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Howard's unconventional way almost pays dividends for Winton
WHEN Howard May was brought into the Winton attack, there was no hint of what would follow – especially after his first delivery had bounced three times and been called a no-ball.
The 49-year-old was only involved in the Dorset League clash due to a player shortage, having dashed to Ferndown to discover Winton were already seven wickets down against Poole Town.
And after rushing out to bat following a hasty change of clothing on the boundary line, Howard’s nine runs never looked likely to save the day as Winton were dismissed for just 126 by their Premier Division rivals.
Poole Town, however, had clearly not accounted for Howard’s legendary moon-ball bowling, his ploy of trying to “get it as high as I can to bamboozle them” almost paying dividends in a remarkable finish.
“They needed three to win when I came on and were only five wickets down,” said Howard, whose sons Charlie and Joe also play for Winton.
“I have bowled three or four times in the past 25 years, usually when they want to get the game over quickly! I never take any wickets and get hit to all parts of the ground. I would describe myself as a very, very occasional bowler.”
Despite sending down a no-ball with his loosener, Howard went on to prove virtually unplayable as Poole Town almost contrived to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Kristian Wilson, who is no mean batsman, was caught behind by wicketkeeper Alex Praoline before Joseph Wormington somehow managed to get trapped in front as Howard claimed two wickets in as many balls.
And with the stage set for a first career hat-trick just months before his 50th birthday, Howard did not disappoint as Damith Gunawardana was caught at first slip by Matt Clark.
Howard, a carpenter by trade, said: “After the third one had gone, we all jumped about a lot!
“I don’t think the first batsman was very happy because he knew I was a part-timer. The last one tried to sweep me and got there too early. The ball came off the back of his bat and went to first slip.
“It was marvellous, if a little unexpected. I just ran in and threw the ball as high as I could and they kept getting out. It was quite funny really. If I can get the ball well above eye line, I am happy.
“I used to bowl regularly when I was at school – but that was 33 years ago. I don’t normally play because I’m too old but may have to consider a comeback next season!”
Despite Howard’s heroics, Poole Town managed to scrape home by two wickets.
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