It wasn’t the most convincing of weekends, but the Pies emerged from the weekend with three wins from four, to remain top of the Club Championship ladder as we enter the T20 portion of the season.
The 1st XI managed to pass the required total for the loss of five wickets, with Tom Rickarby continuing his good form before falling for 33. It was Brendan Drew who did the damage though, scoring 68 from 76 balls, including four sixes, as we were bowled out for 212 – a lead of only 37. From here, Ringwood batted for 26 overs to see the day out, with Matt Whittaker taking the only wicket.
The 2nd XI held onto their six points, but it was hardly a day to remember. Having decided to declare straight away, at 6/136 and 7/154, we looked in a strong position to push for full points. But some late order runs left the Pies needing 197 from 37 overs after the tea break. Jack McNamara, Adi Narayana and Chris Bridle all took a pair of wickets.
The ten points proved to be well beyond our grasp, as Ringwood bowled well and in combination with a wearing pitch, tore through our top order to leave us 7/61 with 17 overs remaining to survive. But Jack McNamara and Sam Newell each scored 7*, from a combined 119 balls, to ensure that the six points were kept and Ringwood were denied.
The 3rd XI started the day in a reasonable position defending 230, but having taken two wickets in their five overs at Ringwood last week, they managed only the same over 67 this week as they succumbed to their opposition. Two Rams’ batsmen made centuries, while Joe Doyle (3/45) and Dan Walker (1/25) were the only multiple wicket-takers.
To round out proceedings, the 4th XI were once again led by Neil Gray (4/33) to victory, as he took the first four wickets of the innings to put the Pies in a good position. Anton Ponnamperuma (1/26) and Nimit Desai (3/21) were great in support, as Ringwood were reduced to 8/86. However, after a partnership, it was the inspired move of throwing the ball to Ben McIntosh that brought about the last two wickets, as we bowled out Ringwood for 122, winning by 63 runs.
In the remaining 32 overs, Ben McIntosh warmed up for the T20 portion of the season by scoring 111 before pulling a hamstring, as we wound up 2/159.