23rd June 2007 - Match reports.

BGCC IVth XI vs Tenbury Wells

Alvechurch vs BGCC 2nd XI

Having been washed out against Rushwick the Green forth XI were possibly missing 2 weeks in a row due to waterlogged pitches, however with no rain on Saturday morning, it was decided that top of the table Tenbury would travel to Newland and both teams would make every effort to play the game, even if it had to be dramatically reduced in overs. 

Thanks to the endless work of Groundsman Bob Rogers, the game was able to start at the scheduled 1.30pm, to the shock of most players who had taken shelter in the pavilion following a sharp shower at 1! With the Green skipper loosing, what seemed at the time, a very important toss, the Green were asked to bat first on a wet pitch with sodden outfield. 

With both usual openers away, the makeshift opening pair of Howie and birthday boy Chris Horne got the home side off to a steady and very watchful start. Having lost Howie, the Green were 11 for 1 off 10 overs and batting was looking very difficult. Brown decided that anything in his half was going to be dispatched back over the bowlers heads, having missed his first attempt, his second was caught at fly slip! Wren tried and failed to acclimatise to the conditions and was caught and bowled for 3. This brought Wheeler to the crease and with only 26 on the board and 30 overs left, decided that there was plenty of time to get used to the bowling and pace of the pitch. 

With Horne out for a patient 17, debutant Ashley Brewer matched out and looked at home until missing a straight one from Pearson. Dave Price joined Wheeler in the highest stand of the innings, putting on 66 in 11 overs, by using solid defence and punishing the bad balls, the Green looked able to kick on and post a defendable total in the 150 run region. Pearson then ripped the middle and lower order out, first removing Price for 14 and then the big prize of Wheeler for 52. The lower order of Alley, Adam Price and Hunt added 15 to take the total to 115 before Hunt, another debutant, was bowled to close the innings.

Pearson was the outstanding bowler for Tenbury finishing with figures of 11 overs, 5 for 40. Other bowlers to take wickets were Edwards 2 for 10 from 10 overs, Yeomans 2 for 18 off 10. During the tea interval the players were well catered for by the excellent teas supplied by Mechelle. Following tea the Tenbury players must have been confident of chasing the target of 116 and continuing their unbeaten run in the league. The Green bowlers and fielders had other ideas! 

Wren and Adam Price opened the bowling and immediately had the batsman in difficulty with their excellent lines and lengths, and showed that there was still enough life in the drying surface to have to make all the batsmen work for their runs. With Wren bowling his 5 over spell for just 8 runs, the Tenbury team were behind the run rate and starting to rethink their game plan as to how to score the runs required. Following a superb diving catch behind the wicket from Brewer off Price, Wheeler introduced himself to the attack and made an immediate impact by inducing a false shot which was well caught by Sam Bradley in the covers.  

Wheeler picked up 3 more wickets with deliveries that on another day would have disappeared to the boundary and possibly adjoining fields! But this was his, and the Greens day, with excellent catches being taken by Price, Howie and Hunt the Tenbury innings fell apart and never looked like getting close to the required 116. When Dave Price had Edwards caught at short cover, Tenbury were all out for 51 with only Felce scoring double figures with 15 not out. 

Dave Price finished with the exceptional figures of 3 wickets for 0 runs! Wheeler ended with 7 overs, 5 for 21 runs, Adam Price bowled with great accuracy and was unlucky not to be rewarded with better figures than 11 overs, 2 for 8 runs.  

This was a fantastic result for a Green team with 5 players under 15 in the team and showed the benefits of never giving up and always wanting to win. With the 24 points secured, the Green closes the gap on leaders Tenbury and move up to forth place, only a few points behind Worcester Dominies, who the Green visit next week, hoping to again punch above their weight and continue their excellent season

 

The Green seconds travelled to Alvechurch after another week of torrential rain hoping for a game uninterrupted by the bad weather which had been forecast.The Alvechurch ground was waterlogged and the wicket wet but both captains decided to start the match on time, once again the toss was lost but to the Greens surprise Alvechurch elected  to bat first.Sam Spencer and the tanned Matt Brookes opened the bowling and after 14 overs Alvechurch were only scoring at three an over but had not lost any wickets.Brookes switch ends and together with Ian Scullion they proceeded to strangle the homeside's run rate, Brookes removed both openers Gilmour 34 and Jones 26, this opened the floodgates ,Matt Brookes took a further 3 wickets to finish with match figures of 19overs 5 for 34,Scullion bowled 13 tight overs taking 1 wicket at the cost of 30 runs,Tom Clack clean bowled Fisher for 22 then had Reck caught by Brookes,this left the way for Sam Spencer to return and take the final two wickets, Alvechurch completed their innings with a total of 141.This was due to another fine bowling display especially by Matt Brookes who is now starting to fulfil his potential as a left arm swing bowler.The Green got off to a solid start until James Scullion was adjudged leg before with the score on 25, Paul Yorke failed to trouble the scorers when he was given caught behind , a reshuffle in the batting order due to Jez Clarke being caught short, allowed dave Knapper to come in at number four, he together with opener Mark Hooper took the score along to 76 before Hooper was bowled by a slower ball from Reck for 42, Knapper was unlucky to be bowled off his pads for 24 , Jez Clarke look in good form until he was adjudged leg before for 19, Tom Clack was run out for 1,Lewis Hooper was caught and bowled by Reck for 13,Spencer snr and junior failed to trouble the scorer,leaving the green 117 for 9, the last wicket partnership of Brookes and Scullion looked like gradually inching their way to the required total until the returning opening bowler Batterley bowled Brookes for 7 leaving the Green 12 runs short on 129 allout.For Alvechurch Darren Reck took five for 24, with a mixture of spin and medium pace.The Green slipped further behind the leaders in the league and need to improve their batting, their bowling and fielding is as good as there is in the league but work needs to be done on improving the batting.

BGCC 1st XI vs Alvechurch
Despite a week of atrocious weather Green groundsman Roy Mayo was delighted to hand over a wicket to the umpires at the scheduled start time of 1330. Unfortunately this prompted the heavens to open and further rain to threaten the chance of any cricket at North End Lane. With home skipper Smedley eager to get onto the field the home sides mopping up procedure meant that an early tea was taken and play finally began at 1615 with the contest reduced to 31 overs per side.
The visiting skipper produced the correct call at the toss and had no hesitation in inserting the home side on damp wicket. This moved proved correct as former Sri Lankan international Gamgage ripped through a flimsy Smedley drive and also accounted for the in form Golder. Paddock began to rebuild the innings with Harris until he was adjudged LBW for a well made 18. This brought recalled Tim Clarke to the crease who smashed a rapid fire 22 including 5 boundaries.
Gamage who bowled unchanged from the Spencer fence end continued to pick up wickets finishing with 5-59 from his 16 overs. However the resistance of Harris who made a superb 40 and the big hitting of former Alfrick star Ford who made 41 gave the Green a more than competitive total of 159 from their allocation. Williams and Hoogstraten again started economically with the new ball with the former picking up the important early wicket of Reuban caught behind. Williams also showed his class in the field with fantastic direct hit run out which put the visitors under immense early pressure.
As the game unfolded the Green fielding continued to be the difference between the 2 sides with Williams, Smedley and finally Harris taking brilliant catches to stem the flow of runs and set up a strong winning draw.
Ford was again the pick of the Green bowlers picking up 2-35 from his ten overs of off spin. Smedley chipped in with 3 wickets including the prize wicket of Gamage however he will again be disappointed not to have eliminated the inevitable “four ball” which pushed his economy rate above 6 runs per over.
This week the Green travel to local rivals Ramblers in a game that marks the half way mark in the season.

BGCC 159-7 Harris 40, Ford 41, Gamage 5-59
Alvechurch 128-7, Deakin 24, Smedley 3-36, Ford 2-35.

BGCC 13 points, Alvechurch 6 points.