Perhaps it was the early start forced upon them
by some football match or other but Barnards
Green 4ths didn't really turn up for their visit
to Old Vigornians 2nds.
Dick Brown won the toss for The Green and put
his hosts in to bat first. This would prove to
be a costly mistake as it later became apparent
that this wicket would only support one innings.
James Parry for OVs, in his first knock of the
season, would go on to score 101 after being
dropped early in his innings as The Green's
opening attack lacked their usual control and
accuracy. Colin Cole (36) gave sound support for
the second wicket. Steve Hunt and John Hennessy
were introduced to try to stem a run-rate which
rarely fell below five per over and Hennessy's
line and length deliveries provided him with
three wickets, all catches, particularly
noteworthy being the one handed take by Steve
Hunt on the boundary and smart work by Dick
Brown who completed his second catch of the day,
having earlier taken a smart catch at slip off
the bowling of Jack Mackintosh. Dave Price and
Rob Lewis were given the task of trying to gain
some control over a match running away from the
Green but Parry, now joined by the aggressive
James Bader, were set and scoring freely. Price
finally bowled Parry claiming one of his three
wickets for the afternoon and Lewis accounted
for Bader who found the safe hands of Steve Hunt
on the boundary to give him his second catch.
Old Vigornians finished on 244 for 8.
Unaware of the part the failing pitch would play
in proceedings The Green, having chased such
totals before, emerged from tea in a confident
mood but after openers Longmore (9), Lewis (8)
and Howie (7) had faced a series of deliveries
which either shot along the floor or reared off
a full length, their mood changed. Phil Mackie
and Will Lucas took full advantage of the
conditions and wickets started to tumble.
Skipper Dick Brown offered brief resistance
before being run-out at the non-strikers end by
the bowler's fingertips. Elliot Hennessy, for
once disappointing with the ball, found form
with the bat on his way to a well-crafted 46 but
rapidly ran out of partners. The Green's bowlers
contributed a solid 37 runs between them but
they were never going to achieve the runs
required and eventually surrendered on 152 all
out with 14 overs unused.
The Green were outplayed by a good OVs side who
produced an excellent all-round performance of
batting and fielding with their bowlers
exploiting conditions to the full.
Two out of three ‘aint bad’ they say.
Unfortunately, for the Green second eleven it wasn’t good enough on Saturday
last. Our batting was solid and dependable in posting a total of 262 in our
50 over allocation. Our bowling was sound, if not a little too similar, seam
up, medium pace, defensive type bowling across the board. It was our
fielding which let us down against a keen Redditch side. Normally it is our
strongest suit as a young, mainly athletic, outfit but on this occasion we
were out of sorts, sluggish and lacking out usual competitive edge on a
perfect day for cricket.
Andy ‘yet another Jack-attack’ Wheeler opened the innings with skipper Judd
Doughty on a green-tinged North End Lane wicket and immediately took a
shining to the opening attack of Ali and Altaf. Wheeler (63 off 39) took the
initiative and bashed the bowling to all parts whilst Doughty (43) took a
backseat role. Wheeler eventually perished to a clever slower ball from the
persistent Ali to bring Tim Clarke (35) to the crease. Clarke looked in his
most fluent touch of the summer thus far and was just getting going when he
lost his off-bail, via his pad, to Altaf. The dependable Adam Greaves (41)
came to crease and carried on from where he left off last week pushing the
ball into the gaps and rotating the strike with Doughty excellently. Doughty
perished with the score on 169, mis-timing a sweep into the deep, bringing
the veteran Chris Hill (10) to join the action. Hill perished not long after
playing the shot of the day, a sweetly taken straight drive down the ground
enabling Tom Clack to attempt to ‘up’ the scoring rate. Clack (37 off 30)
hit the ball hard all around the ground and was most impressive running
between the wickets. Clack was supported well by Greaves then Scullion (2),
Brewer (12) and Brown (16), the latter hitting a delightful paddle-sweep for
6 in the closing overs to help the innings close on a decent total.
Young Ryan Scullion (6-0-25-0) and Tom Clack (9.2-3-36-1) opened the bowling
with pace and accuracy and both were unlucky not to claim early wickets
after finding thick outside edges from the opening batsmen. Scullion was
replaced by his older brother, James, (11-1-49-1) who settled into a good
early rhythm and beat the bat on numerous occasions. Clack gave way to
Culity (4-1-23-0) who again looked assured at this level before allowing
Brown, making his second team debut this season, to take over. Brown bowled
tightly but to no avail (6-0-36-0) whilst Scullion and then the sharp darts
of Clarke (8-0-38-1) tried everything to pick up wickets at the opposing
end. The Redditch batsmen of Rose and Mukhtar made good inroads towards the
total before Clarke and Doughty (5-0-35-2) picked up a trio of wickets.
Scullion and Clack returned to the attack in an attempt to stem the steady
flow of runs which trickled ever closer to winning the game for the
visitors. Both bowlers kept it tight but a combination of experienced
batting by Eley (42) and indifferent fielding by the home-side allowed
Redditch to win the game with two balls of the innings to spare.
At Hagley our batting let us down. This week our fielding was below par.
Please don’t let our bowling suffer next week as we travel to the north of
the shire to play a game on Pedmore’s home turf.