8th May 2010 - Match Reports.

Barnards Green Cricket Club 1st XI vs Worcester Nomads Worcester Nomads vs BGCC 2nd XI

Barnards Green CC kick started their WCL season with a rain affected win against local rivals Worcester Nomads.  With the Green missing both their captain and vice captain former skipper Chris Smedley once again took the reins and started by winning the toss and asking the Nomads to bat first.  A 2 and a half hour delay then followed and the teams took an early tea.

With brighter skies and the rain relenting play eventually got under way with a match reduced to 34 overs per side.

Nomads got off to a flying start with experienced opener Steve Bowman finding the boundary at regular intervals.  Andre Russell then struck to remove Roberts for 17 and Stu Lockwood soon accounted for Aussie Daniel Rootes, clean bowled.

A sudden collapse then ensued with firstly Dan Rees and then Bowman falling to Smedley, the latter to a fine stumping from stand in keeper Kevin Golder.  Smedley then added Leach to his list of victims, trapped leg before on the crease.  Then Andre Russell struck twice in quick succession to remove Gariff and Jamil.  Gariff falling to a fine slip catch from Andy Ford.  A late rally from Jenkins and Schiffman took the Nomads to 152 for 9 with both Smedley and Russell finishing with 4 wickets. 

With the skies looking dark and further rain predicted the Green’s openers Mark Hooper and Kevin Golder looked in positive form with both finding some attractive boundaries.

The introduction of Aussie spinner Rootes saw the Green further up the tempo with Golder hitting 14 runs from his first 3 balls.  Rootes took some revenge when he accounted for Hooper stumped by Walsh, 2 balls after Hooper struck him for a straight six.

Andre Russell was then promoted to 3 with the clouds looking ever darker.  Russell started very watchfully but then moved through the gears as he hit Rootes for 3 successive sixes, 1 clearing the houses at North End Lane and passed 50 in quick time.  Golder eventually fell going for 1 more big hit for a good 40 and George Rhodes fell leg before soon after.  Russell continued to blitz the visiting bowling as he, joined by Jez Clarke, took the Green to victory with 77no off just 50 balls, the last 53 runs coming off just 19 balls.  The Green can be well pleased to get a positive result with so much bad weather around and will be looking to continue this momentum into Saturdays match against Bewdley at North End Lane.

Barnards Green IVs vs Bromsgrove.
Rain delayed the start of this match at Newland and the teams took an early tea before resuming for a maximum of 28 overs per side.
Bromsgrove batted first facing an opening attack of youngsters Elliot Hennessy and Jack Mackintosh and, as the visitors sought to assert themselves, Mackintosh had both openers Chatt and Vernan well caught behind by Mark Perkins. Hennessy was not happy with his opening over and was immediately replaced by the experienced Steve Hunt who was able to exercise some control over the run rate though any loose ball was dispatched to the boundary. When Mackintosh was withdrawn after his allotted overs Hennessy returned and trapped Duffy lbw whilst Cracknell was run out following some smart work in the field by Robin Longmore. Mackintosh claimed his third wicket when he bowled Ingram with an unplayable ball and a second run out saw Bromsgrove’s innings close on 140 for 6.Robin Longmore opened the batting for The Green accompanied by Ewan Wilson and as Longmore looked to push the scoring rate Wilson was caught napping in his crease and run out without scoring. Dangerous all-rounder Dave Price coming in with instructions to play a supporting role, was unlucky to get a leading edge and be caught off the bowling of Burford for 5, having driven the previous ball to the boundary. Julian Hall hung around for a while for his 20 runs, as did Hennessy whilst Longmore quickly reached his half-century before eventually departing, bowled by Strike for 62.Skipper Dick Brown, seemed to ignore his own call for caution, giving several half-chances from his first few balls before calling Mark Perkins for an impossible single and running his partner out by half a pitch length. Dave Smith failed to trouble the scorers leaving Steve Hunt and Jack Mackintosh to salvage something from the afternoon by seeing out the final couple of overs for a losing draw as they finished on 132 for 8.This was a game which The Green should have won comfortably but in the end they were lucky to have avoided an embarrassing defeat.

On yet another wet and perishing cold May Saturday, The Green second eleven travelled the short distance to Worcester Nomads to face another stern, early season challenge.

After over two hours of delays, repeated warm-ups, laps of the field and an early tea skippers Doughty and Omerod seized a break in the drizzle to toss a coin which landed in favour of the home side. Omerod invited The Green to bat first on a hard wicket which had numerous damp patches from where the covers had leaked: a good toss to win all agreed. 34 overs each was the target duration.

Doughty and Wheeler got off to a quick start hitting 10 runs of the first over of the day bowled by the quick bowler Falson and quickly amassing 50 runs within the first 10 overs. Doughty took the lead playing particularly well through the off side whilst Wheeler, uncharacteristically, played a supporting role. The ball deviated laterally off the damp patches and bounced high off the dry areas but, to the groundsmans credit, the wicket played consistently well throughout the innings. Wheeler eventually fell for 23 runs bringing Drinkwater to the crease. Drinkwater, favouring the back foot, punched the ball hard, and began to accumulate runs quickly before he perished for 32 from 39 balls trying to ‘up’ the momentum for the good of the team.

Metcalfe, promoted to biff, smack and swipe the ball to all parts tried in vain to live up to his billing but found the going hard under darkening skies and faced with a combination of fast, accurate bowling from  Omerod, Falson and Butterworth. The batsmen, finding the boundary harder to reach as the ball became wetter and softer settled for more singles and well run two’s alongside the occasional four squeezed between the boundary fielders. Perhaps the best (and hardest shot) Metcalfe played ended up flooring Doughty as he somehow managed to jump in the way of it whilst at the non-striker’s end. Doughty, as he was reminded frequently throughout the day, squealed like a little child as he rolled on the floor clutching his elbow (thanks for the help Andy Wheeler!). Doughty soon departed for 79 runs bringing Greaves to finish the innings off with himself 6* and Metcalfe 14*. The Green innings finished on 173 for 3 off their allocated 34 overs.

The Nomads innings began tentatively with Brad Adams (7-0-39-0) bowling quickly down the hill but finding it hard to hit the damp patches the home bowlers had exploited so well. Scullion (7-0-27-0), taking the new ball bowled really well up the hill and made the home batmen, Inglis in particular, work really hard for his runs. Adams was replaced by Spencer (3-0-24-0) but he too struggled with his rhythm and his lines, conceding runs easily as Gardener began to accelerate his scoring rate with ease. Lewis Hooper (4-0-31-0) replaced Scullion but with a damp ball found it hard to produce any meaningful turn and resorted to trying to beat the batsmen with changes in his flight instead. Dave White, keeping for the first time this year in the two’s did a great job in tough circumstances, especially as the light faded fast and the innings dragged on until nearly 20:30 at night. Young Louis Loader (5-0-23-0) took over from Spencer and bowled an excellent spell of controlled seam bowling clawing the game back towards The Green as the home side worked hard to chase down 174 to win. Drinkwater (4-0-26-0) found little turn when he replaced Hooper and by the time Adams came back on to bowl Gardener had reached 114* before Inglis 46* hit the winning runs with four complete overs to spare.

Whilst The Green have some areas to improve on, we can remain philosophical in the fact that we’ve lost two ‘big’ tosses against two very strong sides on two ‘bowl first wickets’ and have done relatively little wrong (no dropped catches, few mis-fields, decent batting and bowling, etc…) but the fact remains we are bottom of the Division One table. We visit Belbroughton next week, lets hope we get the little bits of luck we so desperately need!