CRICKET: Belvoir triumph with nine balls remaining

Phil Irvine bowling for Belvoir. Photo: Toby Roberts
Phil Irvine bowling for Belvoir. Photo: Toby Roberts
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South Notts League

Gedling Colliery 186-9

Belvoir 187-6

A brilliant opening spell from Phil Irvine (3-43), aided by excellent catching from wicket keeper Ryan Lewis, saw Gedling collapse to 31-4.

But good cricket requires some balance and this was provided by Gedling’s Nolan Benson (32) with an innings that included six crisp and defiant fours before he also fell, caught behind off the persistent Joe Bottomley (3-46).

This left Danny O’Brien to ensure that Gedling set a defendable target. His 71 not out came off 75 balls, being a mix of attack and caution when handling the guileful Andy Dann (2-36). Lewis finished with five catches including a spectacular one-handed leg-side dive off Irvine.

Irvine (21) and Jack Copley (23) gave Belvoir’s reply a sound start, but Gedling’s varied attack saw wickets fall regularly. Their star was a young spinner, Matt Burton who at one stage had figures of 8-5-2-3.

However, he was mastered by the sixth wicket pair of Lewis Dann (43) and Ryan Lewis (43no) who put on 58, including 32 scampered singles. Both had to battle through their first 20 balls before starting to rotate the strike and punctuate the afternoon with some punchy boundaries.

Dann’s demise, at 156-6, saw Gedling’s hopes rise but Bottomley stuck steadfastly to his job, feeding Lewis with eight singles. Lewis obliged by hitting his first boundary and then two more to complete the victory by four wickets with nine balls to spare.