Our fours travelled to Mid Sussex on Saturday and the pretty surrounds of North Square Ansty. Hints of high summer accompanied the match as blue skies and sunshine made a very welcome appearance across our region. Indeed, all 22 players and fans shared a magical day as the hosts got on top by 40 runs.
Opener Rory Beard set the tone for Ansty with a watchful start to the day as Ken Chapman made a quick fire 33 at three. Malorie Short keep things nice and tidy in her opening spell as the game developed into a slow burner. With the score at 120 for 3 the Nomads were turning the screw with bowlers and fielders working in perfect harmony. For five overs it felt like the game was on knife edge. Unfortunately for the visitors two skied miscues fell just short of Nomad hands and the spell was broken.
Huge credit to Rory who nearly carried his bat for a well-crafted and ultimately match winning 97 runs. The hosts settled on a good score of 225 for 7 off the 40 overs. Musto and Short the pick of our bowlers. The Champagne moment arrived late in the inns as Mal stood under a towering shot which swirled in the wind. Eventually she nonchalantly took it one handed to the cheers of her on rushing teammates.
Our 4th team are always on the lookout for experienced cricketers to join the squad and yesterday saw two excellent and promising candidates open the batting. Aly Cato (Nomads Debutant) and Andy Burchell (Nomads Debutant 1991!) looked composed and solid under the initial onslaught for an opening stand of 15. The Skipper then hit a massive six and three fours before slashing one to point for 22. A mid order slump was looking to derail the Nomad effort until superhero Julian Musto arrived at the crease. Armed with his son’s £400 bat he started a fierce assault on the total. With Danny Poynting straight batting the other end Musto started hitting sixes with ease. In a devastating 39 ball inns he blasted no less than six maximums and six other boundaries as the hosts got nervous.
Unfortunately, with his departure on 76 runs the game was up despite a lovely 14 not out by the effervescent Malorie Short. 30 points for Ansty 11 for the Nomads.
The skipper said later ‘I hate losing but that was a great game and I think everyone had fun out there. It was Julian’s day!’ Asked about the fielding he said ‘it’s frustrating when important chances don’t go to hand but you just have to work harder and on another day we will be taking those catches’ And confidently predicted ‘a fours win is just around the corner!’
Julian said ‘I enjoyed that, it was Sam’s bat and there seemed to be a big middle!’
Bowman said ‘many thanks to Ansty for hosting. It was a hugely entertaining afternoon played in the right spirit where there was a bit of tension and nerves around. Over 400 runs were scored! Our 4s now look as if they have some balance to the squad and we could be onto something with Aly and Andy up top. Malorie and young Lewis Cox (making his men’s debut) both had excellent matches but there can only be one Nomads man of the match, Mr Musto senior!!’
The 4s will be ecstatic to get back to home comforts on Saturday as they entertain Plumpton and Chiltington.