Great start for WBCC 3rd XI

Worplesdon and Burpham 3rd XI made a fantastic start to the season by defeating Westcott in a pre-season friendly. Having not defeated the side for a few years now, skipper James Hopper named a strong starting eleven and took the opportunity to bowl after winning the toss, on a green pitch that definitely suited bowlers.

And so it proved, Alagurajan got Gale with the 4th ball of the match via a fantastic catch at first slip by Verma, holding on to a very sharp chance at head height. He and Loughman bowled extremely well and kept the scoring to a minimum, drawing the batsmen into many false strokes and were unlucky not to add more to the wickets column. Things got even better shortly afterwards when the skipper brought himself on to bowl and made the most of the pressure built by the opening bowlers to pick up 3 wickets in a four over spell while at the other end, Schofield was unlucky not to pick up any wickets with a couple of dropped catches in what was proving to be a top-class bowling display by the 3s.

The 3s maintained this intensity throughout and only some top batting by Westcott’s middle order got them to a competitive total of 152 off 45 overs, with some strong bowling at the death by Schofield and particularly Verma, who picked up 2-17 off his 5 overs.

The chase of 153 started positively enough but a few quick wickets checked progress before a solid partnership of 54 between Golding and Allen laid the foundation for the win, both scoring strongly square of the wicket and running well between the wickets which turned the momentum back towards the 3s.

When they both fell in quick succession Kobhinath and Hopper put together a partnership worth 70 to see the 3rds to the win, Hopper riding his luck by being dropped three times. Kobhinath however looked far more assured, waiting for and punishing the bad balls before hitting 19 runs off what proved to be the final over to cue the celebrations.

Dropped catches were again noticeable in the field and this must be improved ahead of the start of the league season however the 3s must feel very confident now having wrapped up victory against a team they have not beaten for a few seasons now and with a good performance to match it. Dorking next week will be another challenge but if the 3s repeat this kind of performance then they will certainly represent a threat to one of the sides who consistently stay around the top of the table.

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