CRICKET: A HEAVY mid-morning downpour at Walsall’s Gorsway Ground resulted in Wardens’ game being abandoned.
Despite the best efforts of ground staff, who toiled for several hours mopping up, cricket never became possible.
At one point it looked like a 30 over-a-side game would be possible from 3pm, but rain intervened again as a short, but heavy, shower at about 2pm curtailed the clean-up operation and all thoughts of play for the day were abandoned.
Both captains shook hands in the middle of the square – ironically with blue sky above and warm afternoon sun beating down.
Wardens are next in action this Saturday as they host table toppers Knowle and Dorridge at Glasshouse Park.
There was better luck for the 2nd XI despite morning rain reducing their clash against Himley to 39 overs-a-side.
Wardens skipper Madley won the toss and inserted Himley to bat first, a decision which immediately backfired as Himley made a flying start.
Openers Vaidya and Brandick dispatched any loose ball with ease as Wardens failed to gain any early innings control.
After both Rex and Whiting had big appeals turned down against Vaidya it seemed like it wasn’t going to be Wardens day.
Veterans Whiting and Pidgeon had other ideas though. Working in a tandem, they soon built desperately needed pressure with Pidgeon finally removing Vaidya LBW for 47.
Brandrick quickly followed after debutant Charles Johnson took an excellent catch at mid on.
A further 20 minute heavy shower then halted proceedings.
When Wardens returned to the field they offered little scoring opportunity for Himley as Pidgeon (3-44), Whiting (2-38) and Sahota (2-22) ripped through Himley’s middle order.
The visiting side finished their innings on 170/7, a figure likely to be 30 runs under par on what was an excellent wicket.
As a result of the mid-innings rain, Wardens’ innings was reduced to 33 overs.
Opening bowlers Siviter and Wentworth produced excellent opening bursts to remove Madley and young Butler – both were caught behind for 2 and 4 respectively.
This brought Johnson and the experience of Pidgeon to the crease. The pair built a first class 93 -un partnership to tip the game in Wardens’ favour.
After Pidgeon was removed for a well-paced 29, it left Johnson to up the tempo with a vast array of reverse and traditional sweeps and dabs to rattle along at well over a run-a-ball.
Supported by Tommy Rex (24) Wardens were cruising to victory.
Once Johnson was caught behind for an excellent 91, Wardens required just three runs off the last over.
A drop at gully and immediate overthrows saw Wardens reach their target with five balls remaining.