|2 Jun 2021|
|OEA Sporting Club - Cricket|
After the scheduled morning rain managed to blow over at the College Field, Old Elizabethans captain Morgan Clayton lost the toss and the OE's were inserted into bat. With overcast weather, the conditions suited the side bowling first.
Matt Stokes and Charlie Birch set about the innings in similar fashion to the previous week, tentatively but punishing any stray bowling. The OE's moved onto 72 for no loss before Charlie Birch turned a ball into the leg side only to get a leading edge to Martin-Dale Bradley at midwicket. Morgan Clayton joined Matt Stokes at the crease and soon got into his stride running well between the wickets building a well contrasted partnership with Stokes.
Ben Wentzel thought he had Clayton adjudged leg before wicket and was given out however, fantastic sportsmanship was displayed by Wanderers Irregulars Captain, Lucas Barker, when he called back Clayton to continue his innings as he had hit the ball.
Stokes looked in fine touch when he became the first Old Elizabethan Centurion. Clayton and Stokes continued to punish anything that strayed off the stumps before Clayton picked out Charles Vorster on the deep square leg boundary for a well made 66 of 68 balls including five fours becoming the 3rd OE to score a half century in our debut year in the Championship. When fellow OE Ben Ferbrache joined Stokes at the crease the latter was on 105*. Stokes then opened up moving swiftly onto 150, shortly after he was joined by Charlie Clapham after Ferbrache feathered a cut shot through to the wicket keeper Gashirai Masvikeni for 15. Clapham ensured he got Stokes on strike for the majority of final overs and Stokes excelled carrying his bat for a superb 213* including 22 fours and 3 sixes this helped the OE's post 348 for 3.
In reply, Wanderers Irregulars started their pursuit tentatively with Ben Johnson and Matt Stokes bowling a tight line and length and unlucky not to find the outside edge of the opening pair of Wentzel and Barker. The score moved onto 127 for no loss with Wanderers in a strong position to chase down the 349 runs required for victory however, the introduction of Ollie Claphams's off spin proved to get the breakthrough the OE's needed trapping Wentzel leg before wicket for a very well made 54.
Barker was joined by Waleed Jami in pursuit of the further 227 runs required, both batting well but still behind the run rate after a tight spell by Louis Steyn and Clapham. The introduction of Charlie Birch from the pavilion end got the big wicket of Barker with wicket keeper Fintan Ridgwick taking a regulation catch. Jami was joined by Bradley with the latter playing being the aggressor targeting the shorter boundary. Bradley moved onto a quick fire 35 off 22 balls before he was removed by the impressive Steyn with a leading edge well caught by opening bowler Ben Johnson at short third man. Steyn struck again 2 balls later removing the dangerous Gashirai Masvikeni with the exact same combination as the previous wicket.
Another blow was to follow the very next over with the two senior OE's combining, Stokes back on for his final spell removed Jami finding a waiting Ferbrache at long on.
With wickets falling and the run rate increasing, the OE's saw the game out by taking the final 5 wickets for 36 runs and seeing their first victory in the weekend league Championship. Steyn finished with figures of 10 overs 3 for 57 whilst Stokes was rightfully named man of the match for figures of 9.4 overs 4 for 32 to add to his earlier 213*