Ryan Miszka overcomes injury to hit hundred

PUBLISHED: 09:33 16 May 2019

A Topsham St James player rifles the ball to the boundary

A Topsham St James player rifles the ball to the boundary

Archant

Having not played last week, Topsham St James were invited to bat on a sunny afternoon in Axminster and got off to a very rusty start, losing 4 wickets for 65 runs, including that of star batsman Adrian Ferraro for only 12.

Fortunately, Ryan Miszka, who had recovered from the remarkable variety of sprains and strains which ruined his 2018 season, was in top form from the start, hitting the ball hard and often.

He was well supported by the lower order, in particular the impressively mature youngsters Rhys Norman (14) and Dan Thornhill, whose 22 was part of the day's top partnership of 90.

Maddy Ross hit a quick 11 and was the only one to keep pace with Miszka who, when the innings finally closed on 238, was not out on 129. A superbly entertaining and impressive start to his new season.

The Axminster bowlers toiled manfully but only Joe Goodhew and Rollo Squire went for fewer than five an over and it was a mystery why they bowled only eight overs between them.

The leading wicket taker was young Sam Beviss, who conceded 50 runs in 6.5 overs, but took five wickets in the process. Nobody else achieved anything of note, although the lavish in-swing of Wayne Jenkins (2-46) caused occasional problems for the batsmen. The other wickets fell to Ali Layard (1-38) and young Cath Webb (1-34).

After an excellent tea, the Axminster innings began in fine style, with Andy Layard (55) in particularly good form.

He and Peter Kiy (26) put on 58 for the first wicket and then son Ali, an England Disabled XI international, helped Andy add another 41.

With the score at 99-1, Topsham were struggling but cometh the hour cometh the woman!

A shoulder injury prevents Maddy Ross from bowling her previously successful leg-spin, but she has changed style very effectively and bowled a superb spell of accurate medium pace which netted her a thoroughly well-deserved 5 wickets for 39 runs.

She was well backed up by Rhys Norman with 2-28 and Ryan Miszka made sure of the man of the match award by cleaning up the tail with 3-5.

Dan Thornhill and Narender Dhayal both bowled well without tangible reward.

A feature of the innings was Topsham's fielding, which has not always been a strong point, but was generally very safe, led by some fine work from Elliot Eady.

This was a heartening performance by a ten-man Topsham St James side, who took 20 points to Axminster's 8, and they will be looking for further reward on Saturday when they host Exwick at Bonfire Field.

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