Twyford made it four wins on the bounce against Ropley II at Hunter Park. On a green-ish wicket and with a strong bowling attack, Twyford captain Nick Moreland was looking to bowl first if he won the toss. Ropley II’s captain won the toss however, but elected to bat anyway. Tom Ducker and Matt Paine opened the bowling with typical gusto, with Ducker in particular beating the bat almost every ball with both openers swinging the ball at good pace. Ducker induced a slash from one of the openers but Tom Moore just couldn’t hang on at backward point. After a 4 over spell from Matt Paine, dad John came on and removed one the openers in his first over for a duck, from probably around 20+ balls! After a strong opening 6 over spell Mike McKenzie replaced Ducker and took two wickets in two balls, including a sharp legside stumping from Moreland. Twyford had the squeeze on, but the Ropley number 4 had other ideas, taking John Paine for quite a few runs. McKenzie picked up the wicket of the opener for 59. After drinks Matt Paine returned to replace McKenzie and bowled tightly and economically. Debutant Tom Moore was given a bowl and picked up the wicket of the number 4 for 44. Twyford then had little trouble in slicing through the tail, with Wyatt Brennan, Matt Paine and Tom Ducker picking up the remaining wickets. Ropley II were all out for 191, about par for the pitch.
With batting on the light side, Moreland and Tony Butcher opened the batting with the intention to bat deep. The openers were causing few problems, however the off-spinning opening bowler was not giving much away. Moreland opened proceedings in the first over with a clip through the legside for four and followed it up in the second over with a slog sweep. Butcher opened his account with a drive down the ground and they were starting to settle. After two fours in two balls Moreland selfishly attempted to hog the strike by nudging a short wide ball down the ground for a single but only managed to top edge the ball to cover for 22. Lee Nicholas came out at 3 with strict instructions to bat sensibly and he did just that. Him and Butcher were easing the ball around hitting a boundary almost every over. Nicholas was just settling in when he was bowled for 22. Tom Moore came to the crease, making sure to tell everyone before he went that he hadn’t played for 10 years. Well it wasn’t very obvious that he hadn’t and he soon seemed at home at the Twyford crease. Butcher was driving the ball very nicely including a couple of gorgeous straight drives to near his fifty which he duly brought up. Moore batted well in the partnership too and they rarely looked in trouble, a half appeal for a bat-pad catch behind the closest it got. The score very quickly escalated from 75-2 to 150-2 and suddenly seemed like Twyford would ease home, and in very un-Twyford-like fashion, they did! Moore brought up his fifty including a big six over fine leg into the allotments. Butcher then hit a four and a six to win the game, the six was huge, landing well into the gardens next to the allotments straight over the bowlers head. Their partnership was an unbeaten 120 with Butcher ending on 81* and Moore 60*, really excellent batting. Twyford won by 8 wickets and picked up maximum points for the 3rd time in 4 games.
Thanks to Nobby Bance for umpiring, a pleasure as always.
Ropley II 191 all out
O. Ball 59
T. Ducker 3-24
M. McKenzie 3-34
T. Butcher 81*
T. Moore 60*
Next match Away vs Amport, 25/07/2015, 2pm.