CRICKET: Belton Park thankful to Coulson who saves the say

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South Lincs & Border League

Division One

Belton Park 185

Claypole 174

Belton Park’s visit to Claypole ended in unexpected drama as the visitors nearly threw away an impregnable position.

Inserted on a challenging wicket, Belton lost a couple of early wickets but recovered through a watchful 40-run partnership between Richard Cocks (25) and Dan Reynolds (21), both unfortunate victims of Graham Revill (5-43).

A valuable contribution of 29 by Rohan Perera helped the total along to a precarious 103-7, but a 50-run partnership between Mick Coulson (20) and Pandula Abeysekera (33) turned the game as Belton posted a very respectable 185.

In reply, Claypole were unable to handle a fine spell of seam bowling from Callum Durham (5-56), clean bowling all five of his victims. He was supported by Perera (3-38) as Claypole slumped to 64-9.

As the wicket flattened out, an extraordinary climax to the game followed as Belton switched off and proceeded to bowl and field poorly.

Claypole’s number 10 and 11 batsmen, Kristian Lennon and Chris Cragg, made a mockery of the batting order by launching a blitzkrieg attack, rattling up an amazing 110-run partnership for the final wicket.

With only 12 runs required to win, Coulson entered the fray and was mobbed by his relieved team-mates as he proceeded to bowl Cragg for 54 from just 35 balls, leaving Lennon undefeated on 49 from 48 balls.