After the highly successful Ultras T20 launch on Sunday, the champions made the short trip to The Bell @ Aldworth fully intent in extending the unbeaten run of the Ultras.
Skipper Jonny Russell lost the toss, but got the outcome he desired as the Aldworth captain opted to field. So the Captain and Vice Captain Butterfield strode out purposefully to the middle to begin the Ultras innings. Russell had surprised all and sundry by pulling out a vintage SS Jumbo (a mysterious Wednesday night second-hand purchase on the way to a Snooker quarter-final) and now we would see whether he had been ripped off. First ball Russell should have gone but the oppos put down a sitter and were to live to regret this as the skipper sprayed the ball to all areas of the ground in scoring a quickfire 28 in the first 4 overs.
Wincott was then done by a demon of a pitch as an unplayable ball kept monstrously low and trapped him LBW. This bought the gloveless Lenny Sexon to the crease who was in the mood for batting and after a cautious start began elegantly dispatching the cherry to the boundary. Matty Norman was done early doors and was quickly followed by Ollie Carrier who went backwards to a Yorker and was cleaned up. So a decent start was starting to look shaky at 66-5 off 9 overs.
In stepped the debutant, Lewis Introna (affectionally dubbed ‘Punter’ by his new GCC teammates for his resemblance to the former Aussie captain) and set about his first real innings in 2 years. Lewis and Lenny gradually built up the score and a well timed acceleration pushed the Ultras towards the skippers target of 150. The Maestro joined the fray for the last couple of overs and fired a useful 12. Slade and Lewis remaining unbeaten at the end of the 20 overs with a pleasing target of 157 set for The Bell.
The Ultras showed their commitment and focus by refusing to be drawn by the offer of West Berkshire Brewery Ale available from the barrel in the changing room – all apart from Ollie Carrier that is who tucked in gleefully.
Aldworth began their reply shakily losing 2 wickets in the first 2 overs, including another fantastic one handed take from The Don and a classy Run Out from Steve Purnell, The Cheese out pacing the batsman as he quite literally ran the man out. Numbers 3 and 4 began to craft an innings and while the Ultras controlled the run rate, there was still danger of Aldworth getting a sniff of the target. This was extinguished when Ferry stepped up to the plate and claimed 2 wickets in 3 balls with impressive top of off deliveries. Lenny Sexon ensured there would be no last minute charge with a controlled 4 over spell of spin that conceded just 16 runs, and Russell and Wincott joined the party to claim late wickets as Aldworth fell short by 42 runs.
The Masooms King Cobra award goes to Lewis Introna for his debut innings of 25 not out (which included some excellent running which we can all learn from) plus an assured display behind the stumps. We hope to see lots more of you Punter!
A very enjoyable and amiable game was followed by a decamp to The Bell – which is a truly fantastic pub and a top evening was had by all downing West Berkshire Brewery Ales and tucking in to hot rolls (Ox Tongue being my particular favourite). Well done Ultras – a hugely successful game and what evening T20 is all about.
Next week sees a friendly on Wednesday at Dorchester, where you will be lead by vice-captain Simon Butterfield. Please make yourself available so that we can continue the unbeaten Ultras run.
Introna 25 n.o
Slade 12 n.o
Ultras 156-6 from 20 overs
The Bell @ Aldworth Innings
Sculley C D Norman B Slade 0
Appleby Run Out (Purnell) 3
Dutton C Wincott B Russell 51
Smellie B Ferry 22
Stone B Ferry 0
Hanson C D Norman B Wincott 14
Walters Not out 7
D Norman 0-19
The Bell 114-6 from 20 overs
Ultras win by 42 runs
Masooms King Cobra – Lewis Introna