Cairns leads with bat and ball as Ashley head to the top
Ashley travelled to a very picturesque Bunbury ground with 2 victories under their belt. This coincided with the return of the skipper from overseas travel to take the reins of a full strength XI.
Having won the toss, there was no hesitation in batting first on a very good looking surface.
Tommy and Woody continued their early season form, with early boundaries for both openers as 22 were scored after the opening half dozen over’s. Tommy was the recipient of some luck being dropped at square leg and then being caught off a no ball off the same bowler. The diminutive keeper collected 3 more boundaries with shots round the wicket to take the score to 57. Luck ran out shortly after as he was run out running up the hill with a good throw from cover point for a well made 30. Harry Horse became the 2nd wicket for the home side, prodding a return catch to the off spinner to make it 66/2.
Vice captain Subs struck a powerful straight drive to open his account, as Woody’s cover drive took him into the 30’s after drinks.
With plenty of wickets in the hut, Woody decided to up his ante, but lost his wicket going across the line at 97.
The hosts spinners, kept a tight rein on the scoring, as Jake and Subs batted sensibly with 15 remaining.
Jake showed his prowess as Ashley passed 100, with late cut and straight driven shots. At 116, Subs lost his shape heaving and his wicket, as his brother Riz replaced him at the crease.
Ashley headed into the last 10 overs, with Jake clearing the boundary, and scampering singles with Riz. Further batting points came in the 40th, as Riz was adjudged lbw. Alex was bowled looking to back away and find a gap. Farrukh saw a muscled shot superbly saved on the rope as the fielder brilliantly parried the ball back into play. However, he was not to be outdone by consecutive shots to third man and extra cover. Jake reached his maiden Ashley 50, before being bowled off the last ball of the innings for 58, as the lower order came and went in the search for quick runs to end the score on 192.
Bunbury started their innings well as both Jake and Nad conceded boundaries to reach 24 in 4.
Bowling up the hill proved difficult for both side’s seamers, as Nad struggled in his first spell of the season. However, Jake made the breakthrough as his pace saw Percival snick behind and next ball send Thomson’s off stump cart-wheeling back. Bulow averted the hat-trick as Farrukh came on 1st change with the home side reached 50 in the 10th over.
After looking in good form, Bulow was not able to survive much longer, as another Jake delivery burst his defence and break the middle stump. The game was halted as there were no spare stumps to be found anywhere and the umpires advising a nervy Ashley skipper that the game would have to be abandoned. With Duck Tape rescuing the affected pole, the game continued. Jake took his 4th in his 7th over, clipping Bettany’s stumps for 27.
Farrukh’s 2 over spell was replaced by the spin of Yasir who took the 5th of the game taking a return catch. Next over the game was seemingly all headed one way, as Bunbury captain, Simon Lamb, edged to gully and Alex holding a very sharp chance at the second attempt and the score on 72/6.
Jake was replaced by Subs, as Bunbury avoided further wicket loss to drinks at 92/6.
Despite losing wickets, Bunbury were not out of the game if a stand could be cobbled together on a ground with a very fast outfield, helping strokeplay to the maximum.
Young, Alex Livingston batted well taking responsibility and hitting the bad ball. Subs managed to get the breakthrough with 17 over’s remaining bowling Caine.
Yasir’s next over, saw the nous of the wise skipper and his vice, change the field and plug a gap on the offside to force Livingston to think differently. The plan worked instantly, as he tried to lift the ball over extra cover, where the skipper plucked the full blooded shot into his right hand for his 3rd wicket of the day.
Warr and Johnson then battled into the 38th over, with Jake returning for Yasir as Ashley strove for the final 2 wickets and 25 point haul. The 39th over ended play with Warr edging to slip and Jake start the next league game on a hat-trick with Williams caught in front of the stumps.
An excellent performance in all disciplines with Jake earning the man of the match with 58 and 6/53. This was backed up with Yasir getting over’s under his belt and earn 3/31, with Subs chipping in with a wicket.
The evening was ended with the news that Ashley had moved into pole position in the league after 3 matches.
Next week sees a double weekend at home, with a league match against Pete Pearce’s Kingsley and a Village Cup tie against the Liverpool Comp’s Northop Hall.