The home side came out to bat and like the away team, 4 wickets were lost quickly but this time it was only for 41. Craig Heiden (28, 3 fours) and Ben Bhabra (79, 9 fours) were now at the crease and formed a brilliant partnership of 82 for the fifth wicket to bring the Squirrels back into contention. Strong self determination was clearly displayed by the pair to get stuck in under great levels of pressure. Craig was unfortunately dismissed and with Ben still at the crease stroking the ball nicely, there was a chance. However, the lower order struggled to support Ben and the 1st team still required nearly 25 runs from the last 3 overs. The game went down to the wire and luckily Louis was back from hospital bandaged up even though for most of the innings it looked like we would only have 10 fit batsmen. The last over there were 5 runs needed for victory and it went down like this... 49.1 - dot ball. 49.2 - Ben Bhabra was caught in the deep courtesy of a great catch. 49.3 - I was dismissed trying the cut the spinner! 49.4 - one handed and #11 Louis enter the creased and cautiously defended the ball in deep pain. 49.5 - Louis managed to cut the spinner (one handed!) through backward point for 4! 50.0 - Louis advanced down the wicket to look for the last run and it went to the bowler's right side who gathered himself to knock down the stumps on the end which Louis was running to. It was very close and the umpire had a decision to make... it was not out and the 1sts won by 1 wicket on the last ball of the game!! It was a great team performance in front of several supporters at the home of cricket. Furthermore, it is back-to-back victories for the 1st team. Full scorecard here.
|MOTM Ben Bhabra in action last Saturday - photography by Karen Barker.|
The batting conditions meant Poplars were always a danger during the run chase but the return of the impressive opening bowlers Lewis Caine (2/33) and Lucas Rhodes (4/44) at the death ensured wickets were taken regularly and we bowled out the opposition for 209 to go top of the league. Full scorecard here.
|Lucas Rhodes, 4th team's first half player of the season, in action last Saturday - photography by Karen Barker.|
The 2nds were away to Collingham and captain Will lost the toss with the home side choosing to bat first in favourable conditions. Collingham managed to amass a magnificent score of 335 for 3 declaring after 46 overs. Unfortunately, the Squirrels were bowled for 121 with the captain top scoring (29). Not a great result but the team spirits are still high and hoping to bounce back in a couple of weeks as there is no 2nd team fixture next week. Full scorecard here.
To round up Saturday's action, the 3rds were away to Woodborough. Chris Tolley spun a web around the home side as he picked up 6 wickets (9-4-15-6) as they were bowled out for 114 in 26 overs. Despite losing wickets on regular intervals, it was left to finisher and the always reliable Matt Shaw to score 48* (9 fours) to chase down the total inside 25 overs. 20 (maximum) points were picked up in a very convincing display. Full scorecard here.
Lastly, Nick Gibson led the friendly side on Sunday hosting Mountsorrel Castle at The Strand on another beautiful day. The home side managed to post 166 thanks to openers Josh Wilson (37, 4 fours) and Phil Beecham (35, 6 fours). Also, there was a notable contribution by young Jude Noble who was not out at the end with 22 (2 fours). This score was not enough as the away side chased it down with just over 9 overs and 4 wickets spare. Will Such was pick of the bowlers picking up 3 wickets (8-2-25-3). Full scorecard here.
Thanks go to Sam Randall and Karen Barker for their contributions to this report :)