4th August 2012 - Match Reports.

BGCC 4ths  vs Bromsgrove

Barnards Green 1st XI v Stratford on Avon 1st XI

Despite having a broken thumb Duncan Cooper was brought into The Green’s team to strengthen their batting line-up following a number of below-par performances in recent weeks. With Sam Spencer and keeper Mark Perkins also returning a much stronger-looking side turned up at Newland on Saturday.

Robbie Lewis lost the toss and was asked to bat. Cooper opened with Robert Wilson, appearing in only his second game for the club but the latter could not reproduce his previous week’s form and gave a simple caught and bowled in the third over. Robbie Lewis, hit on the toe, survived a good lbw shout and would soldier on for another nine overs. The next time he was hit the shout was louder and the ball straighter and he had to go for a meagre five runs. Ash Hill (5) supported Cooper only briefly before running himself out and Mark Perkins (6) was undone by a lower ball on a slow pitch to be caught off Smith. Adam Price would perish in the same manner but not until he had bludgeoned his way to a swift 22. Sam Spencer (29) showed composure with the bat and again proved his worth as a middle order batsman but once Cooper (67) was back in the hut after a well-constructed innings The Green tail crumbled and finished on 171 all out.

Teatime was frenetic and dangerous as the urn stubbornly refused to be turned off and a visiting supporter threw milk all over the tearoom. Buckets were sought to contain the dribbling mess and luckily enough was salvaged for a few cups of team to be poured.

A further surprise was to be forthcoming. Five overs had been lost to a short, sharp shower but in truly sporting fashion Skipper Lewis decided to give the overs back to his oponents announcing “it’s only a game”. Added to the nine overs gifted to them by The Green’s inability to bat out their allocation Bromsgrove now found themselves the lucky recipients of 54 overs instead of 49 in which to surpass their host’s total. A long afternoon in the field beckoned.

Cutting things short, the more experienced Green bowlers did a good job in restricting the flow of runs and building pressure on the Bromsgrove batsmen but were always aware that the strong and experienced Lake was yet to bat and they knew from their previous encounter that he would be merciless against less controlled bowling.

Sam Daffin and Adam Price were overlooked in favour of Andy Banks and it was he who suffered at the hands of the Bromsgrove skipper who posted a personal total of 44 not out taking the visitors to victory in the 48th over.

Another demoralising loss for The Green and a lesson in the need to bat out your overs!

Barnards Green 3rd XI vs Bromsgrove 3rd
Readers pressed for time may skip the detail and consult previous BGCC reports (Brown, R W, statistics of lost tosses by; Batting, early collapse of; Blend, of idle youth and maturity; Rain, a threat and decisive influence).
The plan worked last week against Cleobury: lose the toss, bat on a worryingly damp track against young hostile seamers, and deploy the batsmen according to Graeme Baddeley's availability and travel arrangements, the state of Roger Thompson's eyesight, and today's hunch from captain Brown. What might happen at Bromsgrove, with a lowering rain-filled sky and no sightscreens?
There were early signs of disarray as Ian Scullion led the Green's convoy to an attractive railway station, near but offering no direct access to the cricket ground. Dave White's brief trial as opener last week was judged unconvincing; so Steve Alamutu was promoted, and edged a long hop second ball. Baddeley, less late than usual, arrived at no. 3 to find Chris Hill determined to sell his wicket dearly, or at least slowly. Hickman's follow-through footprints were causing havoc on the pitch at both ends, but Hill prodded with good sense and the innings assumed a more stable shape. He clipped three nice boundaries off Hickman and the replacement Hutchins before edging to gully.
Baddeley (32), Thompson (41) and Ratcliffe (28) ticked productively onwards, with a long interval caused by heavy rain. White, Brown, the Scullions and Cullity were sacrificed in the end-of-innings flurry, giving Husbands figures of 5-24. Bromsgrove now had 38 overs to chase 159.
The ground was in good condition and sawdusted where necessary, but the bowlers moved with caution on damp run-ups. Because the square is slightly raised, the delivery stride involves a change of slope. Ryan Scullion was not happy and gave way at once to Jack Cullity - a first and extremely welcome sign of flexible tactics from Brown. Hill and Cullity bowled tightly and induced several false prods for ten overs, thus making the win less likely for both sides. Then Hill yorked Tom Hope and Cullity had Vernon caught by White. Awake to the need for variety, Brown brought the two Scullions into play with exciting results.
Nelson told his captains that, if the battle took a confused turn, they would not go far wrong by laying closer to the enemy ships. He presumed that they would attack thereafter; both sides here seemed similarly advised and counselled. After Scullion jr removed Russell with a dreadful long hop and Hutchins with a full toss, Husbands led his team from the front with immediate boundaries. Hill was recalled from pasture and his second ball was an even longer hop, admirably straight; Husbands swiped but could not quite clear the agile younger Scullion at long-on. Then Smith, also promptly into straight-hitting mode, fell to a more orthodox ball and an easier catch. Ian Scullion, having bowled Collins, defied age and muscle strains to remove Barry Hope with an impressive low return catch. When he struck Hickman on the back foot for the only LBW of the game, the last Bromsgrove pair had to cling on for six overs.
Hill came close, as Baddeley swallow-dived and got one hand to a very hard chance. But, just as the extra overs in the Cleobury innings allowed him to extend his spell, so this week's loss of overs to rain reduced his allowance. Thompson and Scullion did their best, and two equally hard chances whizzed past Ratcliffe at short midwicket. There were arguments for trying a spinner at the death, but this would have required Brown to identify a spinner in the team. Baddeley, and the potential surprise package Chris Freeman, loosened their bowling arms suggestively as the teams retired in good spirit after a battling draw.

Barnards Green 159 all out (50 overs) ; R Thompson 41; P Husbands 5 for 24, P Hutchins 3 for 36

Bromsgrove 98 for 9 (38 overs) ; I Scullion 3 for 19, C Hill 3 for 28

 

 

For those who were unable to get to the 1st XI home game on Saturday you missed a veritable feast of cricket entertainment of generally very high quality. As ever this season there was anxiety in the air concerning the weather but a confident Green skipper Tim Williams won the toss and elected to take first use of another well prepared deck. Whilst the possible reduction in overs and target associated with a likely rain interruption undoubtedly came into Williams’ thinking, he rightly reasoned that few teams, including our own, have successfully chased targets with any ease this season. Stratford arrived at North End Lane with an excellent recent run that had lifted them to the edge of the promotion contest, and their youthful side fielded and bowled with great dedication and no little skill.

Opening bowler Jack Grundy who has taken 16 wickets at 24 each this campaign began with 8 consecutive maidens from the North End Lane end and the Green’s openers Adam Dovey and Mark Hooper resisted with great determination in the first quarter of the game to take the score slowly to 29 before the latter swatted a poor short ball to point. Josh Rurahwe looked to be in good nick until he nudged one to the keeper and then Adam Dovey was caught at slip off overseas star Peter Wilson for a hard earned 38. This left the Green on 79 for 3 and Liam Paddock joined Phil Harris at the crease; it was evident from this moment that both players were determined to build on the  firm foundation to put pressure on the young visitors and ensure we had a total to bowl at. To be fair the visitors refused to go too defensive and kept the field up-however, for the next hour Harris and Paddock ran singles for fun, rotated the strike, enticed the infield ever closer and then took advantage by a series of beautifully timed strikes to the boundary. Harris reached a steady half century before letting loose after a half hour rain delay and racing to 80 before one cheeky single too far resulted in him being run out thanks to a neat piece of footwork from a close range fielder. A memorable knock from PH which included 10 fours and 2 sixes all scored with a silky elegance which had even the critics’ bench purring in admiration! (praise indeed!)

Paddock, having been the junior partner in the stand of 110 with Harris, now took over the lead role displaying a sensible mature approach to the state of the game and an awareness of precisely what was needed to produce a highly competitive total. Andy Ford contributed at a run a ball before being caught behind as the score passed 200 and then young Liam Smith added 60 with Paddock , his personal contribution being 18 off 16 balls as he gave his senior the strike at every opportunity. Liam Paddock was eventually dismissed for 70 in the final over as the Green reached  267 for 7 from their allocation.

What was particularly notable, indeed unique,  about the Greens innings was that the batsmen got the tempo right all the way through – the openers and top order grafted as necessary in the face of some accurate bowling  but kept the score ticking over.  

Harris and Paddock’s treatment of Wilson – a quality bowler with 28 wkts at 12 apiece this season - was exemplary, showing a mixture of appropriate respect with a desire not to be tied down; their measured assertiveness, as distinct from blind aggression, was a joy to behold and the crowd was left wondering how many more games the Green would have won over the years with these two batting together in similar fashion.

Paddock’s level-headedness and sound judgement certainly bode well for his intended career in professional sport.
 

In the absence of Tom Poole, the Green opened their bowling with Harris and Jon Dovey. The latter, leading wicket taker this season, was unusually wayward initially but Harris nipped one back to  castle West and then Dovey took one away to bowl Purser.  Despite changing ends Dovey’s radar was soon back on track and he removed Grundy and skipper Gill in quick succession. By now Andy Ford was wheeling away from the road end and completed 11 overs to finish with 3 for 16 in a very controlled spell. Reeling at 73 for 6 , Stratford still had to face a hostile second spell from Phil Harris who returned to bowl at a quicker pace than hitherto seen and was rewarded with the wicket of Sajid , smartly caught low down by birthday boy Brewer.

Jon Dovey cleaned up Morris and the other Grundy to finish with the very creditable figures of 5 for 47 off 11.2 overs leaving the Green winners by 149 runs.

A comprehensive performance which sees a return to 2nd place in the League 3 points behind our eternal rivals Brewood. Our challenge next week is to maintain this form v Cannock whom we shall have to confront without the services of Liam Paddock who will be back in the USA and Jon Dovey who will be competing at the Olympics in the dressage event. Good Luck!

 

Barnards Green CC 267 – 7 ( PHarris 80 L Paddock 70 A Dovey 38  J  Rurahwe 29  

Stratford on Avon 118 all out  (J Dovey 5 -47)

 

Green 24 pts   Stratford  3 pts