Tom anchors Cowbridge to overhaul Llandysul total

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

By Contributed Item
in Cricket

As the England cricket team have Jerusalem as their hymn/anthem maybe Cowbridge should settle on ‘Will Your Anchor hold in the storms of life?’ after the first XI’s own batting anchor, Tom Merilaht, held fast and scored 130 in on Saturday to guide Cowbridge to overhaul the impressive Llandysul home total of 269-5.

Tom’s innings, this time a league career best, saw Cowbridge’s 1st XI home by six wickets.

The long drive to Llandysul has its reward in that it is an excellent high-scoring ground but at the toss there was no consensus of what sort of score represented par, ie. the score that would probably give both sides a chance to win.

Llandysul looked far from a side wallowing in the lower reaches of the First Division. Gary Williams made 137 not out while Jonathan Hubsmidt (2-58) was effective and paceman Rian Thomas and off-spinner Nick Wood contained well.

Whichever way you dress it up it’s a big ask to chase 270 in 50 overs to win a game. Chasing that sort of number requires some risk from one end and safety at the other, indeed to win requires one of the openers to bat most of innings. But then that’s what Tom likes to do

The start was not great as Ben Wright was run out for 11 but after that blow Tom and Jonathan proceeded to bat sensibly and the next wicket came with the score on 152.

Cowbridge had enjoyed a good start and he was followed by Jon who seemed set to get his first hundred for the club only to fall for 77.

Nevertheless the anchor was wasn’t moving, it was still there. As it turned out after Jonathan was out Cowbridge’s batsmen seemed unsure of the best way to accumulate runs.

However it was the solidity of lusty hitting Matt Harper (23), the wicket keeper, and Nick Wood’s patience that saw to it that victory was achieved. Yet although it was a great team effort it is a game that will long be remembered as Tom’s triumph.

It’s not the former six-times skipper’s way to be flamboyant, Tom is the sort of cricketer who never gives his wicket away, never gives any succour to the opposition that he might present them with a chance.

While sometimes statistics can create a false impression of value to a side in Tom’s case they tell you almost everything.

To date this opening batsman has batted in league cricket 127 times, scored 5,309 runs at 50.99, including posting 41 50s and now six centuries.

In short, Tom’s weight of runs has been the most important aspect of Cowbridge’s competitiveness in recent years.

In terms of value to his club Tom sits with the batting legends of Cowbridge cricket.

Thomas Babbington Jones, our first first class cricketer, Billy Russellc who once scored 201 not out in an afternoonc and played more than a 100 times for the-then Minor County of Glamorgan, L E W ‘Tip’ Williams, John ‘JA’ Davies and Norman Gauntlett to name but a few.

Remember too that had the regulations been different when Tom was playing for Leeds/Bradford MCCU, he would have half a dozen ‘first-class’ appearances to add to having played for Glamorgan second XI and Wales Minor Counties.

Cowbridge’s unbeaten run is now eight weeks. The last defeat was way back at the first game, against league leaders Bronwydd.

It is probably the fixture that will determine the club that will win The Dan Radcliffe Cup, all support will be welcome.

JRB

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