22nd August 2009 - Match Reports.
|Netherton vs BGCC 2nd XI||BGCC 1st XI v Pershore CC 1st XI|
Asked to bat first on a dry looking wicket BGCC skipper Judd Doughty and his opening partner Paul Yorke found the going tough in their fixture away at Nertherton CC. The wicket misbehaved early on with some balls flying through off a length and others, inexplicably shooting along the ground – not something you would expect at this level of club cricket. Yorke was deceived by a swinging delivery and was caught behind for 0 in the third over. Paul Drinkwater, back after an extended holiday, showed his class by punching the first ball he faced through the covers only to be disappointed when the ball stopped in the long grass surrounding the square – again, not something you would expect at this level of club cricket. Drinkwater and Doughty, assessing and re-assessing the wicket with each delivery faced realised they had to hold back their attacking instincts and quickly felt that a score of 150ish would be defendable – if achieved. Drinkwater was finally undone for 3 off 21 balls when a short pitched delivery rolled along the floor into his off stump. James Scullion, promoted ahead of the more attacking batsmen came to the crease with the innings in a mess with mission to rebuild. He quickly got off the mark with a four, sending grass clippings flying before he perished for 4 upper-cutting an attempted bouncer to backward point. The veteran Cyril Dean, plucked from fourth team obscurity at the start of the season joined his skipper to offer his experience and array of attacking shots to the situation. Doughty who had crafted 22 from 40 balls succumbed to the thinnest of edges behind to leave the Green in the precarious position of 36-4 prompting Steve Metcalfe, in his final game of the season to come to the wicket. Dean and Metcalfe began an excellent effort of rebuilding the innings, initially with ones and twos and then, as the pitch began to flatten out, fours and sixes. Dean pulled the ball off a length impressively and Metcalfe slapped, hoicked and bashed the ball to all parts including, memorably 28 from one over. Dean selflessly perished for a hard fought 58 from 71 balls leaving the now injured Metcalfe, batting with a runner, to continue his onslaught, finally succumbing for 78 off 80 balls including 8 fours and 4 sixes. Lewis Hooper (5) came and went whilst pushing the rate before Tom Clack, a class batsmen in any team, punched, flicked and whacked the ball to all parts for a well judged 27 off just 33 balls. Supporting Clack through the final overs were Matt Brookes (9), Sam Spencer (3*) and Ash Brewer (4) giving the Green a very competitive total of 227 in 49.5 overs.
The Netherton innings got off to a steady start with Narwaz (21) and skipper Patel (42) finding plenty of gaps in the attacking field set by the visiting captain. Spencer (10-1-44-0) bowled with good pace but struggled, for the first time this year, with his rhythm - the number of overs he has bowled this season catching up with his tired legs one suspects. Clack took the new cherry at the other end and got the ball to lift and dart off the wicket despite its increasing flatness but his spell was also hampered by injury and had to finish after just 3 overs (3-0-9-0). Matt Brookes (8-2-22-2) uncharacteristically also struggled with his rhythm initially although soon settled to bowl an excellent spell, taking two vital wickets at vital times. The introduction of the ‘spin-twins’ of Drinkwater (12-5-26-2) and Hooper (14-5-32-5) changed the complex of the innings completely. From looking likely victors the home batsmen capitulated, much to the delight of the title hungry Green players. Each wicket was met with joyous scenes as Netherton went from 100-3 in 20 overs to 140-9 in their 50 over allocation. The Green failed in their attempt to win the game outright and were, initially disappointed however, on reflection, ought to be very proud of the fact that they came within one ball of winning a tough encounter where the toss, the wicket, the outfield, and their opponents conspired against them. It must be noted that the home side, led excellently by Mitesh Patel were a decent cricketing side and a good bunch of lads who fought bitterly to the end and on account of this performance deserve to be placed higher in the league.
The Green took 18 points from this fixture can take heart from the fact that their rivals Astwood Bank lost to Redditch. Without the experience of Metcalfe and Dean the outcome could have been very different.
BGCC and Astwood Bank meet at Northend Lane on Saturday in a fixture which may prove crucial in deciding the outcome of the league.BGCC 227 All Out (18) – Netherton 140-9 (5)
Most blokes have a little black book filled with girls’ names. Dick Brown’s must be filled with the names of occasional cricketers upon whom he can rely to help him out in his hour of need.
With just eight regular players at his disposal for the trip to Ross on Wye, Dick dug out the book and enlisted the services of yet another of The Green’s talented youngsters Ewan Wilson, the slightly older and stiffer (but no less talented) John Hennessy and the slightly rounder but vastly experienced Simon Hudson.
In beautiful surroundings and on an unexpectedly warm day Ross won the toss and chose to make first use of what appeared to be a flat true pitch.
With only two regular seam bowlers at his disposal it was vital that Jack Cullity and Elliot Hennessy bowl well in their opening spells.
With an inexplicable but what was to prove temporary loss of form, Cullity struggled with his run-up and consequently bowled a series of no-balls. At the other end Hennessy bowled well and, (with the exception of one over), kept the run-rate down but, for the home team, Ball and Tregaskes were scoring freely and when the youngsters took their break Ross were on 36 without loss and a big total was looking likely. Additionally Hennessy announced to his Captain that a shoulder injury would prevent his bowling further.
Having no more seamers Dick introduced spin at both ends.
Dave Price, (12-6-21-2), strangled the batsmen mixing deliveries which turned sufficiently to prevent aggressive shots with quicker balls which slid past the bat. Frustrated at the slow scoring, Tregaskes (14) was tempted into a rash shot and found the safe hands of Matt Wren on the mid-wicket boundary to give Price his first wicket. With the score on 65 after 18 overs he then trapped Warwick lbw.
His temporary “spin-twin” Graham Baddeley, (obviously a proper spinner), extracted large amounts of turn at the other end and, whilst not as accurate caused huge problems for a succession of Ross players clean bowling the other opener Ball for 30, Gore for a duck and Leslie for just 6. These two bowled through with Baddeley finishing with figures of 12-1-50-3.
Cullity returned for his second spell and having recovered from the rigours of the morning’s footie match immediately joined in the game running out Jones with a fine direct hit.
For the home side Tucker was steadily building an innings until Cullity had him stumped by the infamous GG. Barnard holed out to Price, (who hasn’t dropped a catch for several days now), and the departure of Waldis and Tingle gave Cullity the very respectable figures of 4 for 34 off 9 overs.
In the absence of Hennessy Junior, Father John stepped in to help Dick by giving him 5 overs of line and length bowling at the death going for just 17 runs as Ross were bowled out for 147 runs in the 42nd over. The Green’s fielding was tight throughout with Ewan Wilson demonstrating a good arm and Julian Hall and Simon Hudson stalking the cover and mid wicket areas with menace.
Tea was once again delightful with not a dry chocolate swiss roll in sight.
Dick toyed with the idea of opening with a pinch-hitter or two to get ahead of the run rate from the start but sense got the better of him and Hall and Baddeley took to the crease.
Again Baddeley demonstrated his ability to play the right shots despite a lack of timing due to his long absence from the game whilst Hall slipped into yet another familiar groove.
With a full 48 overs available to achieve the total there was no need to rush but both players seemed keen to get the job done and pushed along at 5 runs per over before Tregaskes had Hall caught and bowled for 27 in the 10th over. Dick Brown found scoring easy as he hit a series of boundaries before departing on 24 and when Elliot Hennessy was adjudged caught behind for 12 The Green needed just 42 runs for victory.
Baddeley went in the next over for a patient 21. Simon Hudson and Graeme Glendenning brought weight to the fray with Hudson showing his power scoring 18 off just a few balls, his departure bringing 13 year old Ewan Wilson to the middle.
Wilson, in his first senior match batted superbly ignoring pressure from the close fielders who were obviously unaware of his talent and he stroked a series of cultured boundaries including one delightful leg glance. Sensibly milking the strike to protect first Glendenning (6) and then Jack Cullity the young batsman fittingly brought The Green victory with another boundary in the 34th over, finishing on 18 not out with Cullity not having to face a ball.
Another excellent all-round performance from the fourths and many thanks to Ross-on-Wye for a game played in the right spirit.
Barnards Green’s chances of gaining promotion to the Birmingham and District Premier League were dealt a savage and most likely fatal blow after being clinically dispatched by league leaders Pershore.After losing the toss the home side were inserted and got off to the worst start possible as the in form Kev Golder was dismissed by Howell without troubling the scorers. Rhodes followed bowled neck and crop by Howell offering no shot and Clarke was blasted out gloving a superb bouncer through to Ridings for the 3rd duck of the innings.Unfortunately for the home side recovering from 9-3 was an uphill task with disciplined bowling and fielding from Pershore showing why they are league leaders and favourites to return to the Birmingham league.Smedley, Hooper and Tim Clarke made painstaking progress to rebuild the innings with some success with Hooper putting on 41 with Smedley before the recalled veteran joined forces with Tim Clarke to take the score to 75. A further cluster of wickets hampered any hopes of a competitive score and the run out of Smedley and subsequent collapse led to the Green posting a mediocre 118 from 45 overs.After harsh words from skipper Williams the Green took to the field knowing a do or die performance was needed to take anything from the game.
Despite the best efforts of the home side in striving for wickets accuracy and pressure were compromised as Liam Ridings and Joe Taylor got the visitors off to solid start.Murphy struck to dismiss Taylor for 16 but this was the only real bright point in the innings as Ridings showed composure and a touch of arrogance to score a superb half century containing 13 boundaries. The Green wilted under the pressure of the onslaught dropping several catches and failing to register a single point from the game.Ridings finished with 82 not out and led his side to 20 points and the top of the table.
This week the Green have an important double header facing Astwood Bank on Saturday and Malvern Ramblers at North End Lane on Monday. Both games start at 1230.
Sunday also sees the Green’s annual 6-a-side competition at North End Lane with competitors coming from London,Australia, New Zealand and Alfrick. The action starts at 930am with a BBQ in action from 11am and admission free to all spectators.
Thanks to match sponsors Malvern Spa who hosted the Green 1st XI’s pre match preparations in plush surroundings.
Fall Of Wickets
Hooper-4*); 7-2 George
* = notout batsman,