2nd June 2012 - Match Reports.

BGCC 1st XI vs Attock

 

BGCC 1st XI hosted Attock CC in this Birmingham League Division 2 fixture on June 2nd 2012 - both sides were greeted by grey skies and a damp outfield but a full game was completed.

 

Tim Williams won the toss for BGCC and decided to bat first. Mark Hooper and Adam Dovey opened and set off at a steady pace with Hooper taking the lead role. BGCC had progressed to 47 for no wicket before Hooper was dropped by wicketkeeper M Nadeem off captain S Ali – it was a difficult low chance and it must have caused him an injury as A Khan took over as keeper the next over. Dovey also rode his luck as he edged one through the slips when on 7. The green reached 50 in the 17th over then both batsman upped the pace and hitting numerous boundaries. The 100 was up in the 23rd over – with the BGCC openers seeing off the opening 3 Attock bowlers of M Ahmed, I Hamid and S Ali. A double change of bowling brought on B Zaman and Q Shah. Hooper reached his fifty off 70 balls before Dovey was caught at deep mid-wicket off Zaman by pick of the fielders W Saleem for 40 with the score on 113.

 

Phil Harris came in and hit Zaman for a massive 6 over long off to get off the mark. Unfortunately he tried to do the same two balls later but didn’t quite middle it – being caught at long off by Shah. This brought Josh Rurawhe to the crease; he too scored 6 before becoming Shah’s first victim caught neatly by Saleem at cover. The green suffered a now familiar middle order collapse with Dannie Rees and Jon Dovey becoming Shah’s 2nd and 3rd wickets both without troubling the scorers. Rees was caught at wide first slip by J Khan and Dovey caught behind by stand-in keeper A Khan.

 

Elliott Hennessy joined Hooper and this partnership showed promise. Hooper survived another scare edging one through the slips but it dropped short of J Khan. The scoreboard was ticking over with singles from both batsmen and the 150 was achieved in the 34th over. Hooper was on 78 when he hit one firmly to mid-off and set off for a quick single, unfortunately for him MQ Khan collected cleanly and threw down the stumps with a direct hit to leave Hooper stranded. The score quickly went from 162 for 6 to 163 for 8 when Hennessy was bowled by Zaman for 10 and new batsman Chris Smedley played round a straight one from Shah for 1. Shah finished with 4 for 50 off his 9 overs and was unfortunate to have to come off due to injury.

 

With BGCC looking like struggling to complete even 45 overs the partnership of Tim Williams and Ash Brewer was formed. Attock experimented with S Khan and a brief return for S Ali which allowed both batsmen to settle quickly. They pushed the score onto 208 with some aggressive batting before Williams fell lbw to become Zaman’s fourth victim, he made 18 and he and Brewer had put on a valuable 45 in 7 overs. James Marsh joined Brewer and Attock brought on opening bowler Ahmed hoping to finish the innings quickly. By now Brewer was in full flight and continued to hit out and to rotate the strike sensibly;  however Marsh proved he can handle this level of bowling by supporting Brewer for more than 7 overs. Brewer reached his 50 off only 51 balls before Marsh was eventually bowled by Ahmed for 2. His contribution is not to be underestimated as the partnership added 38 runs which would prove to be decisive. Brewer finished on a run a ball 55 not out, with the Green being bowled out for 246 in the 52nd over – giving Attock a further 3 overs to bat.

 

Attock began well MQ Khan settled quicker and scored more freely, W Saleem seemed to struggle slightly to find his rhythm and he was dropped on 9 by keeper Brewer. Attock reached 50 in the 16th over with even top wicket-taker J Dovey failing to make a breakthrough. Captain Williams then turned to the spin twins of Smedley and Rees. Khan reached his 50 off 83 balls before Saleem edged behind with Williams taking a good slip catch which had deflected off the keeper’s gloves. With the score now 89 for 1 Attock’s middle order also struggled. Smedley claimed two scalps clean bowling M Ahmed for 7 and Zaman for 14. J Khan was run out by Adam Dovey when going for a risky second run. Fortunately for Attock MQ Khan was still scoring regularly although he was dropped twice on the long on boundary, by Marsh then J Dovey. A Khan was trapped lbw by Smedley to reduce Attock to 154 for 5 still needing 44 for the losing draw and 93 to win with 11 overs left.

 

This brought S Ali to the crease to join MQ Khan and together they pushed the pace – hitting multiple boundaries. A spectacular piece of fielding by J Dovey saved a certain 6 from Ali but he couldn’t hold the catch and stay in field. MQ Khan was then dropped for a 3rd time on 90 by J Dovey, this time at cover. Luckily this didn’t cost the Green too much as he was out next over, a good catch on the deep mid-wicket boundary by Rurawhe to give Smedley his fourth wicket. Dovey and Harris rejoined the attack with dangerous Ali batting with S Khan. Khan hit Dovey for six as his first scoring shot and Attock passed the losing draw total in the 52nd over. Khan had quickly got to 14 before being caught off Harris by A Dovey running in from the long off boundary. Ali was dismissed in the same over when Harris clattered his stumps; he had made a rapid 34 off 25 balls and this ended Attock’s outside hope of a win. M Nadeem and a limping Q Shah saw out the remaining overs to leave Attock 229 for 8 off 58 overs. This entertaining game gave Attock 9 points and BGCC 15 points which means they drop to second in the table behind Brewood.

 

                         Berkswell vs BGCC 2nds

After a delay caused by a brief shower, Barnards Green second eleven took to the field against an initially reluctant Berkswell side. After winning the toss and inserting the Green onto a green-tinged deck however, the homeside soon found their passion for playing and for all of the game’s 72 overs were embroiled in a very competitive game with neither team giving an inch.

The Green lost Andy Wheeler (0) early to an excellent catch taken low in the gully, one of only a few catches taken all day. John Lewis (24) batting at three found his recent form quickly, punishing balls short of length but paid the price for playing away from his body to edge to the keeper just as he looked set. Skipper Judd Doughty (19) having been heckled for ‘slogging’ (with a career strike rate below 50!?) was caught on the second attempt by the bowler and the innings looked in trouble at 50-3. Kevin Golder (119*) was joined by Tom Clack (53*) and both set about quickly taking the game away from the homeside. Golder’s innings began with some exquisite straight and on driving, whilst Clack, strong of arm and quick of wrist worked the ball through mid-wicket with ease. Both batted within themselves but, the mark of quality, and the most memorable feature was the running between the wickets. Seldom seen at this level, both turned dot balls into ones and ran hard to convert ones into twos. The fielders felt the pressure and gifted further runs as Clack and Golder ran riot – literally and metaphorically. The innings closed on an impressive 245-4 in 36 overs with both batsmen steaming like Redrum.

After an excellent tea (sorry Jez) which included coronation chicken sandwiches, a real treat, especially on a jubilee weekend, the Green set about defending a strong but gettable total. Matt Brookes (11-1-48-2) and Shane Thompson (11-2-23-3) took the new ball and both found swing and lateral movement off the drying pitch. The openers rode their luck, mixing swashbuckling drives with inside edges past the stumps in equal measure. The Green picked up wickets with enough regularity to feel in control but never felt fully safe, especially after Abdul Kahn (107*) got going. Whilst giving a few chances Kahn’s innings was impressive. He was able to find the boundary with ease and hit the ball out of the ground on several occasions. Jack Macintosh (5-0-42-2), Tom Clack (7-0-57-0) and Jon Lewis (2-0-21-0) all bowled well but fell victim to Kahn’s blade. In the end Berkswell fell 39 runs short and will feel they narrowly missed out whilst the Green will feel that with a little more luck they could have wrapped up what would have been an excellent win – not least because they had only ten men.

Whilst the game was played with passion and at times some individuals overheated, once the bails were removed, all realised (without wishing to sound like a fuddy PE teacher) that cricket was the winner and all present witnessed two very entertaining but different hundreds. Special thanks go to Steve Lamb who stepped in at the eleventh hour to prevent the side travelling with nine men – the players and club appreciated this. The 15 points gained from this game take us third in the league and on Saturday, if we beat local rivals Old Elizabethans, we will go second. Player availability is essential if we are to be realistic title challengers – it was at this point last year that we slipped from first to sixth in double quick time.