Saturday XI vs Hinton Charterhouse 1st XI
Hinton 202-6 45 overs
Bears 203-7 43.2 overs
Bears win by 3 wickets
A Mark Gunning-inspired Bear Flat stormed back to winning ways with a hard-fought and possibly crucial three wicket win over Hinton Charterhouse on Saturday.
It was a case of leading from the front as skipper Gunning’s well-paced 72 laid the platform for a successful run chase, the Bears surpassing Hinton’s total of 202-6 with 10 balls and three wickets to spare in an excellent and keenly contested game.
Having lost Charlie Samler and Chris Bence early on in proceedings, key partnerships for the third and fifth wickets between Gunners and first Mike Smyth (34) and then a back-to-form Rob Wilson (45) enabled the home side to just about keep on the right side of the run rate, with a well- timed chase completed by Brendon Bester (13) and Sam Vesey, the latter closing out the game in some style with a swashbuckling 24.
Aside from his own herculean efforts, most pleasing for the skipper was surely the way that a number of individuals stepped up to make vital contributions; shades of the attitude shown throughout the title winning 2017 season, though much more of that spirit will be required before the Bears are able to secure their place at the top table of the Wiltshire County Cricket League.
Earlier in the day, former Bear Flat youth player and Hinton captain, Tom Baker had won the toss and elected to bat in stifling conditions at The Glasshouse. But it didn’t immediately go to plan for the Hinton skipper as Jay morris (2-42) struck two early blows to leave the visitors in a spot of bother at 9-2. However, a 100 partnership for the third wicket between Dave Catlow (54) and Toby Goodman (45) recovered the situation and left Hinton well placed to push on past 200; and although a total just north of 200 was ultimately achieved, the visitors fell short of Baker’s target of 220 in the face of disciplined mid-innings spells from Shreyas Malhotra (2-20), Chris Bence (1-38) and the very occasional medium (generous) pace of Mike Smyth (0-36). Paul Clarke (34) and Baker himself (31*) regaining some lost momentum towards the end to secure maximum batting points for the visitors.
So a must-win game was won, its importance magnified further by rivals Avebury’s victory over Great Bedwyn, but the Bears must try and use this as a springboard to further successes when the second half of the season gets underway on Saturday 7 July (tour next weekend!).
Our thanks as always to our sponsors, Chef de Party, The Devonshire Arms, RH Hayes Roofing and Josh Sutton Plumbing.