South Notts League
Catches certainly do win matches. Hucknall’s Dane Straw took four good ones in this game. Well, one was good, two were splendid and the fourth superb.
These, added to his 4-40 bowling effort, largely accounted for Belvoir only reaching 148.
Josh Sharpe had looked powerful with his big stride down the pitch, turning length balls into half-volleys. But after cracking three excellent fours, he was Straw’s first victim for 22.
Tom Neville punched five fours in his 23 before he was bowled by the persistent Robin Maxwell (3-32).
Indeed, another feature of the game was the individual combat between Maxwell and Belvoir’s Greg Oldfield (56 from 58 balls). Maxwell bowled tightly and won several rounds but, walking down the wicket, driving straight and pulling powerfully, Oldfield won a few himself.
At the other end, Belvoir’s batsmen bowed out regularly to Maxwell, Adam Scott (2-24) and Straw. Was 148 competitive?
In reply, Dale Campbell (57) went from nought to 50 in 24 balls, including 12 fours. Some were pure power but the best simply sweetly timed.
At the other end, Tim Buckthorpe (41no) played the perfect second fiddle until Campbell was bowled by Xanti Xipu (3-54) to end the 80-run first wicket partnership.
Xipu showed great perseverance and no little guile as Belvoir fought back doggedly.
From the other end, Oldfield (2-39) chipped in with some sly stuff. But, despite their efforts and the steadfastly optimistic verbal encouragement given by keeper Ryan Lewis, Buckthorpe saw Hucknall home. 148 had not been enough.