MARCH Town frustrated Wisbech Town’s Cambs Tucker League title hopes by batting out for a losing draw at Harecroft Road on Saturday.
And Wisbech skipper James Williams was far from happy about the March tactics. “It is poor cricket when you do not try and go for the runs from the outset as March did. It made for a very poor game and it is no good just trying to get the bonus points as they did.”
Wisbech scored 265 for five declared and left March with 53 overs to survive at the crease and that is exactly what they achieved with 166 for eight at the close.
From the outset of the March innings they were well behind the required run rate with just 25 runs on the board after 12 overs. Wisbech had scored 100 in 14 overs.
Openers Tom Howgego 14 and David Hodson 53 eventually put on 57 for the first wicket.
March then took on the attitude of if we cannot win we will make sure we do not lose and for a team that has struggled to pass 100 runs in most games this season even that was a bold task.
But Hodson, promoted from the seconds, made the most of his chances with 53 surviving a difficult caught and bowled by James Williams. Aussie Ryan Meyer produced a dogged innings of some 128 minutes while scoring just 44 runs with support from Ben Pyle 11. But Jack Hastings, who removed Hodson, then picked up three more cheap wickets to finish with four for 13.
Gary Freear, who had one spell as wicket-keeper when brother Simon injured a thumb collecting off the fastest bowler in the East Williams, took two for 16 off 13 overs while Williams finished with two for 59.
Some Wisbech players felt aggrieved that March did not take up the challenge but at the same time maybe skipper Williams was a little greedy in going for the full 25 points by batting first instead of putting March, now one of the weaker sides in the league, into bat. In the end Wisbech had to settle with 14 points and March picked up six points.
Williams said: “I have no regrets batting first although I did think about putting them in. We batted well again but did not bowl as well as we can and could not get them out. Ryan Meyer has done a good job for them and we have ended up with not as many points as I would have liked.”
Chris Ringham was forced to watch his first derby game for 10 years having been ruled out for the season with a broken finger and felt the experience was “terrible”.
But he defended his side’s tactics: “The plan at first was try and get to 200 runs and then if we were in with a chance go for it. But we started very slowly when they bowled well so were always struggling to reach the required run rate. But to score 166 is a big plus for us after struggling to reach 100 recently.
“We had to settle for the draw and I suppose we are the happier of the two teams.”
With March missing Ringham, Tyler Phillips (leg strain), and James Harradine in their bowling ranks, they were always facing an uphill task of curtailing a Wisbech battling line-up that has been firing on all cylinders recently.
Sam Albutt returned to the Wisbech first team and produced his best innings at the club in two seasons with a very impressive 70 runs after coming in when Danny Emmington was out for 14 with 28 runs on the board.
Albutt, who had hit 46 for the seconds the previous week, was soon mastering the March bowling and soon outscoring Gary Freear who was a little subdued early on.
They had put on 86 for the second wicket when the partnership was eventually broken in the first over from Meyer, who had earlier dropped Albutt, although the leg before decision certainly did not go down well with Albutt.
David Wood joined Freear, but seven runs later he departed with John Gilson stumping him down the leg side.
Skipper James Williams and Freear then put on 50 runs for the fourth wicket before Williams went for 14. But March were still second best as Jack Hastings and Freear set about the bowling.
Freear proved the backbone of the Wisbech innings with 88 runs before Hodson held on to a catch above his head to dismiss him.
Wisbech had reached 265 for five when Williams finally declared with five overs to go and Hastings was just three runs short of a deserved half-century.
When Meyer collected his first wicket in his first over it looked as though he might play a big part, but his bowling was far from consistent as he finished with two for 73 off 14 overs.
Wisbech’s under 14 team continued their good form with a five-wicket win against Dersingham.
Dersingham were 89 all out with Harrison Smith three for five and Ed Page four for seven the pick of the Wisbech bowlers.
Wisbech were 90 for five off 19.2 overs with Ryan Hutler 38 and Dan Crossley 13 no.