7th June 2008 - Match Reports.

Pershore vs BGCC 1st XI

Buoyed by last week’s first win of the season Barnards Green 1st XI travelled to Pershore on a lovely warm sunny afternoon.  Chris Smedley again lost the toss and not surprisingly the Green was again asked to bat first.  On a track that looked like a belter Rich Williams and skipper Smedley found the early going tough with the pitch much slower than had previously been predicted.  Rich Williams and Liam Paddock both mistimed back foot shots to fall early on.  Smedley dug in for a less than fluent 41 to hold the innings together.  Paul Drinkwater and Andy Ford found the going equally difficult as both struggled to rotate the strike as the Green’s run rate fell to 2.5 runs per over.  Steve Metcalfe was then promoted up the order and with some excellent placement of shots raced to a fluent 29 before being caught on the furthest corner of the ground attempting another impressive blow.  However Metcalfe’s up tempo innings seemed to set the tone for the rest of the Green’s 50 overs.  Adam Binks, in his first innings of the season played fluently for 29 and Jez Clarke contributed a run a ball 19.  A sudden flurry of wickets then left the Green’s final pair of Tim Williams and Matty Brookes to play the last 4 overs.  They managed to pick up 1’s and 2’s to nudge closer to a bonus point and when Williams cleared the leg side boundary with the final ball of the innings the Green closed on 179 for 9 off their 50 overs.

In reply Pershore’s start was restricted by an impressive opening from Matt Shimell and Matt Brookes.  Brookes’ late in swinger gave the Green the early wicket they craved, clean bowled.  After 14 overs Pershore had advanced to just 27 for 1.  At this point Smedley, forced into a change at Shimell’s end went for spin from both ends.  The move proved to be decisive as Smedley himself and Andy Ford strangled the run rate.  Ford’s flight and variety of pace combined with Smedley’s unerring accuracy proved to be too good for the struggling Pershore line up as both took 3 wickets. 

With 4 overs left and the winning draw secured and 2 bonus points from restricting Pershore all but guaranteed Smedley opted to bring Matt Shimell back into the attack.  He struck immediately when the experienced Muspratt offered Tim Williams a catch to his right at first slip.  With 8 wickets down the Green pushed hard for victory but the experience of Oxley and the impressively cool and compact youth of Tim Smith managed to see Pershore through to the close and avoid defeat. 

The Green picked up 16 points and remains only 28 points behind pace setters Stourbridge.  Tomorrow they entertain Redditch at North End Lane hoping to secure a second victory of the season.  Spectators are welcomed for what promises to be a good game.