Left-arm spinner Steve Blandford made an impressive Thames Valley League debut for the 1st XI on Saturday, with his seven-wicket haul the key to Wooburn's nine-wicket victory over Gerrards Cross 2nds.
Choosing to bat first, Gerrards Cross soon found that the damp pitch, with its tennis-ball bounce, was going to make life difficult. However, they survived some early alarms to progress steadily to 82-1.
With overs ticking by, the home side looked to accelerate, and it was at this point that Blandford turned the game Wooburn’s way. His first wicket was fortuitous, as Collins smashed a full toss to deep square leg where Richard Barker took a fine catch.
But thereafter, extracting a reasonable amount of turn and an unreasonable amount of bounce, he ran through the Gerrards Cross batting to finish with 7-45 – Eykyn’s dogged 53 being the only real resistance. At the other end, Ian Cuthbert and Phil Day (2-21) maintained the pressure as the home side subsided to 143 all out.
The pitch was still tricky when Wooburn began their reply. But the Gerrards Cross bowlers didn’t make the best use of the conditions, allowing Ian Cuthbert and Dave Rogers to get the visitors off to the solid start they needed. Their century stand was finally broken when Cuthbert was adjudged caught behind off Warren, the pick of the bowlers, for 52.
James White added a quick-fire 30 as he and Rogers, who finished unbeaten on 46, steered Wooburn to a comfortable victory.