West Sail to Win over Stirling
By David Hinchliffe
Strong partnerships won the day.
West batted first and Stirling bowled full early, only giving a couple of opportunities to attack bad balls. However. West took advantage of some poor bowling after the first 10, with 31 extras and 19 boundaries struck (only one from an edge, the rest middled).
This allowed West to catch up quickly, build several partnerships and increase the rate. Credit here must especially be given to Williams (62) and Fearn (46), who put on 88 runs at almost six per over through the middle and into the death. Notably, this was done with a high level of control. Williams and Fearn looked to score from 85% of the balls they faced while barely playing a false shot.
At 40 overs, West were 162-4. This allowed a hit at the death that resulted in 41 runs from overs 41-45. The big hitting had begun, and on another day this could have taken West past 250. Sadly, the shots went to hand meaning 33 were scored from the last five and West finished on 237.
In reply, Stirling avoided early wickets; putting on 39 in 10 overs for the first wicket, but due to the big total, pressure to score was already building. The spinners did the real damage, both Chance and Fennah caused problems to the Stirling batsman who clearly felt the need to attack (with fives needed) but didn’t seem to have an answer to accurate bowling. The pair took 9-65 to close out the game in 16 overs of spin. Eight of the wickets fell to close catches, stumpings, bowled or LBW, showing how effectively the pair bowled.
Stirling were out of the game when they lost three wickets for no runs to be on 96-9 after 24 overs. They ended all out for 115.