CRICKET: Belvoir’s swashbuckling Bottomley excels with bat and ball
South Notts League
Gedling Colliery 101
A determined Olly Elson strode to the crease to join Joe Bottomley with Belvoir looking out of it at 7-79.
For the next 100 balls they battled their way to respectability, compiling a stand of 64 with a mixture of caution and recklessness.
Elson (21) showed more of the former but his trenchant knock still included two robust straight driven boundaries.
Bottomley’s innings of 41 was the inverse in many ways. His normal swashbuckling brutality was still there 40 per cent of the time, but this was interspersed with 60 per cent measured defence.
His highlights included a mighty six over wide long-on and a purist square cut passed cover point. The overall result was a defensible total at which to bowl.
Bottomley also took the bowling plaudits with a miserly first spell and a clever, penetrating second one that gave him figures of 4-38.
Greg Oldfield bowled straight through for 17-8-30-3 and Danny Gibson, in his usual style of the charging bull, picked up 3-22.
However, a credit also goes to Gedling’s last pair, Liam Brown and Matt Gosling, who stuck it out for 87 balls and had their team believing that a draw was a possibility.
Maiden followed maiden with all 10 fielders playing the farmer’s in the den with the Gedling tail-enders.
Elson bowled five straight maidens and Belvoir team-mate Alex Forbes bowled two on the trot, but it was the return of Gibson that saw the final breakthrough as he shattered Brown’s castle.
As usual in cricket, there were other stories. Gedling’s Liam Brown bowled straight through for 16-5-32-5. Together with his obdurate batting, he was the Gedling man of the match.
Irfan Haider also bowled a wonderful spell of sustained seam bowling (16-4-37-2) added to which, he top scored for his side.
And yet another feature was Belvoir’s catching. Elson’s took two – the first being a juggler over his shoulder while running back at cover.
Oldfield added three more to his season’s total of 13, and Josh Sharpe took a blinder at slip.
But all-in-all it was Bottomley’s day.