4th May 2013 - Match Report.

BGCC 1sts vs Smethwick


BGCC hosted established Birmingham League side Smethwick on a sunny and breezy afternoon. Captain Andy Ford won the toss and for the second week running chose to bat first. New opening pair of Mark Hooper and debutant Alex Milton found the going hard against B Choudhry and Scotland’s Neil Carter. With the score on 12 after 10 overs, Milton edged one to Sodhi at slip off Choudhry. Alex Hepburn came in at 3 and the score had moved onto only 35 when Hooper miss hit one from Choudhry and was caught at mid-off by Hussain for 14. Next in was Mark Hardinges, also making his debut. Again BGCC failed to establish a partnership as Hepburn was trapped lbw by overseas spinner Diwan. Dannie Rees came and went leaving BGCC 52 for 4 in the 22nd over.

Andy Ford joined Hardinges and they both played sensibly, being wary of Diwan but taking good advantage of some loose bowling from Smith and Hussain. The run rate increased and they reached 100 in the 31st over. Hardinges fell next – clean bowled by Hussain for 31, Ford then was joined by first Elliot Hennessy then briefly Graeme Cessford as BGCC reached 151 for 8 with still 12 overs left to bat. Smethwick must have felt confident of bowling the Green out but with last week’s opener Jon Dovey coming at 9 BGCC were far from done.

Barnards Green took the batting power play almost immediately and Smethwick brought back Diwan and Carter in response. Excellent batting from both batsmen pushed the score on, Ford reached his 50 and Dovey hooked Carter for a fantastic six over the pavilion. The 200 was brought up by a four to cow corner from Ford – one of three consecutive boundaries off Hussain. Dovey had moved onto 43 when, in an attempt to reach a well-deserved 50, he was clean bowled by Smith. Barnards Green’s final total was 237 off 50 overs with Andy Ford 70 not out.

BGCC’s Graeme Cessford made an early breakthrough when he trapped Hussain lbw for one. Smethwick had moved onto 41 when he struck again this time Ahmed skied one and was well caught by Kingsland at mid-off. Smethwick captain Sodhi joined D Choudhry and hit 4 boundaries in his first 10 balls. Ford trapped Choudhry lbw for 14 bringing big-hitting Carter to the crease.  with the run rate but BGCC sensed an opportunity to bowl them out.

Sodhi reached his 50 off only 53 balls and was well supported by Smith as Smethwick moved closer to the target. The total had reached 186, with just over 50 needed off 9 overs, when Smith was run out by a direct hit from Kingsland. Dovey claimed a catch at mid-on off Kingsland to dismiss McDonnell then he ran out Rashid.
This left the game finally balanced with Smethwick needing 31 off 5 with only one wicket remaining. Some fantastic hitting from Sodhi swung the game in favour of Smethwick and Choudhry hit the winning runs with one over and a ball remaining. An exciting and entertaining game of cricket was enjoyed byaarge crowd, with the highlight being 98 not out from Sodhi. Smethwick gain20 points and BGCC 7 – with BGCC sitting a creditable 4th after 2 games.