Smith at the fore as ’Brook bounce back
PUBLISHED: 17:26 25 June 2008 | UPDATED: 12:29 11 August 2010
GORESBROOK 137-1 beat BELHUS 136 by 9 wkts Goresbrook bounced back from their drubbing at Fords with an equally convincing victory over Belhus at North Stifford on Saturday. The visitors pace attack proved to be the difference between the sides as Belhus
GORESBROOK 137-1 beat
BELHUS 136 by 9 wkts
Goresbrook bounced back from their drubbing at Fords with an equally convincing victory over Belhus at North Stifford on Saturday.
The visitors pace attack proved to be the difference between the sides as Belhus were skittled out for 136 on a hard, bouncy track that offered something for the bowlers, but also gave batsmen the license to play shots.
'Brook skipper Kurt Whisker won the toss and elected to bowl, hoping that the morning's rain showers might liven the pitch up for his bowlers, however Andrew Mitcheson proved expensive early on and spinner Lawrence Walsh was soon into the attack.
It was the reliable seam of Richard Williams that pegged Belhus back early on, as the quickie picked up the wicket of Belhus skipper Day and then changed ends to snare Huckstepp, caught behind off a ball that seamed and bounced.
Williams continued to bowl in the right areas and beat the bat numerous times in a spell of 2-13 from nine overs, but it was Walsh who picked up the key wicket of Michael Fogg; the pressure built up by the accurate bowling eventually proving too much for the young keeper and he chipped up a catch to Israel Ochwo at midwicket looking to force the pace.
When Williams' spell ended, 'Brook skipper Whisker made the key bowling changes of the match as he also removed Walsh from the attack and unleashed Goresbrook's two quickest bowlers, Shaddai Smith and Israel Ochwo.
The skiddy Smith found some late away swing and bowled unchanged for seven overs, ripping out the Belhus middle order in an excellent spell of 4-21.
As well as Smith bowled, he undoubtedly benefited from a magnificent spell of bowling from Ochwo at the other end, the Warwick University student was unlucky to only pick up one wicket, but his nine overs for just 18 runs contained little of the inconsistency that has often plagued his bowling.
On a fast, bouncy pitch, Ochwo mixed full and straight bowling with some well-directed short stuff that had the Belhus batsmen jumping around, and the pressure he created forced the batsmen to take risks against Smith.
With Belhus reduced to 100-8, a late rally from Kenyon and Didd added 35 runs before Mitcheson returned to bowl Didd, while Toby Maund took the final wicket to leave 'Brook chasing a meagre target of 136.
Run chases have not been Goresbrook's forte this season, but nerves were eased with an opening partnership approaching 50 before Michael Rooke departed for 19.
Skipper Whisker was batting in his usual dogged fashion and when he was joined by Maund, the shackles were thrown off.
Maund played a range of attacking strokes and as the target came down to 30 required, both batsmen opened up and the end came quickly for Belhus.
Maund finished unbeaten on a breezy 54, with Whisker not out 40, Goresbrook easing home by nine wickets with 19 overs to spare.
Whisker was delighted with his side's performance. "Hopefully the lessons from the Fords defeat last week have been taken on board," he said.
"Our bowling today was much better and although the pitch suited our bowlers a bit more, we put the ball in the right areas and at decent pace and it was a good team display.
"Shaddai and Israel were superb, but we all know they can bowl like that, the trick is to do it every week, which is what Richard has done this season."
"It was good to only have a small target to chase and Toby Maund made it look easy when he came in.
"If we can maintain this form, then we are well capable of winning at Asians next week.
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