Wins for Grantham area Belvoir Cricket Club, with 2nd XI victorious after thrilling finale
Belvoir CC 1st XI - 213/6 (50 overs)
West Bridgfordians - 188 all out (48.3 overs)
Belvoir’s Skipper, Lewis Dann, won the toss and elected to bat first.
Openers Dann (18) and Copley (9) were put under pressure from ball one as Minhas and Joe Holding made good use of a used deck with variable bounce. A wicket apiece left Belvoir at 56-2, with the in-form Olly Clayfield nurdling the good ball for one and punishing the bad ball to the boundary.
The introduction of the West Bridgfordians leg spinner, Saad Naseem, gave Belvoir a difficult challenge to overcome and it didn’t take long until he bowled Neville for 15. When Olly Clayfield and Sam Penford were both caught off the bowling of Saad Naseem, Belvoir found themselves at 125-6 and the game completely in the balance.
Despite intense pressure from the Bridgford attack, Belvoir’s Akmal Hassan and Ryan Lewis were able to re-build the innings through positive running and were able to find the boundary at will. Belvoir finished their innings on 213-6 with Hassan finishing 61 not out and Ryan Lewis 32 not out with a partnership of 88.
The Belvoir team strode out for the second innings knowing the momemtum was with them. Unfortunately, this was short lived, with Alex Winiarkski (23) and Rhys Hayes (19) starting with real intent and after just 6 overs were 39-0.
The introduction of Joe Bottomley really changed the flow of the match getting both openers caught through good work from Clayfield and Lewis Dann. Akmal Hassan soon got the dangerous Travis Holland caught in the deep for two with West Bridgfordians slumping to 50-3.
Skipper Alistair Pettit (24) and Naseem then put on 85 for the next wicket as West Bridgfordians looked to be cruising to victory needing only a further 78 runs from 24 overs. Again, the return of Bottomley led to another wicket with Pettit being adjudged to be LBW and then Akmal Hassan got Naseem caught for 60 by some fantastic work in the deep by Jamie Morgan.
Having been really up against it with West Bridgfordians at 135-3, Belvoir were able to take seven wickets for only 53 runs with Bottomley taking 4 wickets and Hassan and Belvoir’s very own Ben Stokes, Sam Penford, both taking three apiece.
Elsewhere, Belvoir 2nd XI turned up to a gloomy Old Dalby cricket ground where Plumtree 3rd XI play their home matches. Captain George Tebbutt asked Plumtree to bat having won the toss.
Opening bowlers Alex Forbes (3-24) and Oliver Poole got into a good rhythm from the off and caused the batsmen issues. This lead to both opening batsmen being removed in quick succession. First change, young bowler Jack Butler (2- 25) came into the attack and continued to keep the pressure on that had been set from the start. Another couple of quick wickets followed and Plumtree found themselves 39-4 off 14 overs.
A rebuilding job then began having lost early wickets and Glen Read (70no) and Oscar Whitt (27) batted with caution whilst still putting away the bad balls. After Whitt departed, Read started to accelerate and really took the counter attacking option against the Belvoir bowlers. A great diving catch and run out (whilst lying on his back) from Seb Newton slightly slowed the scoring rate towards the end but Plumtree finished on a respectable 202-9 off 45 overs.
Belvoir started their batting innings with a very positive mindset and Paul Chadwick made his intentions quite clear when he hit two consecutive sixes very early on.
Clayfield batted with his usual elegance before being dismissed by an unbelievable catch in the slips by Liam Harley. Liam later admitted he would probably catch that one in around 100 attempts.
Seb Newton joined Chadwick at the crease and looked very comfortable from the get go. Belvoir reached 55-1 off 11 overs and were setting a brilliant platform to chase down the target. The pair continued to dominate the bowling attack and looked in no trouble at all moving the score along to 101-1 off 20 overs.
A mix up between the pair caused Chadwick’s dismissal after he was run out for an aggressive and entertaining 43. A couple of quick wickets followed and Seb got a ball that kept low and bowled him agonisingly close to his deserved half century and he departed for 49. The score moved onto 133-5 off 30 overs.
Chris Boucher (40) and young Jack Butler (35) looked comfortable at the crease and rotated the strike well, whilst also powering some boundary shots. The highlight of this being when Chris hit a flat six through mid wicket followed next ball with a reverse sweep for four. Boucher was caught behind with the score on 200. With only three needed to win and many overs in the game left it seemed a Belvoir victory was the only outcome.
Simon Poole came to the crease and used his experience by nudging the ball down to third man for two runs. What followed was an unbelievable sequence in play. With only one run to win, Plumtree bowled 19 dot balls in a row and took the wickets of Butler and Forbes. Tensions were high at this stage, but with two balls to spare Poole pushed the ball into the off side and called Wade through for the single as Belvoir won the game by two wickets. A very entertaining finish to the game and played in great spirit.