15th September 2012 - Match Reports.

24 point win seals promotion for BGCC firsts 

Harbourne were the hosts for the final league game of 2012 for BGCC first eleven, with the visitors needing a win to secure promotion out of Division 2. Harbourne still had an outside chance of promotion too if results went their way so there was everything to play for.

 

Harbourne captain Raj Sen won the toss and with his team needing a full 24 points to have any chance of promotion he chose to bat first. Harbourne openers Darren Franklin and Will Kitchen faced opening bowlers Phil Harris and Jon Dovey. Kitchen survived an early chance when he edged it behind between keeper and slip. Harbourne had moved onto 26 when Franklin was caught by Dannie Rees at point for a brisk 20 in Harris’s 5th over. Jimmy Clifford followed the next over with the score on 32, when he was superbly caught low and to his left by Tim Williams at 3rd slip for 4 off Dovey.

 

Kitchen was joined by overseas Ian Butler and they put on 37 before Kitchen was trapped lbw for 23 by Harris. Nasir Ali-Khan was clean bowled in the same over without scoring – 70 for 4. Spin replaced seam with Andy Ford and Chris Smedley taking over. Smedley clean bowled the dangerous Butler for 26 (which included 6 fours) to leave Harbourne struggling on 77 for 5. With both spinners bowling accurately the pressure mounted on the batsmen Nirrushan Raveenthiraraja and Gary Hawkins. An inspired change of bowling with Jon Dovey replacing Smedley quickly brought results with Dovey’s first 4 overs of his second spell bringing 4 maidens and 2 wickets. Williams took his second excellent catch this time one handed at point to dismiss Raveenthiraraja then Hawkins edged one to keeper Brewer.

 

Ford finally got his reward for a fine spell of bowling when he dismissed captain Raj Sen for a duck. BGCC were on top with Harbourne 99 for 8 off 40 overs. Matthew Parker and Greg Adams took the score to 107 before Adams was run out attempting a run that wasn’t there. Parker drove straight to Josh Rurawhe; he fielded cleanly and threw to Harris who ran out Adams - stranded out of his ground. Jonathan Boukhobza came to the crease with BGCC feeling confident the innings would soon be over. Parker had other ideas and he batted superbly despite captain Tim Williams juggling the bowlers. It was the final over before the Green bowled Harbourne out. Parker remained 38 not out when Smedley had Boukhobza caught by Mark Hooper on the deep extra cover boundary for 10. The final pair put on 43 to set a total of 150, with many Barnards Green travelling supporters wondering if this was 30 runs too many.

 

With 151 needed to secure promotion the Dovey brothers opened the batting facing Jonathan Boukhobza and Ian Butler. Both batsmen hit early boundaries and Jon Dovey had quickly moved to 15 when he was caught behind by Adams off Boukhobza. Brother Adam followed next over clean bowled by the impressive Butler for 8. BGCC 31 for 2 in 9 overs. Mark Hooper and Phil Harris set about building a total facing some difficult overs from Butler and spinner Nasir Ali-Khan. 56 for 2 soon became 62 for 5 as Ali-Khan bowled Harris for 17 and Butler clean bowled both Andy Ford and Josh Rurawhe. Dannie Rees joined Hooper and they battled well to see off Butler’s first spell with no more wickets falling. They then upped the run rate off both Raveenthiraraja and Ali-Khan taking the score past 100 in the 31st over.

 

Butler returned to the attack with Harbourne sensing the win slipping away. Hooper had batted well to steady the ship when he misjudged one from Butler and was caught by Kitchen at mid-off for 25. Chris Smedley became Butler’s fifth victim when (much to the travelling fans dismay) he was adjudged lbw first ball. The score was 116 for 7 with BGCC needing 35 to win in 20 overs. Kev Golder joined Rees and knowing Butler had only 3 overs left they played sensibly. The scoreboard was ticking over steadily so with only 14 runs needed and Rees on 46 captain Sen gambled and brought on Gary Hawkins. Rees hit his first ball for 6 to reach his 50, and then dispatched the next two for 4 to claim a fantastic victory. Rees finished on 60 not in 73 balls with 7 fours and 2 sixes and Golder was not out for a very valuable 6. Butler was the pick of the bowlers with 5 for 49 off his 17 overs.

 

Harbourne gained 4 points from the game to place 5th. Barnards Green claimed a full 24 points to leave them with 298 points. This is 7 clear of third placed Water Orton and 10 behind champions Brewood - meaning 2 promotions in 2 years for both clubs. Thanks for a great season!