CRICKET: Belvoir lose out in high-scoring game

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South Notts League

Division A

Gedling Colliery 349-5

Belvoir 265

There are some days when the bowlers just do not get a look-in.

Such was the case on Saturday at Gedling Colliery. Six-hundred-and-14 runs were mercilessly plundered from 97½ overs. That is why it is necessary to praise Olly Elson (11-0-90-0) and Zaheer Rahman (16-0-75-0) for the gritty steadfastness that both showed in the face of the onslaught. Their never-say-die attitude was a lesson in Englishness.

Gedling batted first with Fred Andersen smashing the ball in all directions in a wonderful 144 (117 balls) out of the first wicket stand of 224. At this point, skipper Duncan McKeown (104) took over, racing to his century in 106 balls – a classic and intelligent innings compared to Andersen’s exciting brutality.

However, the best strike rate (126) belonged to Rhys Hayes, including 21 from his last eight balls. As well as Elson, of Belvoir’s bowlers, Greg Oldfield (3-95) at least had the consolation of the scalps of two of the top scorers.

Belvoir started brightly, looking for 350 to win at seven per over but Hayes (2-40) nabbed both openers for 24. Josh Sharpe then made a nice-looking 23.

At the other end, Oldfield (104 at a strike rate of 129) took nine balls to get off the mark before setting about the chase in earnest. He smacked nine fours in his next 20 balls, some of them scything silkily through extra-cover.

Lyndon James (28) unselfishly fed the strike to Oldfield whenever he could in the 86-run fourth wicket partnership that took the score to 179 – half way there.

But wickets were falling and Rahman was holding up one end at less than five per over. Oldfield completed his century in 75 balls but was caught and bowled by Ryan Eason (2-62) five balls later.

Belvoir captain Tom Neville (41) kept up the momentum, peppering mid-on as per usual, but
Gedling’s fourth change Danny O’Brien (3-21) had him brilliantly caught by Hayes. O’Brien went on to wrap up the tail and Belvoir finished 84 runs short.

Sixty-five fours and 14 sixes – a boundary every seven balls – entertainment!