Talybont Rachels 2nds (206-1) beat Commoners (233 – 6) on Net Run Rate

Fine and Country West Wales Cricket Club Conference

TALYBONT Rachels continued their good form with a convincing win at the Vicarage, having to beat the rain as well.

The bottom two clubs in the Fine and Country Conference agreed to limit the game to 30 overs as mitigation against a poor weather forecast. The toss was won by Commoners skipper Jacob Hughes-Pickering, who elected to bat.

Hughes-Pickering and Bill Somerfield faced up to their bowling counterparts, Ijaz and Anant.

The first blood was drawn by Anant, who got extra bounce in his opening spell and had Hughes-Pickering caught behind by Jestus Jerry.

Mo Aslam came in, and soon picked up two boundaries with thick edges off Ijaz.

Somerfield, however, looked in no trouble and began to pick up the scoring rate by punishing the shorter ball.

Anish Kuriakose was brought on to bowl, his fuller length meaning that driving in the air into the strong wind was dangerous.

Somerfield was caught out of his ground attempting a run but was sportingly recalled by Anup Menon as he’d slipped on the uneven edge of the artificial.

The very slow outfield meant that classical shots along the ground invariably resulted in singles, so the batsmen favoured cross-bat shots.

Living by the sword meant dying by the sword, and both fell to Anish, Aslam trying an ambitious switch hit and Sommerfield a more conventional pull. Both had scored 36.

The fourth wicket fell when Sohaib played around an arm ball by Arun.

With the match being curtailed, Mark Whitehead and Alex Bellenie had no time to play themselves in, but Bellenie had no need of a sighter.

He started to pepper the long on boundary at will, the strong wind proving a nightmare for the fielders placed to catch him.

Whitehead unselfishly gave him the strike as the home side’s score flew past 150 but was caught out by a Vipin delivery that bowled him for 18.

Sagur also inflicted the same fate on Ollie Sommerfield.

The left-handed Farhan showed himself to be no mug, striking a huge blow over midwicket to get the innings moving again.

With the score close to 200, Bellenie traded exclusively in sixes.

The innings closed on a score of 232, Farhan on 29 and Bellenie unbeaten on 85, surely within a couple of overs of a century.

The pick of the bowlers was Anish, with 2-18. Anant, Arun, Sagar and Vipin took one wicket apiece.

After a curtailed tea, the Talybont openers took their turn on the placid surface.

Bellenie was served his own medicine, being struck for 16 in his first over.

The 50 came up in the fifth over, Menon finding his range immediately and dispatching the ball over long-on. Hughes-Pickering brought Bill Somerfield on.

Despite being hit for a six in his first over, a change of ends meant his ability to put the ball on a short-of-a-length sixpence gave his captain a measure of control.

Neither batsman looked in trouble though, Anant keeping the score ticking with his glances on either side of the wicket and Menon continuing his recent prolific form. Menop’s 50 came up in 37 deliveries, Anant’s in 37.

The 100 came up in the 14th over, the 150 in the 18th, with only Mo Aslam managing to stem the carnage.

The strong wind that had impeded the fielding in the first innings was proving the bane of the catchers in the second as well.

Whitehead made a magnificent attempt to catch a Menon blow at deep midwicket, but sadly suffered a bad injury as a result.

The doom-laden meteorological prophesies showed every sign of coming true, heavy clouds now hanging about the ground.

The all-important 20th over brought about the demise of Menop, bowled by Amir for 91, with six magnificent 6s.

The first wicket partnership was worth 168.

Jestus recognized the urgency of the situation and scampered to give Anant the strike.

The young opener promptly struck 27 runs off the next three overs to ensure that the vital net run rate favoured his side.

The heavens opened in the 23rd over, and Talybont/Rachels were home (but far from dry) on a score of 206. Anant was unbeaten on 87, with six 4s and seven 6s. The only successful Commoners bowler was Amir.

Talybont Rachels take 18pts, Commoners 5.

The Fine and Country 40 over competition takes a mid-season break for the next two weekends, as the teams will compete in a 20-over cup.

This season is proving that every single team can play exciting cricket, and spectators will be welcomed at the two participating venues, Geufron and the Vicarage.