West Of England Premier League (Wilts Division)
Calne v Marlborough 16th July 2016
Marlborough 209-5; Calne 109 all out
Marlborough won by 100 runs
Marlborough travelled to local rivals Calne on a day with humid conditions and heavy cloud cover in the morning. During the team talk Marlborough’s captain George Fox discussed the need to start winning away from home.
Marlborough started well by winning the toss and electing to bat. The opening pair of Nick Crabbe and Fraser Gordon came together and looked to continue where they left off against Purton. They batted steadily and had a first wicket partnership of 68.
Gordon (who was unlucky to be strangled down the leg side) made a convincing 39 before Bob Homani joined Crabbe at the crease. He batted with great effort to keep the run rate going despite Calne bowling a very straight line at the Marlborough star batsmen. Homani was dismissed for a useful 21 which then brought Peter Day to the crease who had practiced well in the week to get into the top form we are used to seeing. Crabbe made a steady 50 but just as he was starting to really express himself with his elegant drives, he was caught by Knight. James Richardson came in and had a very useful partnership of 54 with Day running exceptionally well between the wickets. Marlborough ended their innings on 209-5 with Calne having bowled well.
The Marlborough tea time discussion was to bowl tightly in the first 20 overs and make sure that they restrict the scoring rate, thus putting pressure on the Calne opening batsmen. Things did not go according to plan as Buttler dispatched the bowling of captain Fox with effective boundaries. The skipper made early changes and brought David West into the attack and suddenly everything went Marlborough’s way.
West bowled with great hostility and Mohan Balusu supported him well from the other end. Both bowlers took three wickets apiece and blew away the top order, leaving Calne in disarray, suddenly finding themselves at 61-5, having been 37 without loss.
West produced a fast bowling display that we have not seen from him before, clearly the influence of coach Mark Alleyne is having a positive influence on him at Marlborough College. Once West had bowled his overs the cool red-head Gordon came in to the attack and found himself right in the game, with Homani taking one of the most remarkable stumpings we have seen this season. Fox returned after Balusu’s ninth over and took the final two wickets, Marlborough having not even used the bowling of recent star performer Paul Smith.
Marlborough host Malmesbury next weekend and have to really concentrate to win these games otherwise momentum could suddenly shift in their rivals’ favour.