17th April 2010

Old Elizabethans vs BGCC 1st XI  

Barnards Green Cricket Club 1st XI vs OE’s CC 1st XI

 (Friendly Fixture)

Barnards Green kicked off the much anticipated new season with a trip to Old Elizabethans for their first friendly outing.

At the toss home skipper Simon Macey elected to bat on a good looking wicket, especially for the time of year, at an immaculate Memorial Ground.

Barnards Green, missing overseas signing Andre Russell and new recruit Stuart Lockwood opened the bowling with skipper Tim Williams and Philip Harris, who has recently returned from a winter’s cricket in Western Australia.  The pair found some significant early seam movement from some very good lines and lengths with Harris particularly impressive.  It was he that made the first breakthrough when he enticed Macey into a forward push which resulted in a thick edge through to Ashlea Brewer who held a sharp catch.

Keen to rotate his bowlers Williams introduced Bradley Adams into the attack, returning to the club after a 9 year absence and off spinner Lewis Hooper.  It was Hooper that was able to make significant inroads into the OE’s batting line up.  Starting with 5 maidens and bowling with good control Hooper picked up 4-19 off his 9 overs.  Chris Smedley also bowled a tight 9 over spell, conceding 27 runs.  Further bowling rotations followed and Charlie Griffiths took advantage of some dropped catches and loose bowling to pass a rapid 50.  George Rhodes took 3-35 in the closing stages with his off spinners.  Keeper Ashlea Brewer had an impressive afternoon with 2 sharp catches and 2 stumpings.  OE’s closed on 171 for 9 from their 45 overs.

In reply the Green started steadily with Kevin Golder and Mark Hooper watchful against the new ball.  Just as the pair looked settled Hooper flicked one straight to square leg to leave the score 31-1.  George Rhodes joined Kevin Golder and the pair slowly but surely ticked the score past 100 with Golder passing 50.  Both struck a number of fine boundaries.  However with the run rate increasing and the impressive Oli Griffiths restricting scoring opportunities the Green batsmen panicked.  Golder, Harris and Rhodes all perished in quick succession and by the time Jez Clarke fell the run rate was nearly 10.  Chris Smedley made a vain attempt to hoist the Green to victory with several aerial blows but with wickets falling regularly to some very disciplined bowling the Green fell 18 runs short at the conclusion of their 45 overs.

The Green will feel this is a missed opportunity to start with a good win against a strong Birmingham League side.  However several positives emerged from the game and they will continue their preparations on Saturday with a home game vs Hatherley and Reddings of Cheltenham.  Volcanic ash permitting, Jamaican overseas signing Andre Russell will be making his debut for the club in the final warm up match before the league gets under way.