11th August 2012 - Match Reports.

BGCC 1sts vs CANNOCK Martley 1st XI vs  Barnards Green 3rds.

BGCC Firsts resume the lead of Birmingham League Division 2

 Cannock CC were the visitors this weekend with memories of our previous close encounter fresh in all our minds. Cannock captain Richard Hewitt won the toss and chose to bat. He and Will Fleet opened the batting facing opening bowling duo of Josh Rurawhe and Phil Harris. Rurawhe made 2 early breakthroughs firstly trapping Hewitt lbw for 8 and then getting John Cooke caught behind by Brewer for 1 leaving Cannock struggling on 12 for 2. Fleet was joined by Sean Collings and these two put on 57 before Fleet was clean bowled for a pedestrian 13.  

Collings continued to look comfortable but wasn’t supported by the Cannock mid-order. Andy Ford dismissed Andrew LeFeaver lbw for 5 and clean bowled Andy Hawkins for 2 with Cannock 81 for 5 at the halfway point. This brought young keeper James Caswell to the wicket and he showed patience and determination lacked by his more senior colleagues. He and Collings rotated the strike and had taken the score to 107 before Collings was caught at mid-on by Harris to give Ford his third and most important wicket. Mike Stevenson fell the same way two overs later for 2 bringing Ed Fleet to the crease with Cannock 127 for 7. Cannock then pressed the self-destruct button with the last 3 wickets all being run-outs. Cannock were bowled out for 139 in 51 overs Ford taking 4 for 53 and Rurawhe 3 for 37. 

Mark Hooper and Andy Wheeler opened the batting facing the youthful attack of Ed Fleet and Jack Trigger. Fleet took a wicket in the first over having Hooper caught behind for 0. Josh Rurawhe joined Wheeler and they both started confidently and aggressively. The 50 came up in the 11th over with a giant six from Wheeler over cow corner which forced Hewitt to change both opening bowlers, bringing on Andy Hawkins and Matt Robinson. This had an immediate effect when Robinson had Wheeler caught by Collings at slip for 23 off only 29 balls. Phil Harris came in at 4 and he continued the attack on the bowling, this pair quickly accumulated runs. Harris hooked Hawkins for 6 over long leg to bring up the 100 in only the 18th over.  

But before the large home crowd to relax too much there was a dramatic mid order collapse – 100 for 2 soon became 126 for 7 courtesy of some good spell from Hawkins. First Rurawhe was caught by LeFeaver for 32, Harris had made 41 when he skied one to Robinson at backward point. While Kev Golder held down one end Ford was bowled for 9 and Hennessy was clean bowled for 1. Robinson got in the act too bowling Clack also for 1.  

This brought captain Tim Williams to the crease with BGCC needing just 14 to win in front of a now anxious crowd. They needn’t have worried as both Golder and Williams played sensibly, Williams hitting his second boundary to win the game. The Green reached 143 for 7 off 35 overs, with Golder 14 not out and Williams 9 not out. BGCC therefore take 24 points and Cannock just 4. With favourable results elsewhere BGCC return to the top of the table with an eight pint lead over fellow promoted team Brewood.


An all-round good effort won this game on a long hot day. The Green side was not as advertised, but after early chaos and clubhouse introductions all pulled together under the guidance of several elderly all-rounders, with Dick Brown encouraging from the sidelines on one leg.
Kevin Ratcliffe took an essential non-Brownian step by winning the toss and boldly fielding despite the heat. Chris Hill and Roger Thompson, arriving with zero time to spare, viewed the grassy pitch with interest. As last week at Bromsgrove, the sloped run-ups were troublesome, but the resulting long hops and full tosses made for interest and, as things turned out, considerable profit.
Thompson's opening over included a yorker that removed Buxton, so Basford and Jones rebuilt the innings carefully. Lee Smith replaced Thompson after an hour. The weather was now very warm, but the umpires were insisting on prompt play and Ratcliffe showed no mercy. Smith and Hill rose to the challenge of unbroken 17-over spells, with excellent results. Basford chipped Hill to Zach Marsh at mid-off. Martley skipper Bibby, always dangerous, deposited some poor deliveries in the hedgerows but was LBW to a low straight one.
Smith may have bowled earlier this season, though museum records are unclear. He continued by yorking Mayfield, and Marsh took a fine low catch at square leg to remove Repton, who had been clipping boundaries in a good aggressive knock. Hill dropped a hard return chance from Vale but then accidentally removed Jones (25) with a high full toss and, encouraged, had Knight LBW with a slightly lower one. Vale fell in the end to Smith for a well-made 48. At last Marsh replaced Hill for a steady five-over burst of medium pace, after which the crowd, the sun-reddened keeper Dave White, and all his teammates paid extreme attention as the ball was handed to Graeme Baddeley.
It will be recalled that Baddeley's off-spin was mooted and rejected when the last Bromsgrove pair proved obstinate. As his opening long hops were slapped over the legside boundary, the jury remained out. Then Gardner was bowled swiping and, with little delay, Howes was caught on the same boundary, so the Green had 52 overs to chase 171. In Olympic week the team's GB (2 for 10 from 9 balls) was more than satisfied, and once again the selectors had received a sharp nudge.
Despite a nutritious tea and plenty of liquid, Baddeley overheated and missed a long hop from Johnson, so much hard work remained. Hill's mood was appropriately watchful yet alert for the bad ball, and after an early flash through gully he gave no real chance against the pace of Gardner and the varied seam of Johnson and Basford. Euan Wilson made only 7 and played a few tentative prods, but he crucially stuck at the crease for ten overs while the score mounted and Martley began to fret. Basford, having lured Wilson forward and seen the pop-up catch well held, retired for finger repairs. This was an important half-hour of respite, and Hill and Thompson made steady four-per-over progress against Howes and Vale, with several long hops crashed to leg.
Basford's return slowed the run rate but could not save the game. Hill, dehydrated but conscious of the long Green tail and reluctant to see White pad up, pottered on to 69 and saw the score past 150 before just failing to clear the long straight boundary. Ratcliffe made a handful, and Rob Wilson an entertaining 6 not out, before Thompson (40 not out) lofted the winning four.
The Green, whose 20 points gave them a much happier league position with three games left, were grateful for keen contributions from Simon Hudson and the four youngsters – Marsh, the two Wilsons, and Alex Hill – during a spirited fielding session.

Martley 171 all out (47.3 overs); T Vale 48; L Smith 4 for 54, C Hill 3 for 52
Barnards Green 173 for 4 (47.3 overs) ; C Hill 69, R Thompson 40*; J Basford 3 for 28