Sunday 10th September 2006 vs Sundowners C.C.
Washington denied at the last
Washington C.C.
Sundowners C.C.

Matthew Cragoe reporting


Washington were denied in a nerve-jangling finale at Woodside Park on Sunday.  Two balls remained when home side Sundown Specials lost their ninth wicket. It left  last man Dave Reed having to face a fired-up Paul Irons, who had already bagged four wickets for just 8 runs, tearing down the hill in indifferent light.


He survived; the game ended as a draw.  But what a draw, what a game:  as Paul Irons said afterwards, ‘that’s why we play cricket’.


In truth, Wash had much the better of the encounter.  They batted first, and Aff Naseem (59) and Tony Harris (98) prospered in the autumn sunshine.  Both men took full toll of the depleted Specials attack as they added a season’s-best 156 for the second wicket.  Where Naseem was all technical correctness, using his feet nicely to get to the pitch of the ball and driving along the ground, Harris offered pure aggression, smashing handsome shots all round the ground.


Both men eventually fell to Tony Medlock – Naseem caught at midwicket, Harris bowled 2 runs short of a century - who took 6-56 on his final appearance for the Sundowners.


Indeed, bowling in tandem with young Jack Reed (2-18), Medlock led something of a fightback in the last ten overs as Washington lost a succession of cheap wickets – Irons (10), Tony Burt (5), Brad Hitchock (4), John Roche (12) and Richard Jones (0) all perished chasing quick runs;  only skipper Justin Gurney (22) found his form lower down the card.


Wash declared with 9 wickets down, setting their hosts a target of 248.  In the event, Washington’s bowlers ensured the Sundowners’ chase never got going. Opening pair Jones (0-19) and Dave Monger (0-26) kept the scoring rate in check, and then Dominic Butcher (1-10) made the breakthrough, picking up the vital wicket of Mike Herlihy (25).  Gurney then snaffled the dangerous Medlock for just 3, and the door was open.


Supported by some stunning catches – Jones, Irons and Hitchcock all pouching blinders –Burt (3-27) and Irons (4-8) proceeded to work their way through the Sundowners’ line up.  However time ran out for Washington and as the sun never quite went down on the home side, and the game ended as an exciting draw. 


On a more serious note, Wash keeper John Roche received a nasty blow to the bridge of the nose when a wicket-taking delivery from Paul Irons deflected off the top of the stumps into his face; happily, reports from the Wash changing room (particularly the showers) suggest no lasting damage was sustained.


Man of the Match:  Tony Harris - great innings and incessant verbals

Packing the Kit:  John Roche – use your gloves, man.


Washington:  Gurney (+), Roche (*), Cragoe, Naseem, Harris, Irons, Burt, Hitchock, Jones, Butcher, Monger.

top   back
Player Runs How out
Matthew Cragoe 8 Caught
Aff Naseem 59 Caught
Tony Harris 98 Bowled
Paul Irons 10 Caught
Tony Burt 5 Caught
Justin Gurney 22 Caught
John Roche 12 Caught
Brad Hitchcock 4 LBW
Richard Jones 0 Caught
Dominic Butcher 4* 
Did Not Bat
Dave Monger
Wkt Runs Batsmen
1 17 Matthew Cragoe  &  Aff Naseem
2 159 Aff Naseem  &  Tony Harris
3 5 Tony Harris  &  Paul Irons
4 26 Paul Irons  &  Tony Burt
5 0 Tony Burt  &  Justin Gurney
6 30 Justin Gurney  &  John Roche
7 3 Justin Gurney  &  Brad Hitchcock
8 0 Justin Gurney  &  Richard Jones
9 14 Justin Gurney  &  Dominic Butcher

Player Cts Wkt Cts Stmps
Brad Hitchcock 2 - -
Paul Irons 2 - -
Richard Jones 1 - -
Player Overs Mdns Runs Wkts
Justin Gurney 7.0 1 22 1
Paul Irons 6.0 2 8 4
Richard Jones 5.0 1 19 0
Dave Monger 5.0 0 26 0
Tony Burt 4.0 0 27 3
Dominic Butcher 6.0 2 10 1