South Notts League
It was cold at Knipton on Saturday with an easterly wind that cut through several layers of protection.
Nevertheless, Belvoir and Collingham served up an excellent game of cricket complete with a tight finish. When there are only seven runs between the teams, every little incident is important.
Maybe the game hung on a superb catch in the deep by Collingham’s Rob Matchett to dismiss Belvoir’s captain Lewis Dann? Dann had just started to scurry along and, with the redoubtable Greg Oldfield (32), the target of 33 from 43 balls with seven wickets left seemed well within Belvoir’s grasp.
However, Oldfield fell eight balls later and, five balls on, Jake Fisher was needlessly run out. Twenty-five runs were then needed from 30 balls!
Ryan Lewis and Phil Irvine tried valiantly to strike boundaries but were restricted to ones and twos by the trenchant Harry Sheppard (3-49) and Alex Menzhausen (3-54), and another 11 balls went by for only seven runs before keeper George Hogg manufactured the scruffy run out of Lewis.
Joe Bottomley also did his best to conjure some boundaries but the bowlers were too clever to let their advantage slip. Even off the last ball, Irvine hit into the deep hoping to run three and collect four overthrows, but only succeeded in giving a catch to Harrison Allen.
The day had started well for Belvoir as they captured two wickets in the first three overs; the second a very good catch by Jake Fisher at gully. However, the next 36 overs saw a punchy stand of 167 by Olly Dyson (80) and Fahad ul Haq (88).
In the spirit of this match, the stand featured a royal tussle between bat and ball, with Andy Dann and Greg Oldfield tirelessly providing the latter. But Belvoir needed wickets to limit Collingham’s total and these came with the return of pace man Danny Gibson (3-42), who saw off Dyson and Fahad in successive overs leaving Menzhausen (18 no), and David Pipes to scratch their way past the 200 mark.
In reply, it was not until the 28th over that Olly Clayfield (58) and Jack Copley (53) were parted after a boundary belittered stand of 120. Both were bowled by the persistent Harry Sheppard (3-49).
From then on ,the required run-rate grew and the steady fall of wickets gradually gave Collingham their winning draw.