played a tidy cameo but those chimp noises were soon silenced. Cutts (2-8) found a new lease from the far end and struck twice (with a touch of over exuberance). Hursley were shell shocked and couldn’t stop the collapse. Emslie was merciless and finished off the tail to complete his 5-fer. Little fish taste sweet but it was important to chalk another win after last week.

Published: June 12, 2021