Nick Wale anchored the innings with a beautifully compiled 80 while the rest of the top six chipped in, but unfortunately they just fell short and had to settle for a draw.
Chris Curry won the toss and chose to bat in overcast and muggy conditions which looked to suit his new ball attack of James Gurnett and Tom Darling. The pair beat the bat on numerous occasions, but the excellent wicket allowed the Hayes openers Singh and Mughal to punish the bad ball and get full reward for their shots. With the opening partnership at 132, experienced medium pacer Ian Rildey dismissed Mughal LBW for 56 and only five runs later he dismissed his opening partner Singh for 63.
With two new batsmen at the crease, Ridley and young leg spinner Harry Grinham slowed the Hayes scoring rate with disciplined display with the ball. Grinham who has bowled some excellent spells for our adult teams in his debut year with the seniors, bowled his best spell to date bamboozling the Hayes middle order. Grinham picked up 4-78 with pick of his wickets, a wrong-un which trapped Rajinder Singh LBW.
Hayes fought back but with Grinham and the returning Sam Shearman chipping away with crucial wickets as the Third Team kept the visitors under 300 which after the start looked a formality. A late charge by James Gurnett saw him pick up wickets in successive deliveries as Hayes were bowled out for 277.
Ant McCormack and the returning Shearman started positively as the Third Team looked to chase the total down. Shearman playing his first game for the club in four years, looked like he had never been away as he scored a rapid 33 before being bowled by Safi. Shearman ended up staying on the field to act as a runner after McCormack suffered a hamstring injury. The injury restricted McCormack’s running, but it didn’t effect his batting as he continued where he finished against Taplow as he drove the ball impressively down the ground, and it was a shock when he was dismissed for 36.
Nick Wale batting at three, laid down an anchor and held the innings together as Alan Shepherd and then Chris Curry played aggressively at the other end. Wale batted beautifully, driving the seamers and sweeping the spinners as he brought up his first half century for the Third Team. Curry was dismissed with 98 required which brought James Wheeler to the crease to join Wale as the runs required approached nine runs an over. The pair put on 50 with a balance of powerful boundaries and hard running between the wickets, but they struggled to consistently score 10+ runs in an over.
With the run rate raising, Wale was dismissed for a well made 80 and the chances for the Third Team pulling off an unlikely win went with him. The Third Team kept on fighting but eventually finished on 258 which was 20 runs short of victory.