Crows close to safety following spirited win over Yelling
ROYSTON secured a vital win in a dramatic final over against Yelling at home on Saturday. The win sees the Crows all but secure their safety in the Cheffins CCA Senior League Division Two, and it was a thrilling climax which saw Yelling chasing down 149 b
ROYSTON secured a vital win in a dramatic final over against Yelling at home on Saturday.
The win sees the Crows all but secure their safety in the Cheffins CCA Senior League Division Two, and it was a thrilling climax which saw Yelling chasing down 149 but losing eight wickets for 27 runs giving Royston a 14 run victory.
The visitors won the toss and put Royston in to bat on a damp track and they struck in the seventh over when a poor choice of shot saw Matt Graham (7) trapped lbw playing across a straight line from Johnson.
David Wallis and Jamie Warren played positively, not afraid to drive the ball, however Wallis was beaten and bowled for 15 by Johnson, seemingly picking the slower ball but failing to organise his defence properly.
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Warren followed in the next over and after his match winning innings last week, top edged for 15.
Paul Miller and Martyn Leek forged an important 55 run partnership, Leek supporting well with a confident looking 15 while Miller worked hard to score on a painfully slow outfield.
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The 18-over stand provided the base for the Royston innings and took the Crows to just short of 100 when Leek was caught off Walker's bowling, bringing Ashley Judge to the crease.
With more than 10 overs remaining Royston tried to up the run rate with wickets in hand, however the Yelling attack, Johnson (12-5-15-2) in particular, remained tight. Miller reached his half century in a patient innings, and due to the length of the outfield surprisingly only four boundaries came in his knock.
Judge utilised his power to crash several boundaries and struck a handy 17 before he was bowled going for a big drive by Walker.
Paul Harris came in to support Miller in the final stages and boost the running between the wickets with his pace and energy, taking Royston to 149-5 in 45 overs with Miller ending on a resilient 59no.
In reply, Royston followed Yelling's bowling example with Chris Hootton and Toby Fynn bowling tight lines and not allowing the visitors any runs in the opening 10 overs.
Fynn struck first to remove S Johnson who can have no complaints about a plum lbw, for only two.
Yelling then went 19 overs without loss, putting on nearly 70 runs. However, Royston kept the pressure on and Hootton was unlucky not to claim a scalp.
Having bowled patiently at opener A Johnson, he finally got the chance to bowl at big hitting Walker and deceived him with a slower ball that he top edged, Leek spilling the difficult steepling chance.
Walker went on to score 34 before the introduction of Judge brought the breakthrough, Fynn snaffling a catch that threatened to loop over his head.
It didn't look to be going in the host's favour as Yelling stuck to their task resolutely, however Royston maintained discipline to limit the run rate.
Yelling then embarked on a collapse of epic proportions, beginning with the introduction of Matt Graham for one over to dismiss A Johnson (48) who enticed to open his shoulders and tee up a catch for Judge.
Paul Miller then made a running one handed catch look casual as he dismissed AA Johnson after Fynn was reintroduced and Hootton came back into the attack to claim his first wicket, T Johnson mistiming a cut and spooning it to Wallis at cover for a duck.
Harris was then the protagonist as he weighed in with a direct hit to run out Walker and this was followed by a slower ball from Hootton that induced a mistimed drive to long off from Mead where Harris showed safe hands.
With five overs remaining, Yelling required 29 for victory, but it was testament to the way Royston stepped up their game that the visitors were left reeling. Harris got his reward for an admirable early spell, Dickie caught at long on by Miller for seven, and Fynn struck again in the next over to reduce the away side to 135-9 when he bowled Tack.
Seeing the game slip away and needing 15 in the final over, the rout was completed when Wallis took a fine diving catch to dismiss L Johnson, giving Harris his second wicket and Royston a 14 run victory.
The win takes the Crows closer to safety and the breathtaking manner in which the team performed gives them confidence going into the final two games against the top two teams in the league.