|OEA Sporting Club - Cricket|
The OE's made it 3 wins from 5 in the Odey Wealth Championship at the College Field on Saturday against Wanderers Irregulars. The day started off with Wanderers Irregulars winning the toss and electing to bat on what looked like favourable bowling conditions on a damp College Field wicket.
Ben Johnson once again started off promisingly and got the early breakthrough in the first over removing the inform Ben Wentzel dragging on to a shorter length delivery. Matt Stokes continued applied pressure from the pavilion end bowling his normal nagging line and length. Stokes was rewarded with the wicket of Waleed Jami caught behind by Fintan Ridgwick. This bought Martin-Dale Bradley to the wicket. He and Barker began to rebuild both looking comfortable but tentative at the crease.
The introduction of Charlie Birch from the top end of the ground proved to be the breakthrough the OE's needed. He removed Bradley with a superb diving catch by Ollie Clapham at extra cover with the score at 68 for 3 the game was in the balance. Gashirai Masvikeni joined Barker at the crease and produced a counter attacking 55 off 42 riding his luck at times. He was removed by Louis Steyn in the final over of his spell finishing with figures of 10 overs 1 for 55. Steyn was replaced by Ollie Clapham and got the big wicket of Lucas Barker well caught on the leg side boundary by Marcus Thomas. With the score on 160 for 5 the OE's looked to take the final 5 Wanderers Irregulars wickets for as little as possible.
Current student Max Johnson joined Jack Birch at the crease and built a key partnership taking the score to 187 before Johnson picked out captain Morgan Clayton at long on. Ollie Clapham then removed the dangerous Charles Vorster bowled for 6. Jack Birch followed when Ben Johnson returned with an excellent spell to close out the innings. Matt Stokes finished off the innings from the pavilion end removing Gordon Irish and finishing with figures of 10 overs 2 for 34. Wanderers Irregulars batted out the overs and finished on 234 for 9.
After another superb lunch at the College Field the OE's began the run chase in light drizzle. Stokes and Charlie Birch looked in fine form once again. The score moved onto 63 for no loss after 13 overs when the persistent rain got heavy enough for the umpires to call time. The game was held up for 45 minutes with the OE's in control. The game resumed with a revised DL target of 174 in 34 overs somewhat favouring the Wanderers Irregulars side. Stokes and Birch set about their business once again. Taking the score onto 105 for no loss, with Birch trying to find the long on boundary he was caught at mid on to an excellent one handed catch by Masvikeni diving high to his left. Stokes was joined by captain Clayton who was out having only made 2 sweeping to left arm spinner Jonathan Bailey.
Ferbrache joined Stokes at the crease with the latter continuing to score freely. Having only scored 5 Ferbrache found Masvikeni at short extra cover to shorter Max Johnson delivery leaving the OE's needing a further 28 runs in 8 overs. Vice Captain Charlie Clapham joined Stokes at the crease and began to look comfortable. There was still time for some Stokes magic with Stokes passing 3 figures for the third time this season finishing on 111 not out of 104 balls and Clapham 14 not out taking the OE's to victory with 1.3 overs to spare.
The OE's take on Cobo next weekend with a slim chance of winning the title in their first year in the competition. They need a large sway in net run rate and not only a victory for themselves but also a defeat for Griffins in the other fixture.