CRICKET: Crunch final over sees Belvoir claim winning draw by two runs

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South Notts League

Division A

Belvoir 159

Carrington 157-9

Belvoir scored a winning draw over Carrington by the margin of two runs on Saturday.

In such a game every incident, however minor, becomes important. Perhaps the most crucial was the final over by Belvoir’s Phil Irvine against Carrington’s captain Gemaal Hussain.

The latter needed 15 to win the game and started with a wonderful clubbed six; a smashed four followed from the next ball. Irvine, though, was undaunted and determined – he pitched it up on a cramping line to stifle Hussain.

But that was just the last over – the whole game had been a glorious cricket contest. For Belvoir there were classy innings from Greg Oldfield (32) and Olly Clayfield (35), a stalwart 23 from Ryan Lewis that guided the side towards a defendable total, and small but gutsy and vital contributions from all of the tail.

However, real batting prowess requires good bowling and fielding from the opposition. Carrington’s Azar Khan Janjua (4-42) and Hussain (2-37) provided this in spades, while their keeper Gulriaz Sadaf took five excellent catches and made a smart stumping.

In Carrington’s reply, the Belvoir fielding was sharp and sure with Jack Copley, Ryan Lewis and Danny Gibson all taking excellent catches, and Tom Neville a brilliant juggling effort at high speed. The quicks all took wickets at crucial stages with the terrier Gibson (5-34), playing his 75th consecutive game of Belvoir 1st XI, being the pick.

Arshad, Khalil and Sadaf all got into the 20s before falling to Gibson and Fentem (2-30) as the run rate, originally 3.2, rose to 36 from the last six overs courtesy of miserly bowling from Oldfield and Gibson. That was when Hussain’s huge effort started only to fail in the final staggering over of the day.