August 7th 2005
BGCC Sunday 2nd XI vs Barnt Green
The Green had an excellent four wicket victory at home to Barnt Green in this Sunday league fixture. The match was watched by one of the biggest Sunday afternoon attendances seen at the Green this season. The combination of an all day bar, some fine weather and entertaining cricket kept the raucous crowd in good spirits throughout.
The Greenís skipper Marek Wajzer managed to win the toss and inserted the opposition in on a benign looking track. The fielding side got off to a good start thanks to some fine outswing bowling by Anshuman (2 Ė 18), supported by a revitalised Jamie Plant at the other end (1- 30). Anshuman had Cook LBW for a duck in the third over of the innings, with Botha (5) following him a few overs later after skying a good length ball from Plant to Tom Clack at midwicket. The potentially dangerous West (11) was persistently troubled by Anshuman and finally perished to an outside edge well taken by keeper Kevin Golder.
There followed a period of consolidation by Barnt Green, with a painstaking 79 steadily amassed by opener Guest, supported by West (11) and May (23). Change bowlers Bryant, Clack and Harris restricted the run supply in the middle of the Barnt Green innings until the arrival of the hard-hitting Towner (47), who despatched some big hits to all parts of the ground. It was left to Hill and vice-captain Jez Clarke to apply the brakes with some tight, disciplined bowling to close off the innings, restricting Barnt Green to a relatively modest total of 200.
The Greenís reply got off to a faltering start when the out of form Clarke spooned an innocuous looking long hop straight up in the air. A procession of pulls and drives followed by Jon Lewis (55) who hit a fine half century, ably supported by a tetchy Chris Hill (38) at the other end. Just when the Green appeared to be coasting to victory, Hill was caught behind to a lifter from the pacy but erratic West. Towner (2-33) then had Lewis and Harris both out LBW, to give Barnt Green some hope of halting the Green. Dean (26) and Golder (17) maintained the rapid scoring rate by despatching the pace bowlers with some crisply hit boundaries, including a big six from Golder.
The introduction of offspinner Botha revitalised the Barnt Green challenge. He managed to extract some turn from the wicket and promptly bowled Dean. Matters were made worse when Golder was caught at slip a few overs later off the gentle medium pace of Shiperly. This brought Wajzer (16 no) and Anshuman (23 no) to the crease, with plenty of overs still in hand to knock off the remaining 45 runs. The Greenís run chase was beginning to appear shaky at this stage, with both batsmen looking unconvincing against the spin. The Green had a big let-off when Wajzer top edged a sweep to slip, who somehow contrived to fumble and ground it. The pressure eased thereafter as the batsmen managed to get on top of the bowling. A succession of boundaries finally the Green home in the 33rd over. A good all round team effort by the Green then, but will they manage to maintain their form next week against Feckenham?