WSL Rally After Early Collapse
Report by Chris England
At 8—3 and 56 –6 WSL were struggling to challenge the modest total of 147 set by visitors Crowthorne & Crown Wood. But a superb batting display of controlled aggression from Zaheer Gujjar ( 90 n.o ) ensured the home team maintained their hundred percent winning start to the season. Despite having only ten men due to the late arrival of our overseas player (Ravi!), skipper Andy Malliff elected to bowl. Although, there was no early breakthrough, Zee Gujjar and Siva Kumar (our go to man for containment) bowled tightly forcing the opposition to take risks as the overs slid by—and with Siva bowling, overs slide by in seconds rather than minutes! However, his 12 overs for 21 including 2 wickets played a crucial role in the game.
It wasn’t long before the new WSL spin triumvirate were soon in full flow, and apart from C&C’s opener Nash, few batsmen were able to cope with their flight and guile. Sadly, neither were the fielders who managed to spill a total of eight catches!! Clear focus for Thursday’s training session here! This did not deter Chris Waghorn who picked up 4 wkts with some tantalizing leg spin and Sree Venkata who carried on the good work to pick up two more. Even three uncharacteristically loose overs from Chris England yielded 2 wkts!
After consuming a nicely varied and interesting tea (thanks Sree!), the mood in the WSL camp was positive. However, the C&C opening attack of Chandran and Crinnion bowled tightly and effectively, luring the WSL top order into unnecessary aggressive shots and careless running. A disastrous 8-3 soon became 20–4 – even achieving a three figure total looked beyond the home side. However, the composed and confident Zee Gujjar was about to take centre stage. After a patient start, he started to find the boundary with regularity and soon the C&C fielders were watching the ball fly over their heads as he went on to amass six sixes. His 90 not out was quite simply a match winning performance. He was well supported by Sid Sainani (25) and brought up victory with another glorious six.
WSL are a team of great potential but several lessons need to be learnt from this game if the winning streak is to continue.