23rd May 2009 - Match Reports.
|BGCC 4th XI vs Himbleton 2nd XI||Barnards Green 1xt XI vs Coombs Wood CC 1st XI|
The first home match of the season saw a much-changed Green side entertain Himbleton at Newland. With this fixture historically being a close run thing nothing but the best would do if The Green were to win.
Himbleton batted first facing an opening attack of the in-form 15 year old Jack Cullity and the experienced Ian Alley, yet to show the devastating speed and accuracy with which he has performed in previous years. Both bowled with control restricting Himbleton to a trickle of runs but being unable to make the breakthrough and it was left to the change bowlers, 14 year old Ryan Scullion and 13 year old Elliot Hennesey to remove first T Pretty and Preece and then Byrne and Rogers. Scullion in particular once again bowled with a maturity beyond his years whilst Hennesey proved to be devastating in short bursts. With Himbleton on 43 for 4 The Green were in control. Sparkes and Street came to the creese and with Street unable to move due to a thigh strain he decided that running was not the order of the day as he proceeded to dispatch any ball of any line and length to the boundary, being particularly harsh on the bowling of Price who, for once, struggled to find his length. Only Cullity, returning for his second spell, got the measure of Street as he bowled him for 97 with his first ball. With Street back in the pavillion runs dried up as Cullity, Price and Hunt shared the remaing wickets to see Himbleton finish on 225 for 8. A below-par fielding performance gifted Himbleton at least 30 runs and was to prove costly.
After a sumptuous tea, sufficient to feed the five thousand, Robin Longmore, returning from overseas duties in Thailand and with The Marauders, made his first Saturday appearance of the season opening for The Green with Debutante John Barr. Once again he made batting look easy as he raced quickly to 52 before being caught at "cow" for 52 off the bowling of Gene ( fire up the Quattro ) Hunt lookalike Chris Pretty. Barr, blessed with a stylish technique seldom seen in the fourths, pushed singles and looked to be untroubled until he wandered across his stumps and fell LBW to Preece for 16. Elliot Hennesey, Mark Perkins and Dick Brown all fell to Byrne for respectable 20s but the slow run rate was becoming alarming. Hunt (1) failed for once with the bat whilst Rich ( fire up the Volvo ) Wall batting sensibly for 18. After Dave Price fell to a ridiculous Rogers catch The Green looked in trouble. Jack Cullity and Ryan Scullion had other ideas as they disregarded the skipper's instructions and went for the win. Cullity eventually perished on 36 leaving Alley, barren with the ball, to try to find enough edges to secure the runs needed. Ridiculous running between the wickets got The Green in touch so that they needed 5 runs from the last ball. When Alley stroked the ball to short mid-wicket and ran an easy single the game was over, despite his best efforts to run his partner out and throw the game away.
Himbleton achieved the winning draw and The Green's impressive youngsters once again saved them from defeat.
Coombs Wood vs BGCC 2nd XI
CWCC 244-9 Iqbal 113no Ford 5-63, Smedley 4-75
BGCC 246-6 Smedley 56, Binks 49* Iqbal 3-56
North End Land was bathed in sunshine for the first instalment of the WCL Bank Holiday action.
Coombs Wood, missing skipper James Burgoyne won the toss and somewhat surprisingly decided to bat first given their recent batting form. Despite the seam attack of Williams and Murphy failing to make early inroads the visitors struggled to gain momentum despite the lighting fast outfield and fantastic wicket.
With the introduction of spin came the first wicket of the day Venross bowled neck and crop by the effervescent Ford for 12. Spin twin Smedley soon got in on the act with Langford well caught by Paddock for a gritty 25.
At this point the visitors seemed all at sea as the spin and bounce of Ford and accuracy and subtle changes of pace from Smedley(4-75) shipwrecked the heart of the innings with this devastating spell leaving them precariously placed at 69-7. Unfortunately for the home side batting hero Iqbal strode to the crease with a low grip and massive backlift to steer his side to calmer waters.
Aided by a more than able 1st mate Moorcroft Iqbal levered the ball into the leg side from both spinners as the scoreboard ticked at a healthy rate. A brief return to the bowling crease saw Williams launched high into the atmosphere by Iqbal and Murphy was also clubbed for a huge six by the in-form number nine.
When Rhodes well caught Moorcroft for a watchful and important 42 Iqbal was perhaps worried that he may run out of partners and with Peruzza falling quickly LBW to Ford, who finished with 5-63 this looked to be the case.
Farmer however rotated the strike well to allow Iqbal to bring an end to the innings and utilize the full 5o overs. Iqbal finishing with a colossal 133 not out including 7 sixes.
After both teams took a well earned break in the shade makeshift opener Smedley joined Williams Snr in the pursuit of a testing target of 245. Both started well with Williams in particular seizing on a number of loose balls from Farmer and Iqbal to race into the twenties.
Having struck nine crisp boundaries Williams fell to an injudicious pull shot for a well made 42. Rhodes fell immediately without troubling the scorers bringing Paddock to the crease to join Smedley and unfortunately for the home side this and the introduction of the economical Venross led to the innings losing momentum. This culminated when Smedley fell to a limp drive for a stodgy 56.
Phil Harris joined Paddock and had an immediate impact striking a huge maximum and a boundary four before being adjudged run out short of his ground for 11. With only fourteen overs left the home side now needed over 90 to win with 6 wickets in hand. Paddock was snapped up caught off Venross attempting to hit over midwicket for 32 and bating hero Iqbal quickly picked up the wicket of Metcalfe for 7.
Jez Clarke joined ‘keeper Adam Binks at the crease with 7 overs to go and 70 needed for victory. Binks who had until this point dealt mainly in singles and twos with a better than run a ball strike rate upped the ante with a brace of boundaries off Farmer and Clarke joined the action with two clubbed fours off Iqbal in the following over.
With Farmer defending the shorter straight boundary and 3 overs to go Binks stroked two straight drives for fours and took fourteen from his penultimate over to leave the Green the simple equation of 11 from two. Sensible running took seven from Iqbal’s final over and with the field up Binks despatched a Farmer delivery to the fence for a one bounce four to get the home side to the winning post with just 3 balls to spare. Clarke scoring a brisk and clever 21 and Binks finishing with a clinical 49 not out.