4th XI vs Westcliff-On-Sea CC, 4th XI

12 May 2024 | Will Bowden
4th XI vs Westcliff-On-Sea CC, 4th XI

On my return to the fields of Westcliff High School for Boys, I was accompanied by a young team, including 3 debutants. The Sun was shining and spirits were high amongst the younger lads. Westcliff won the toss and kindly put us out into the field, at this juncture of the match we just wanted to make a good game of it. 

We took the field and the new ball was thrown Nilbert’s way with Alex Kerton, one of the debutants, taking the 2nd over. Both bowled extremely economically giving away just 12 runs from the first 4 overs. It took us until the 5th over to take the first wicket with Nilbert wrapping the batsman on his pads. Kerton at the other end was unlucky not to take a wicket of his own, the other opener hitting one into the outer atmosphere, returning snow covered but a collision between the Mystery Spinner and Frankie Newbould meant the ball dropped harmlessly to the floor. The first bowling change brought El Capitano and Max Proctor on to bowl with Westcliff at 33-1.  These overs went by without much drama, both going for very few runs but neither able, at this stage, to get the second wicket. Proctor bowled one further over later in the game and was desperately unfortunate not to take a wicket. He bowled with accuracy and consistency, conceeding just 16 runs from his 6 overs. It wasn’t until the 19th over when J Hearn Jnr broke the deadlock with some fantastic swing bowling, his natural in-swing completing deceiving the batsman leaving Westcliff at drinks 75-2. We were happy with our performance at the break, we had restricted their scoring but we were probably a couple of wickets short of where we wanted to be. This turned out to be the correct analysis of things as the batsman played with a little more freedom after the break with wickets in hand.  Luckily for Shenfield and lucky for me, J Hearn Jnr was on hand to continue his wicket taking form getting the all important wicket of D Tanwar who had racked up 66 runs from just 58 balls, 70% of the Westcliff runs at the time of his dismissal. Following this wicket a partnership had developed between N Belton and S Johnson with the pair putting on 68 runs for the 5th wicket partnership. It took what can only be described as the perfect over from Frankie Newbould to change the game and swing it back in our favour. The 4s in the last two years has become somewhat of a Newbould talent factory with a debut last year from Joey Newbould (who played in the 2s this week) and younger brother Frankie this year taking not just 3 wickets on debut but doing so all in a singular maiden over. One of those wickets being of S Johnson who had made a quick 43 from 35 deliveries. In true 4s fashion the final 3 wickets were taken by El Capitano, Westcliff losing their last 4 wickets for just the addition of one run. This lower order collapse left Westcliff with a total of 172.

During the tea break there was a sense of nervous optimism amongst the group. Westcliff after 34 overs were 165/5. At that stage we seemed to be staring down the barrel of a 200+ total. We were pleased to only be chasing 172 because of this but even this score was quite a formidable one with a lack of senior batting experience in the side.

We went out to bat with the Mystery Spinner, to be renamed due to his current form with the bat and a lack of bowling. Maybe to the Leg Side Bandit. He opened with WTS (Wroetoshaw / W2S). Things did not start off great for Shenfield with W2S driving one to mid off, a shame all things considered as he had look very composed and in good nick at the middle. At 18/1 Harry Fisher, the third and final debutant in the 4s side came out to bat. He started slowly with just 4 runs from his first 16 deliveries. However as the game developed he grew in confidence and played more expansive shots subsequently increasing his strike rate substantially. At the other end the Leg Side Bandit was playing exceptionally well, mixed in with his characteristically big expansive leg side thumps were straight drives and clips off the legs. The pair put on a partnership of 120 before Harry Fisher was bowled for 48, a new top score for Harry who was very lucky not to be run out on several occasions. Harry’s casual saunter between the wickets and distinct lack of sliding the bat caused at least 3 run out appeals from the oppo fielders. Meanwhile Ciaran was in unstoppable form and never looked likely to be dismissed yesterday, Joe Howard joined him in the middle and added 6 to the score before missing a straight one to the oppo spinner and being triggered by Nilbert who graciously umpired the full stint of overs. The newest Newbould clan member Frankie, went out to take the team home scoring 3 not out. Ciaran at the other end finished on 83 not out from 97 balls and spent over 2 hours in the middle. 

A fantastic win for the fourth team taking the unbeaten streak to 16 games and with the Fours last losing a game in August 2022. Long may the streak continue! Hopefully the Leg Side Bandit has a season ticket on Southern rail to get back from  Brighton for further games. First game of the Season and the Man of the Match award hopefully making this particular journey worth it. 

Up the Shen. Up the 4 S

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