18th April 2009 - Match Reports.

BGCC 1stXI vs Old Elizabethans CC 1st XI 

 

Despite a week of inclement weather North End lane was fit to host local rivals Old Elizabethans of the Birmingham League in the final pre season friendly of the 2009 season. 

Not surprisingly visiting skipper Macey had no hesitation in inserting the home side in overcast and damp conditions. Makeshift opener Jon Lewis strode to the crease with Kev Golder to face the new ball attack and things looked bright as Lewis struck two crisp boundaries to take the score into double figures.  

Unfortunately this bright start was quickly curtailed as Golder mistimed a drive to be caught at mid off off the bowling of Alford. Although the OE’s bowling largely lacked direction and consistency the Green’s top order capitulated as first Rhodes and then Lewis, Paddock and Clarke all offered catching practice to the slip cordon (from the balls they could reach) who made no mistakes to leave the home side reeling at 25-5. 

A short period of rebuilding was ended when Binks was trapped plumb LBW off the bowling of Griffiths for 17 leaving Smedley stranded with the lower middle order.

As the tea lady for the day boiled the urn anticipating an early innings break club veteran Steve Metcalfe bounded to the crease with locks of hair flowing from his cap reminiscent of England legend Wayne Larkins. 

Continuing with his homage to Larkins Metcalfe clubbed several early boundaries in a bid to add an air of respectability to the scoreboard as Smedley displayed his usual gritty and pugnacious stroke play at the other end. Metcalfe continued to strike the ball cleanly and when his innings ended on 50 he had struck 6 imposing maximums however handed Alford an early season five wicket bag skying the ball to mid off. 

Debutant overseas player Nick Murphy resplendent in bright yellow helmet then joined Smedley and quickly showed his Aussie grit striking several boundaries in an entertaining 33. With Smedley showing signs of form on his way to an innings top score of 62no the Green closed on a more than respectable 210 especially considering the horror of being 25-5. 

Upon the resumption of play Murphy and Williams opened the attack and despite beating the bat on numerous occasions did not make the multiple breakthroughs that were needed. 

When Pearman was smartly caught by Binks off Williams and Boyle gave Murphy a first Green wicket with a soft drive to the hands of Williams at mid off the home side clawed their way into the game with Smedley also getting in on the act with the wicket of Day. 

Macey at this point was joined by bowling hero Alford however early on he struggled with timing and placement and looked every inch a bowler batting up the order.When Macey holed out for a superb 62 smashing a Rhodes long hop to be brilliantly caught by Paddock the Green sniffed a chance of victory and Murphy reentered the attack quickly picking up the wicket of Spragg caught behind.

At this point Griffiths entered the fray with an uncomplicated technique and set about propelling the visitors to their target with an aggressive 39. Despite his demise caught by Binks off Smedley the visitors cantered to victory with 3 overs to spare with Alford managing to accumulate 49no without ever looking at ease.

 

The Green 1st XI host Worcester Nomads in the first league encounter of the season at North End Lane next week with admission free to all.