7th May 2011 - Match Reports.

Studley vs BGCC 2nds
BGCC 1st XI vs Studley

Having travelled through some of the heaviest rain seen for months the Green second eleven could hardly believe that their inaugural Birmingham League match at Studley CC was going to be on, let alone start on time. Losing the toss Skipper Judd Doughty was in no way surprised to find himself batting on a very green but hard looking deck.
Doughty opened his and the team’s account with a steady single whereas his more flamboyant partner Wheeler smashed a straight six off the first ball he faced. Unfortunately Wheeler (6) departed the very next ball to the clever bowing of Swanick. Jon Lewis (0) fell next to a well bowled yorker which slipped under his bat. Steve Metcalfe fell in much the same way leaving the Green in the worrying position of 7-3 after only 18 balls. Tom Clack (30), injured during the week and left unable to bowl or throw played a smart innings full of well judged leaves, stout defence and some fierce attacking blows. Riding his luck at times Clack was able to be the dominant force in a 62 run partnership with his skipper. After Clack departed to a caught and bowled by Gandy, Louis Loader (29) came to the middle and quietly played himself in. Loader left the moving ball well and played straight as often as possible whilst observing the more defensive field of the opposition as the scoreboard regularly ticked-over. Doughty (59), began to slowly up the tempo although fell soon after to a diving catch by Palmer leaving Loader to begin to marshal the visitors through the final ten overs. Matthew Brookes (12) supported Loader well until the latter fell taking a risk against the tight bowling of Gregory. Lewis Hooper (8) nudged the score close to the second bonus point mark of 160 runs but, after Dave White (0) unselfishly ran himself out the Green could only manage a total of 159. All agreed this was a competitive total, especially given the start we had.
After a splendid tea in nice surroundings the Green took to the field in an attempt to bowl out their opponents and pick-up the full 24 points up for grabs. Brookes (3-42) and Scullion (3-42) bowled clever medium pace drawing the batsmen forwards inducing edges and beating them ‘through the gate’ to pick up early wickets. A double bowling change of ‘spin twins’ Hooper (1-46) and Lewis (3-25) sparked a collapse amongst the Studley players and they crumbled to 50-6 at the half-way stage. Both bowlers bowled with control despite the wicket suiting seam not spin. Lewis in particular, dried up the runs and put further pressure on the batsmen. One moment of hilarity occurred when Hooper, losing sight of the ball during a routine caught and bowled chance, shied away allowing the ball to strike him on his ample rump and to ricochet into the stumps, running out the dismayed non-striker! Some late hitting from Bray and Rhodes sparked a recovery from the home side which brought them to within one hit of winning the match before Hooper made amends for an earlier dropped catch as he took a diving catch of the bowling of Brookes to win the game and pick up maximum points.
Both teams should be congratulated in the way and spirit in which the game was played and Georgia Hennessy should be proud of the fact she has made her Birmingham League debut at aged 15, not bad going at all. The Green are now top of the League and face Kenilworth Wardens next week at North End Lane. All concerned should be relishing the prospect!



On a day of firsts for newly promoted Barnards Green it was Phillip Harris who completed the most significant inaugural act as his sublime 103 not out set up the crushing defeat of league veterans Studley ably supported by an excellent bowling display in particular a six wicket haul for Kiwi import Matt McEwan. Heavy overnight rain delayed the start of the game by over an hour with the availability of a state of the art waterhog enabling the game to get underway with a minimal reduction in overs to 43 per side. Home skipper Williams lost the toss under brightening skies and despite the early loss of Golder LBW to former IPL player Singh Harris and Smedley formed a solid partnership with Smedley in a watchful mood contributing 25 from 63 balls. Ford fell 1st ball after replacing Smedley and it was left to McEwan(33) to provide valuable middle order ballast to Harris’ superbly paced innings. A mini clatter of wickets left the home side 166-7 with Harris just past fifty but with some ill discipline creeping into the visitors bowling and fielding Harris motored through the gears  supported by Adam Binks who contributed 17no to a partnership of  72 as Harris brought up his fine hundred off the final ball of the innings.

The visitors reply got off the worst possible start as McEwan feathered the glove of Ahmed who was caught down the legside by Binks off the first ball of the innings. Little went right for the visitors from here on in as McEwan with his tail up dismissed Hughes caught by Dovey beaten for pace on the pull and Lewis whose stumps were sent cartwheeling for just 3. Poole picked up a brace of wickets in an eye catching spell of 2-20(7) including Stamenkovic caught sharply in the gully by McEwan for a scrappy 9. The Green’s second Malvern old boy Dovey then struck twice in quick succession to dismiss skipper Harris for 11 and Singh caught behind for 22 (Studley’s highest individual score of the match).  With the weather closing in hearts were in mouths for several overs as the home side worried that they would not complete the 25 overs to constitute a game, however despite posturing from the visitors dressing room that the weather was too inclement to continue the umpires kept the players in the middle and a break in the clouds coincided with the return of McEwan who first trapped Rose LBW and then delivered the final rights to finish with 6-26 as Moss could do nothing but glove a well directed short ball straight up in the air to Binks who completed a simple catch to deliver the home side a well deserved 24 points. The Green will take early heart from their first encounter but skipper Williams was quick to point out that this was just the beginning of a season long journey to establish themselves in the Birmingham League. “All we can do now is enjoy this evening, train hard on Tuesday and go to Oswestry next week and start again”. 
Saturday sees the 1st XI travel to Oswestry for one of the longest away trips of the season whilst the 2nd XI entertain Kenilworth Wardens at North End Lane with the bar open all day and tea and refreshments available to spectators from the Harris Kitchen in the centre of the pavilion.