After the disappointment of losing out thanks to Duckworth-Lewis last week against Bredbury, the Squirrels welcomed Bunbury to Rectory Fields for their 3rd consecutive home game. After a very wet week which hindered ground preparation, Toby finally won a toss and invited Bunbury to bat on a very soft wicket. With Shiva missing due to injury, Jegs would open the bowling in his place. Jegs found his line and length early on and got the early breakthrough. One of his legendary slower balls completely fooled the batsman and Thompson was gone for just 6. Not long after it was 2 wickets. This time is was Amal with the wicket. Mackay looked to hit one down the ground, but only found the safe hands of Oli at Mid-On. The score progressed onto 36 before Amal picked up his second of the day, this time caught by Ganesh.
With the score onto 50-3, Toby turned to the spin of Sykes in the search for more wickets. 1 run later, Toby got his wish. A full delivery tempted the batsman to sweep, however he played all around it and was bowled to give Sykes a wicket. Amal pounced in his next over, taking his 3rd of the day, with an in-swinging delivery that tickled off stump, just enough to make the bail fall. Chorlton fell for 23 which included 2 huge sixes. Moments later Amal made it four for the day, a repeat of his first wicket, caught by Oli. And just a few balls later he claimed an extremely well-deserved 5th. Another fine in swinger that again just tickled off stump. Amal finished his spell 5-33 off his 9 overs claiming his maiden 5 wicket haul in a fine display of swing bowling.
Sykes continued to bowl with great control, not offering any loose deliveries and coming close on several occasions whilst G joined the attack and did the same. A healthy partnership moved the score onto 81 as Sykes finished his spell, claiming 1-13 off his 11 overs. Another fine performance from the off spinner. Ganesh was introduced into the attack and picked up a wicket immediately. A sharp off spinner which turned a mile straight through the defense of Noonan. G then picked up two quick wickets to wrap up the innings and Bunbury were 82 all out. Every single bowler worked hard and got reward. Amal the standout with his 5 wickets, Sykes again outstanding, whilst Jegs, G and Ganesh also bowled excellently.
After such a strong bowling display, Jegs and Sykes made their way out to the middle in chase of 83. Jegs got off to a flyer again, finding the boundary twice very quickly and looked like continuing last week’s form. However, he was undone by a ball that just stuck in the pitch slightly and popped up on him. As a result, the ball found its way to mid-wicket for a very slow looping catch and Jegs had to go for just 8. This would be the only breakthrough in the day for Bunbury. Whilst most of the Wilmslow side would look to end the game in a hurry, Sykes and Ganesh were the opposite. Both took their time, seeing off the good deliveries from the bowlers, whilst punishing anything short or over pitched. Both batsmen batted with maturity, and with just 22.4 overs gone, Sykes crashed a cover drive through the infield to wrap up a 9 wicket win for the Squirrels.
Sykes finished 36 not out, whilst Ganesh 33 not out. A fantastic performance all round by the Squirrels with contributions from a lot of the team. It also meant they were in Anthology early and able to enjoy a pint of Mighty Squirrel to celebrate a massive 18 points.
Next week sees the Squirrels travel to Old Parkonians, as they look to build on their impressive performance.