Ropsley Baboons visit Upton CC, near Southwell, for the first time on Sunday.
Due to the previous day’s heavy rain, the outfield was soggy, but the wicket was playable on a lovely sunny afternoon.
Upon winning the toss, Baboons acting captain Will Helliwell decided to bat. Despite some early wickets falling to individual scores of four, five, three and one, opening batsman Will Helliwell dominated proceedings, scoring steadily. The 16-year-old was then joined at the crease by his father Justin who, despite an aggravated hamstring, smashed a superb quickfire 53 before retiring.
Will, now joined by younger brother Tom, once again took over the lead with a flourishing array of shots all around the pitch, steering the side to 179-5 off Ropsley Baboons’ allotted 40 overs, and reaching a well deserved 106 not out.
Upton’s innings started off in the worst possible way, losing their first six batsmen for 20 runs, with the Baboons’ Dave Gilbert taking five wickets for five runs off 4 overs in an unplayable stint of bowling, including a superb diving caught and bowled.
Debutant James Handley picked off the sixth victim. Thirteen-year-old Tom Helliwell then recorded figures of 2-4 off four overs in an impressive spell, supported at the other end by another debutant, 13-year-old Ryan Ellis. Ellis’s figures of one wicket for 12 runs off four overs reflecting the strength in depth and promising future of the younger Baboons.
Now, as the Baboons rang the changes, with everyone apart from the keeper having an over or two, Upton’s last pair of batsmen enjoyed a big wag of their tail, amassing 70 between them to take their score to a respectable 119 before the final wicket fell.