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PHC in shock victory over St David’s

PHC, 201 for nine, beat St David’s, 170 all out, by 31 runs. (Points: PHC 13, St David’s 0).

Rarely will St David’s play so badly as they did yesterday, and while defeat is unlikely to do their chances of winning the title much harm it has blown the relegation battle wide open.

The league leaders sent down an eye-watering 62 extras against PHC, 33 of which were wides, and gave the impression that they merely had to show up to win. How wrong they were.

PHC are a side fighting for their lives and their second victory in two days, coupled with results elsewhere, means that not only are they no longer bottom of the pile but now any two of five sides could still go down.

The Warwick club look a team transformed and back-to-back wins, against St David’s yesterday and St George’s on Saturday who they beat by 93 runs, have given them reason to believe that they might yet escape the drop.

“This weekend has changed everything,” said PHC’s Cal Waldron, “not only in terms of the league standings but for the team morale and the belief that we can do something, despite where we are.

“This has been coming. It is just unfortunate that we are down to where we are before it finally came out. There has always been a belief that we could do it, but we just haven’t been showing it.”

PHC weren’t even at full strength for either of their wins with skipper Kamau Leverock away this weekend, and several other players only able to play once. Still, the team’s strength during their impressive season last year was that they were greater than the sum of their parts, and so it proved again this weekend.

Mackie Darrell took five wickets against St George’s on Saturday, and it was Charles Symon’s turn against St David’s as he took four wickets for 18 runs.

“We moved some players around, we called up some guys that haven’t really played this year and there is still the belief that we can go out there and on the day do what we are supposed to do, which is play good cricket.

“We just want to end the season on a good note, we’re going to give it a go, give it a push and we’ll end up where we end up.”

Waldron (36) was one of the reasons PHC were in a position to win yesterday. He and Hasan Durham (66) put on 136 for the seventh wicket, rescuing their side from a calamitous 45 for six after Justin Pitcher had ripped through the top order.

Pitcher took four wickets for just 17 runs from his first six overs but then he, and St David’s as a team, switched off expecting the rest of the PHC side to capitulate just as easily.

Durham and Waldron had other ideas and they stuck around for 27 overs, when Durham was finally out going for another big hit. By that time they had put on 34 runs in the first two of PHC’s power play overs, and the last five overs of the innings went for 59 altogether as PHC closed on 201.

Still, 200 should have been a gettable total for St David’s, but their batting display largely mirrored their efforts in the field and only skipper OJ Pitcher (44*), Lionel Cann (34) and Shea Pitcher (31) made any impression.

For their part PHC kept things tight, took their chances when they came, and were well worth the win which they wrapped up with nine overs to spare.

“We won’t play that badly again,” said OJ Pitcher, “we beat ourselves. There were some bad decision making, we gave up 62 extras, which is unheard of, we deserved to lose. There is no way you’re going to win the game if you give away that many extras.

“There were probably some bad decisions too on my part where I could have maybe bowled some different people in different situations, but we thought we were on top and it backfired.

“I think we might have been too relaxed, too complacent thinking ‘it’s PHC it’s an automatic win’. But cricket’s played on the field and you can’t take anything for granted.”

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Published August 22, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 22, 2011 at 9:45 am)

PHC in shock victory over St David’s

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