Third Team Trounce Taplow
By James Wheeler
The Third Team produced one of their finest performances of the summer as they beat top of the table Taplow by seven wickets at London Road last weekend. The visitors won the toss and elected to make first use of an excellent batting wicket.
The decision backfired as opening bowler Jake Seagrave, playing his first game for the Third Team this summer destroyed the Taplow top order with an excellent spell of swing and seam bowling. Seagrave dismissed three of Taplow’s top four in an incisive 10 over spell.
Taplow’s number five Asif Butt looked to counter attack with some extraordinary strokes as he looked to grab the game back for the visitors. Captain Chris Curry brought himself into the attack and a tight 12 over spell saw him dismiss Butt LBW with a clever piece of bowling.
Teenage prodigy Ed Pike was introduced by Curry and tied up the Taplow middle order with an excellent spell of spin bowling. Pike who has switched to bowl spin full time in the recent months, bowled with great control and was rewarded with two wickets from 15 overs and conceded only 38 runs.
Aqarab Hussain and Summer Abbas put on 47 for the seventh wicket as Taplow pushed towards a competitive total. Toby Seagrave, held back by captain Curry, cleaned up the tail picking up 3-27 as the visitors were bowled out for 174.
The Third Team got off to the worst possible start when James Wheeler was dismissed in the first over. His opening partner Rory Wood fell shortly afterwards as the Third Team slipped to 24-2. With the match on a knife edge, Ant McCormack and Benn Kempster (pictured) kept the Taplow bowling attack at bay. The batting styles of the pair complemented each other in the chase as they looked to give the Third Team the platform to win.
During his innings, Kempster picked up both calf and groin injuries which hampered his ability to run between the wickets. He took inspiration from the great Gordon Greenidge who always used to bat better with a limp as he decided to deal in boundaries as he struck the ball to all parts. With the pain getting worse, Rory Wood came out to act as a runner as the Third Team raced towards the target. Both men registered brilliant half centuries with McCormack using resolute defence and excellent timings while Kempster played powerful strokes all around the ground.
With victory only a few runs away, Kempster was dismissed two runs shy of a second century of the season and it was left to captain Curry to hit the winning runs as McCormack finished unbeaten on 58.