The match was scheduled for 120 overs the team batting first having 64 of these available.
After the poor weather all week and the wicket covered it was no surprise when Rowant skipper Josh Smith asked Finches to bat first he having won the toss. Opening with Adam Dewes and Ollie Soames both for the first time this season at Finches it was a steady batting requirement for the opening overs on the wicket showing movement . Adam Dewes was caught behind in the eleventh over and the second wicket of Ollie Soames for a well earned 38 also caught behind was in the seventeenth over with 49 on the board.
Both wickets were to experienced bowler Wes Morrick who then took one more with the fourth then caught behind off Haydn Rossouw. So with four down and the tricky conditions continuing there was a period of sound batting by skipper Dan Lincoln together with his brother Josh. At the lunch interval called early after rain stoppage it was 97 – 4 in 33 overs.
Soon after lunch Josh was caught for 25 leaving Dan to continue his very steady progress. He did not fall until he was ninth man out after two rain stoppages with just three overs available for his fine 60. Wes Morrick bowled through the innings and fittingly took two successive wickets to see Finches dismissed for 172 in 57 overs. He ended with 6 – 63 remarkably bowling 28 successive overs.
Aston Rowant were given 51 overs to bat. They started modestly as in the second over first ball Andy Tolson was bowled by Ryan Quinn. At 21 and in the fourth over Ryan struck again having Tom Condon caught at square leg. But good strokes continued from young opener James Coles. He lost Haydn Rossouw bowled by spinner Billy Rogers but with John Fitzjohn they saw the hundred up in the 26th over. But at 111 the crucial wicket of James Coles fell when he was caught in the deep by Ollie Soames off Ryan Quinn for an excellent 75.
But with skipper L Josh Smith organising the batting the score proceeded steadily to 133 with then 40 runs needed and six wickets and 20 overs remaining. Then with Zak Jones returning to the attack for his third spell he immediately took two wickets then two more in the following over. Spinner Josh Lincoln had joined the attack from the other end and he completed the innings closure by bowling Josh Smith then also bowling last man Dave Whatmore.
So a remarkable end with six wickets falling for nine runs leaving Rowant all out for 142. So a 30 run welcome win for Finches. Seamers Zak Jones 4 – 40 and Ryan Quinn 3 – 40 led proceedings for the bowlers utilizing the conditions well.
The four TVCL sides saw action but with only one success.
The Seconds in division 2B hosted Reading Firsts. Batting first Finches were all out for a disappointing 106. Reading easily passed the total at 107 – 4 so a six wicket win.
Very difficult for the Thirds in division 3A. Hosting Binfield Firsts they were all out for just 58. Binfield at 59 – 2 strolled home for the victory.
At Purley - on -Thames Seconds the Fourths in division 6B lost by 110 runs. Purley totalled 230 – 6 with two wickets apiece for Sultan Khokhar, Adil Mohammed and Callum Longstaff. But after the rain interruption Finches could not master the conditions and were all out for 120.
It was success for the Fifths in division 8A. Visiting Bagshot Thirds they bowled out the hosts for 174. Charlie Marsden with 5 – 42 led the bowlers. Finches were home for the five wicket win at 176 – 5. Simon Eldridge 78 not out and a debut 53 from Sam Bishop saw them comfortably win.
NEIL DOODY 17 JUNE 2019
Updated 14:23 - 28 Jun 2019 by Kwame Appiah