The sweet sweet smell of victory ( mixed with burnt out motorbike fumes)
By Oliver Nelson
3s win the Nelson Derby
The 3s arrived at the glamorous surroundings of Warwick Road and were greeted by a police cordon around a burnt- out motorbike which summed up the facilities. The wicket looked freshly rolled and was 70% grass so it was a surprise on winning the toss that the home captain decided to bat first.
In a decision reminiscent of Faf Du Plessis, the skipper decided to open the bowling with Gibbo as the Whetstone team are not know for their batting patience it turned into a master stroke. As the home team were 12 -3 after the first 5 overs with 2 wickets for Ollie and 1 for Gibbo, Jacko behind the sticks taking two great grabs. Whetstone rallied a little bit though a useful partnership featuring former player Sandip who should of been given out for the plumbest of LBW's. A change of bowling brought the wicket with Imran striking first over via a superb catch from Degsy at first slip, this was then followed up with a wicket in the next over with another catch behind the stumps for Jacko. Whetstone's number 6 then decided to tee off exclusively on the leg side and a few drops helped him reach his 50. Harry came onto bowl after his good performance last week and struck in his 2nd over of the game with a lovely delivery that their number 7 snicked off to Jacko. A wicket at the right time as a promising partnership was starting to form for Whetstone. After passing his 50 and another 2 drops the batsmen was trying to tonk every ball out of the ground for 6, however Gibbo took advantage and got him plumb LBW. A run out and another wicket for Imran left them 160 odd for 9 and with a number 11 walking in who once averaged 0.6, it was felt that they would soon be in for tea. However a few lucky/lusty blows and a dodgy outfield meant they put on a frustrating 20 runs for the final wicket. Whetstone all out for 184.
After a less than gourmet tea the run chase commenced with Fleets and Pag looking forward to seeing what the variable bounce had to offer. After a caught behind shout wasn't given much to the anger of the home team, the opening pair made steady progress in trying conditions with Fleets being hit on the helmet and loose balls being hit to the fielders, Pag departed after being bowled and the score was 30 -1. Tom Hill and Fleets then put on a 113 run partnership with a mix of boundaries and running between the wickets some of which was really good some of which wasn't. This partnership seemed to sent the home team into meltdown who took a staggering 3 hours to get through their 40 overs, every boundary was greeted with a meeting of the brains trusts with every player offering an opinion to the captain.
The run chase seemed well placed as at 30 overs the score was 107-1 needing 5 an over, Fleets and Hilly pushed the running along and boundaries came more frequently and some overthrows helped to stay at the run rate. Fleets was then given LBW for a battling and impressive 73 with the score at 143-2 in the 37 th. Tom's innings was then brought to end when he was bowled for 40. Stokesy and Jacko then brought the win home with the remaining 30 runs being hit in 4 overs with Dan finishing the innings off with a 4.
A great team performance in tricky conditions against a side that could of posted a big total - onwards and upwards for the season now.
MOM- Fleets and honorable mentions for Jacko and Imran