14th June 2008 - Match Reports.

BGCC 1st XI vs Redditch. Ross on Wye vs BGCC IV XI

On Saturday Barnards Green CC 1st XI entertained Redditch in what proved to be a match of high drama between two evenly matched sides, both battling to try and join the league pace setters.

Stand in skipper Tim Williams followed the pattern of the season and lost the toss and not surprisingly Redditch choose to bowl first.  The pitch with plenty of grass on gave good carry but also offered some sideways movement which the vastly experienced Steve Merry was able to exploit.  Rich Williams and Kev Golder battled hard but they along with Tim Clarke all perished in quick succession to leave the Green at 33 for 3.  With the Green needing to dig deep Liam Paddock and Jez Clarke combined in impressive fashion to lift the home side back into the game.  Jez Clarke in particular looked in excellent form; firstly seizing on anything full and hitting over the top and later in his innings peppering the leg side boundary off the spinners.  Clarke made a fine 64.  Phil Harris also supported Clarke well and he too was able to find the boundary with some big hits in his 41.  Andy Ford, Paul Drinkwater, Tim Williams, Steve Metcalfe and Matt Shimell all contributed down the order as the Green looked to post a large total.  However, the constant flow of wickets restricted the Green to 238 all out off the final ball of the innings. 

In reply the consistent and very impressive Matt Shimell again struck early when he forced the aggressive Gailey to chop onto his stumps.  Phil Harris again swung the ball and lured Protherough into chipping a very wide ball straight to Metcalfe in the covers leaving Redditch 30 for 2.  Jack Williams, having survived an uncomfortable time against some high quality short pitched bowling from Shimell counter attacked and along with Southwick looked to have worked Redditch to a clear match winning position at drinks when they had reached 130 for 2 off 25.  Shortly after drinks Andy Ford, with a well flighted delivery, tempted Williams down the track and Rich Williams completed the stumping to get the Green back in the game.  Paul Drinkwater then took a good catch off his own bowling to see the back of Southwick for 71.  Sensing an opportunity Tim Williams quickly turned back to his premier paceman and brought Shimell back into the attack.  Shimell struck immediately when and Redditch were reduced to 145 for 5 with the game again in the balance.  Redditch then compiled a fine counter attacking partnership which once more looked to have won them the game.  However when Rich Williams picked up a stumping off Drinkwater and Kev Golder held a rebound catch at 3rd man off Shimell the game again turned.  With 7 wickets down and still 35 needed the game was well and truly in the balance.  The experienced Neville Mason then strode to the crease and plundered 2 fours and a six before sending up a steepling catch which Tim Williams was unable to hang onto.  At this point it looked as if the Green’s chances had gone.  2 balls later however Drinkwater got the ball to kick and Mason saw his attempted drive spliced to cover.  As the ball looped towards safety Matt Shimell ran round and dived forward to hold a superb catch just off the floor.  Shimell himself also had overseas player Ryan Brewer cleaned bowled with a ball that cut back to clip the top of leg stump.  With 19 to win and the last pair at the wicket the Green had a second win of the season in their sights.  Drinkwater then tempted Merry to go for the boundaries required for victory.  However he was only able to find the hands of Kev Golder at long on to leave Redditch 14 short on 224 all out and give the Green 24 points.  Drinkwater and Shimell both finished with 4 wickets in fine spells.  The Green remain in 5th place just 28 points behind leaders Stourbridge who they face on next week.

 BGCC Skipper won his first toss of the season against Ross in this Division 4 South 2nd XI fixture in the Crusader Worcestershire Cricket League. On a flat looking track, but with a touch of dampness still in the surface, Ross was asked to bat first. Ian Alley (2 for 17) made excellent use of the pitch, picking up 2 early wickets. Davis and Tiffen then started to rebuild the innings with a 50 run partnership, before Jamie Longmore picked up both their wickets and finished with figures of 9 overs 2 for 30.

 With Chris Munn bowling in his first ever senior match, the Green turned to experienced pair of Lewis and Wheeler, both bowled with mixture of length, line and speed, but it proved too much for the Ross batsman. Only Jones (44) made any contribution as Lewis picked up 2 for 15 and Wheeler 4 for 37. 

The Green were confident at tea that they would be able to reach the 146 set by Ross, even with the prospect of the local squirrel population helping Ross in the field. Following the early loss of Hunt, Wheeler and Lewis set about building a 128 run partnership in just 20 overs. With Lewis being caught for 22 and only 14 runs required for victory, Bradley came and joined Wheeler who hit the winning runs in the following over to finish on 99 not out, his innings included 12 fours and 7 sixes.  

This was another positive result for the Green, who entertain the top 2 teams in the next 2 weeks and hope to continue their recent good run of results