Crowthorne & Crown Wood Cricket Club News story

Promotion in Sight as Crows dismantle Welford

19 Aug 2019

After a week of heavy rain this fixture looked in doubt, but our resident groundsman and Crowthorne and Crown Wood stalwart John Cartledge, helped by his band of merry men, prepared a fantastic pitch on the morning of play. With the sun starting come through but still unsure of how the pitch would play it looked like a bowl first day, however the Welford captain had other ideas and put the Crows into bat. W.Avrili, back from an extended charity break, was in a hopeful mood and knew a score of 180+ would be a very defendable total. 

The formidable partnership of A.Cluett and J.Whitehurst strutted out to the middle looking to give us a strong base to work from and allow out lengthy batting order to bat with freedom deep into the innings. And they did just that, Whitehurst was looking imperious as he started to biff the Welford bowlers all over St Sebs, however he eventually fell to one that just leapt up on him and found its way to midwicket. This wicket only brought an in form N.Outram to the crease and him and A.Cluett went about their work dismantling the Welford openers. A.Cluett fell for a hard fought 19 and had done his job well seeing off the opening bowlers. Next up was the Captain, W.Avrili, 3 weeks away from Crowthorne cricket doing charity work (2 funs in 3 weeks) and the weight of expectation was certainly on him to perform, and so he did. The skipper and former skipper started to build the pressure immediately, a slow outfield meant a lot of running was required but this didn’t stop them and Outram quickly brought up his half century (his third of the season). Outram continued to dominate the Welford spinners with ease and eventually fell for a very well put together 70. Out next was a somewhat out of form D.Cartledge who has struggled for runs this year, however this was all washed away with a superb pinch hitting innings. Cartledge, with only 8 overs to operate in begin to tee off hitting 4’s and 6’s for fun, meanwhile W.Avrili was continuing his work and brought up his 50 (He would end up on 58* with only 1 4 coming from the innings) . After a little confusion, Cartledge realised we were only playing 40 and not 45 overs and decided to go big, hitting 2 huge 6’s to finish off our innings in style and putting on a very good total of 215 or 219 or 212 for Welford to chase. 

The Crows went out to field in a buoyant mood, J.Cluett was cracking wise as bloody usual and Brundish could be heard as far away as Didcot. The opening bowling partnership of J.Cluett and S.Chandran which we have seen so often this year began well, but unusually weren’t able to take the first wicket. However not unusually they bowled tight lines restricted the batsmen who could’ve been out a few times in the opening 10 overs. J.Cluett was chuntering away on the boundary bemoaning he wasn’t able to get in amosngt the wickets. But the bowling change of Golding and new on the scene Vijay Bhatti proved to be master stroke. Golding, who has stepped up to the ONES this season with incredible ease was an instant success and took the first wicket. The openers were starting to let thei arms free but just as they looked like they were getting ahead of steam the Welford batsmen couldn’t quite get all of the ball and N.Outram took a smart catch low down and mid-off. The other Welford opener didn’t last much longer and it was a historic moment for Vijay, after a few year away from the game and getting a little bit of tap to begin with he found his length and his first wicket for CCWCC the batsman once again finding safe hand Outram and mid-off. 

We looked in good shape as drinks was called, but the Crows knew that a big partnership could scupper their chances. W.Herrington for Welford began to swing and swing hard and quickly moved Welford on, but cometh the hour cometh the man, K.Golding, after a change of ends, got the dangerous Herrington which was caught behind by M.Brundish, this was to be the turning point. On came A.Cluett, now firmly in the driving seat for bowler of the year award carried on his form and picked up some useful wickets in the middle order. D.Cartledge was in fine catching form taking 2 superb catches in the deep as the Welford middle order began to panic. Some smart fielding in close by D.Shaw who once again stepped up to ONES saw the end the Welford number 8. Finally, J.Cluett picked up the scraps at the end and took the last wicket of the day and Welford were all out for 161.

A fantastic all-round performance from the lads brought up another win, with promotion looking a very likely outcome now. After the game W.Avrili spoke to the press and on how he thought the game went he replied “the boys did well some great performances from the likes of Outram, Cartledge and Golding, but without my 58* we’re in trouble, so I gave myself Man of the Match. You can’t sue talent, next question” 

Well done to everyone today and MoM N.Outram for a superb batting display and a safe hands performance, we go again next week and really push for promotion now.