Wallasey v Ormskirk20th May 2017
Just as the game was about to start at Wallasey’s Oval Ground, the heavens opened and so the proceedings were delayed for two hours before the first ball could be bowled. The miserable start to the day, however, gave no indication of the excitement that was to follow which ended with last a gasp joy for Ormskirk, gaining victory by seven wickets, leaving them sitting at second place in the Championship table and preserving an unbeaten run in this year’s Premier League championship.
Wallasey skipper, Danny Beaver won the toss and elected to bat. First blood went to Ormskirk when Scott Lees trapped the opening batsman, Martin Williams, into feeding Ormskirk skipper, Matt Glayzer, a catch with only six runs on the board.
Five wickets fell cheaply with the score reaching 73-5, leaving Beaver wondering if he had done the right thing in opting to bat, especially when he himself lost his wicket (the 5th) to a catch behind off the bowling of Jamie Barnes. By the time he had gone Scott Lees, Nicky Caunce and Josh Bohannon had been helping themselves to wickets, ably assisted by George Lavelle who took three catches behind the wicket.
The rapid fire wicket taking spree came to an end as Alex Eagles and Andrew Ward built up a stand of 73 runs. It took two superb catches, both off the bowling of Nicky Caunce, to get back in a wicket taking vein when the score had reached 148. The first to go was Alex Eagles (64) when Nicky took a quite brilliant catch to his own bowling and not too long after Andrew Ward (30) was caught on the boundary by Ian Robinson.
The tail end batsmen flung the bat in a scurry for runs and after 50.5 overs and with 9 wickets down the innings was declared at 163-9
Under normal circumstances 169, to a team like Ormskirk which bats down to number 7, it would seen to be a reasonable target to reach, that is of course, if there were plenty of overs to get them in.
The scenario was that Ormskirk had to score a winning margin in about only half the number of overs Wallasey had to amass their total. It was a big ask and a betting man would have put his money on a draw. He would have lost his money because he had not reckoned on an outstanding innings of Michael Jones (67), supported by a holding role from his opening partner Andy Baybutt (17) and the flamboyance of Josh Bohannon (39). Michael played some superlative shots including one mighty 6 which would have reached New Brighton had the houses surrounding the ground not been there. When victory was in sight he threw caution to the wind and skied a catch to leave his team a moderately modest task of scoring at a rate of 4 runs an over to win the match. George Lavelle (13*) and Gary Knight (17*) made short work of the task and in just 28.3 overs and with 7 wickets to spare took the score to 166-3 and 24 points back to Brook Lane.
There were several outstanding performances for Ormskirk, to include 3 wickets to Nicky Caunce, 3 catches to George Lavelle and 2 wickets and 39 runs to Josh Bohannon. The most outstanding performance, however, was Michael Jones’ 63 runs. Michael is used to building up an innings, rather that getting involved in a run chase more typical of a T20 game. He adapted to suit the circumstances and so he just shaded other contenders in being the front-runner in Ormskirk’s Man of the Match nomination.