By Stephen Lees


AFTER some poor weather early in the week, the sun shone for two games at Gunnislake over the weekend, both of which resulted in home victories in Division Five East.

On Saturday, visiting St Austell Fourths won the toss and chose to bat. 

Ten minutes in they have been pondering this decision as two quick wickets fell, both being bowled by Lee Roberts who went on to take four wickets.

Joe Baker (28), coming in at four seemed a man on a mission and suddenly ball was being despatched to all parts of the ground. 26 runs were added in two overs before order was restored as Dinesh Thirupuvanarajah took a catch off the bowling of Jake Beare.

From there wickets tumbled fast, with only opener and stand-in captain Sam Bennetts holding firm. Eventually he found a willing partner in number ten batsman Steve Osborne. 

The score crept up slowly, past 80 for two batting points and then past 100. Progress was slow, but there were overs to spare.

However, James Boundy got an off-break past the defences of Osborne and then again the last man as St Austell ended on 118 all out. Bennetts held the innings together, carrying his bat for 31 not out. Roberts (4-34) and Boundy (4-19) finished with four wickets apiece.

After tea, Joe Organ was in fine form, driving to both leg and off, while Brian Martin anchored at the other end. 

The score had reached 56 after ten overs before the first wicket fell as Martin missing a gently looping slower ball to be bowled. 

Straight after Organ went to his half century before suffering a repeat of Martin’s demise (65-2).

It was, however, their last success, as captain Dinesh Thirupuvanarajah hit out. 

In nineteen overs it was indeed over, as Gunnislake passed the St Austell total, to secure a win and maximum points. Thirupuvanarajah finished on 34 not out, but it was the bowlers that provided the platform to win the match. 

Another fine day on Sunday saw St Stephen visit for a match originally scheduled for April. 

St Stephen won the toss and chose to bat, with Boo Tamblyn pressed into emergency service as an opener with regular Shaun Hicks. 

But Hicks was first out as Gunnislake struck early. Lee Roberts moved one away from the batsman, who sent a sharp edge fast towards gully. Joe Organ, fielding in the slips, leapt high and left like a salmon, to hold on to a stunning catch; St Stephen were 4 for 1. 

Tamblyn and captain Richard Budge did not last long either, leaving it to young Oliver Budge and Craig Coad to rebuild the innings. Runs came slowly, at just over two an over, but there was plenty of time. When Budge fell to another excellent catch Gunnislake captain, Dinesh Thirupuvanarajah, mixed things up and chose to give debutant Paul Innes a bowl. His gentle seamers mesmerised the St Stephen tail-enders and the wickets tumbled. St Stephen collapsed to 84 all out as Innes finished with a career best 5-10. 

The Gunnislake reply was led by Sam Graber, while Stephen Lees watched and admired from the non-strikers end. 

Graber timed the ball well, piercing the field with great frequency and lofting it over the top on a couple of occasions. The score mounted rapidly and despite a change of bowlers Gunnislake reached their target with few alarms in only 15 overs. Graber finished with an unbeaten 54, with Lees a much more sedate 17. Another 20 points were in the bag.

Maximum points from both matches saw Gunnislake climb to fourth in the league.