Innings of: United Social
Innings of: St Michael's
Match reportA stunning century from Will Kingston was the silver lining in this defeat to current champions United Social at a sweltering Weston Favell on Saturday. A first defeat in 6 games leaves St Michael's still in the title race, albeit just, hanging on to the tails of the leaders in fourth place.
United Social won the toss and elected to bat first in temperatures that were touching the mid 90s. And the Social openers were soon enjoying the sun, with opening bowlers Martin Baker and Malc Swann suffering in the heat. It wasn't until a good piece of fielding by Will Kingston that a wicket fell, his throw from square leg catching Cumming out his ground when he backed up too far. Trev Kirby was able to apply the brakes, albeit temporarily, as he removed Joe Heath and Carl McFarlane in quick succession.
St Michael's fielders were also wilting in the heat, with Messrs Baker, Collier, Swann, Harrison, Ahearn and Tebbutt all putting down chances of varying degrees of difficulty. At least the fines kitty received a boost! And it was a blessed relief when Social declared 5 overs early, having rattle up almost 300 runs in the process.
The St Michael's reply couldn't have got off to a worse start. OK, they could have lost 6 wickets in the first over, but to lose both openers within the space of 9 balls for no runs on the board is not far off. Only Will Kingston had the measure of the Social bowlers. Playing sensibly, he defended stoutly, and hit the bad ball for 4. Sounds simple, but against the likes of Carl McFarlane, it's easier said than done. As he passed 50, father Bill helpfully shouted out that 'Mother was on her way' as if to spur Kingston jr on. Help lower down the order from Brian Ahearn (16) and Simon Cannell (15) saw Kingston edge towards his hundred, and St Michael's towards the draw. But Cannell was out with Kingston on 98. Martin Baker defended the next 3 balls to give Kingston the strike, and 2 balls later he cracked another 4 to get to 3 figures for the first time in his career.
The next target was the draw. But Baker was to succumb in the 47th over to give Social the win and a maximum 20 points. St Michael's bagged 5 points in the defeat, but can take consolation that they did not fold in the heat and live to fight another day.