Wanderers home – by one wicket!
VISITING Sarnians Wanderers Irregulars squeezed over the victory line on Saturday having made life difficult for themselves against RGA Walkovers.
The Guernsey side secured their first win of the 2019 PraxisIFM CI League campaign by just one wicket at FB Fields, after earlier looking comfortable in a run chase targeting 186.
Toby Belton (34) and Gashirai Masvikeni (27) sent Wanderers well on their way before Walkovers’ fielding took control, although the home side were unable to stem the flow of runs enough to secure a first win for themselves.
Wanderers captain Anthony Stokes said: ‘The CI League is always a tough challenge for us but this was a game we thought we could win. We didn’t make it easy for ourselves but the guys at the end did a good job in getting us over the line. Our openers did a great job to give us a platform and without that we wouldn’t have won.
‘We’ve got St Ouen in two weeks and they’re a strong team so we’ll look to take momentum into that and hopefully cause a bit of an upset.’
Opener Jamie Brewster found boundaries with relative ease for Walkovers (three 6s, four 4s) before going for 46 and John Donaldson was equally impressive – sending it long for six runs on five occasions as he approached 55.
The hosts stood at 117-2 after 25 overs and looked good for a 200-run haul. However, the run-rate slowed as lunch neared.
Dareth Morison chipped in with 35 from the middle order but singles reigned as Wanderers – led by Stokes with 4-33 – kept it tight to give themselves what turned out to be an achievable target.
Walkovers would have been reasonably pleased with their innings but their defence could have enjoyed better starts.
The Sarnians opened with purpose, notching up 14 runs in the first two overs before Masvikeni began to swing with success. Fast bowler Rob McBey and spinner Harry Brooks struggled to dent opposition confidence in the first five overs but Donaldson and Joe Bevis helped to steady the ship somewhat.
Wanderers passed the 50-run mark inside seven overs (Walkovers took 12 to reach that mark) although they too failed to maintain their early-innings strike rate and went from being strong favourites to potential losers.
The visitors required just two runs with 30-odd balls to spare but they were short on wickets – teetering on the edge with just one remaining.
A confident two from Sam Hale ended any worry of the wobble resulting in a collapse, though.
‘They got off to a flyer, which puts you on the back foot,’ said Walkovers captain Brewster.
‘We had to go all-out attack early to get wickets and it probably cost us in the end. We did strangle them in the middle overs, taking wickets at regular intervals, and I thought we were in the hunt but unfortunately they got over the line.
‘We were probably 20 runs light, but hindsight is a wonderful thing and I’m still happy with the way we played.’
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