On a lovely sunny day in Twyford, the home team entertained Rowledge III who were flying high in the league. The wicket was firm if a touch green. On the way out to the middle the opposition skipper asked how it had been playing, Twyford captain Nick Moreland let on that the team batting first had scored over 250 in the last two games. The Rowledge skipper duly won the toss and elected to bowl… Moreland wanted a bat, and starting with ten men with Tom Watson arriving a little later this was beneficial. Tony Butcher returned to the side and alongside Kevin West set about punishing the opening bowlers from either end with relative ease, hitting the ball all around the ground in a partnership of over a hundred. West played some delightful trademark late cuts and Butcher was, well, butchering the bowling, including a flat off drive that almost cleared the rope. That ball was lost to the allotments in the 6th over and so a brand new ball was introduced, which made little difference. However, West was caught for 33 which triggered another classic Twyford collapse. Butcher was adjudged judged caught and bowled off a particularly useful left arm spinner, but only after making a well deserved half century. Alex Reidy slashed at a wide one to be caught behind and Will Patterson came and went with a flourish of boundaries, but played a shot too many and was bowled for 15. Moreland was hit in front of leg stump to a quicker ball from the spinner, Charlie Musson tried to punish the bowling but in his attempt to defend a ball was out, and Wyatt Brennan followed quickly afterwards. Watson hit a couple of nice shots but departed for 5 and Matt Paine hit some lusty blows before being caught for 14. Mike McKenzie was last man out for 6 leaving John Paine not out. Twyford had collapsed spectacularly to 156 all out. After tea the Paine’s opened the bowling again. John very economical as always and Matt was getting a bit out of the pitch and swinging the ball in his opening spell, with John picking up the wicket of the young opening batsman and finishing with figures of 6 overs, 1 wicket for 7 runs. Reidy then came on from the basketball courts end and produced a stunning spell of 10 overs. After Moreland realised there was a bit of extra bounce in the pitch he stood back to Reidy, allowing him to really bend his back, which he did. Causing all sorts of problems without taking a wicket Reidy bowled his first 7 overs for just 4 runs, consistently beating the outside edge with hooping out-swingers. Charlie Musson was given his first bowl in a Twyford shirt and bowled with accuracy, picking up 2 wickets, a good caught and bowled and then an edge to slip. Rowledge were letting their solid start slip. Reidy bowled ten straight through finishing with exceptional figures of 10 overs, 4 maidens, 12 runs and no wickets. To tempt the batsmen into some big shots to up their run rate, two spinners were brought on – Butcher and Watson. Butcher took two quick wickets and showed he had all the deliveries the spinner should have, leggies, offies, arm balls and a quicker one. Watson bowled very accurately and bowled a much flatter and quicker delivery to a young left hander who was looking to hit him legside and removed his off stump. There were also two stumpings when Watson flighted one outside off stump and a charging batsman missed it by a mile. Another one came when a ball popped up missed everything hitting Moreland on the shoulder, but he had the presence of mind to collect the ball and flick off the bails with the batsman unaware his back foot had dragged. With Rowledge’s captain still at the crease however, it was tough to say Twyford had already won the game. Needing 21 off the last 3 overs, Matt Paine returned and bowled with incredible accuracy and good pace, with just one coming off the penultimate over from the allotment end. Bowling the final over he also conceded just a handful of runs as Rowledge came up 10 short in a thrilling game of cricket. A brilliant performance from Twyford in the field to defend 156, with almost half the amount of extras as last week. Thanks to Nobby Bance for umpiring again, and to Tom Watson (and mum Sonia!) for rushing home from Reading and getting back in time to play. Twyford 156 all out T. Butcher 58; R. Gregory 4-48 Rowledge III 146-8 T. Watson 3-18 A. Reidy 10-4-12-0 J. Paine 6-2-7-1 Twyford won by 10 runs. Next match Away vs Micklemersh, 4th July, 2pm start.


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