29th August 2011 - Match Reports.

Barnards Green 2nd XI vs Brockhampton  

The bank holiday fixture against Herefordshire side Brockhampton was, perhaps, a step too far for an unfamiliar looking Green second eleven as they were easily out-batted at North End Lane.

Winning the toss visiting skipper Watkins might have initially worried when Green openers Doughty (37) and Wheeler (62) forged a 78 run partnership on a difficult pitch to master. Both batsmen received balls that leapt from a length and shot along the ground due to the dry and crumbly nature of the wicket. In addition to the vertical movement the home side had to contend with the opening bowlers Parker and Hope who found exaggerated lateral movement in the form of swing and seam. Doughty departed to a wide, high full toss which he managed to mis-time to mid-on. Clack(6) found the going tough as did Tuck (4) who departed LBW to Parker. The veteran Dean dug in and supported Wheeler in excellent fashion before taking over the reigns when Wheeler departed for an excellent 62 off 75 balls. Dean began carefully then, finding his stride biffed a number of fours in his 29 whilst the irrepressible Hooper found his feet. Hooper, fresh from an excellent knock on Saturday paced his unbeaten innings of 63 perfectly, beginning with ones and twos progressing to fours and finally graduating with five 6’s in the closing overs. Hooper, Dean, Scullion (10) and finally Brown (6) saw the innings close on a very respectable 226-6 in their 300 ball allocation.

After witnessing some of the largest heaped platefuls in the history of cricket teas the Green players took sanctuary on the square collectively relieved that they themselves had not been eaten by some hungry Herefordshire lads. Thompson took the new ball and bowled with real pace but lacked the direction required and despite beating the bat on a number of occasions leaked runs during his four over spell. With a little fine-tuning Thompson could still make inroads at a high level of league cricket. Hooper, sharing the new ball also beat the bat and induced a great chance in his first over but also found a consistent line hard to come by. Scullion, normally a model of consistency with his medium pace found too the basics hard to implement and, despite a stumping by Doughty, created little in the way of chances as the visitor’s score raced along at 5 an over. Hunt had a go at stemming the time, as did Brown, Hennessy, Clack and finally Tuck but to no avail. The Green bowlers did little wrong whilst the batting of Mokler and, in particular Critchard was outstanding. The latter punished anything full, short, wide or tight during his 40 ball unbeaten 90. Seven 6’s sailed over the ropes and eight 4’s found their way past the fielders. It became exhibition batting as the innings drew to a close and all who witnessed Critchard’s knock will rightly remember it for some time.

Brockhampton knocked off the required runs in just 27.2 overs for the loss of only two men. The Green did little wrong but now know the levels they must reach if they wish to overturn the top teams in this league. On Saturday we visit local side Ombersley for what promised to be a cracking encounter bathed in late summer sunshine.