Sicklinghall edge Headingley Bramhope out in low scoring thriller
Headingley Bramhope opened their Division 1 account by welcoming Sicklinghall CC to a sunny Old Lane,
Stand in skipper Stelfox won the toss and opted to have a bat.
Chris Ashley and Dev Kumar opened the batting for Headingley Bramhope, Adam Ryszkowski & Andy Wood opened the attack for the visitors, after impressing in preseason nets Chris Ashley lodged an early contender for ‘leave of the season’ as he shouldered arms to Ryszkowski’s 2nd ball only to see it cut back significantly and clatter into the top of ‘off’.
Chris Smith Whicker and Dev Kumar steadied the ship and were generally watchful, waiting for the occasional bad ball moving the score along to 25 before Whicker feathered a low catch behind to Phil Wood off Ryszkowski.
Sunil Bhogulkar joined Dev in the middle and together they moved HBCC along at a quicker pace, Sunil collecting 3x4 and 1x6 in a brisk 19 before a mini collapse put the brakes on HBCC’s progress, Sunil, Dev and John Myers all parting with the score on 54, Dev contributing a handy 25.
The aging pair of Mark Stelfox and Steve Manton nudged and nurdled for a few over, keeping the scoreboard ticking over (just) before Manton was beaten by one that cut back for Dan Holmes, the North’s leading Brian Blessed impersonator Eoin Taylor joined Stelfox and the pair kept things ticking, Eoin looking the part, playing some nice shots as the total moved to 77 when Stelfox was bowled by Holmes. steve gilks did well to keep Taylor company as HBCC tried to eek out every run possible, Gilks departed LBW with the score on 90. Taylor was the 9th to go, with the score on 100 having contributed an invaluable 20, Phil Wood snaffling a good leg side catch, Will Clifton was the last to go with the score on 104, leaving the limpet like Venkatesh Iyer 3 not out.
Headingley Bramhope knew they needed early wickets if they were to stand a chance and managed to get one in the 2nd over with the score on 1 as Stelfox trapped Andy Wood in front, with no further wickets forthcoming, and with plenty of bowling options to consider Stelfox took himself off and introduced Wicker, Clifton was asking questions from the other end, but Martin Wood and Richard Brook were proving hard to shift, Clifton got his reward with a good catch at slip from Whicker to dismiss Wood for 20. 33-2 became 33-3 as Whicker snared Brook for 12. Just when it looked like the momentum was swinging Headingley Bramhope’s way Ben Williams and Aayan Siddiqui dug in for Sicklinghall, they took the score along to 53 before Whicker accounted for Siddiqui caught and bowled.
steve gilks came into the attack for HBCC from the Old Lane end and in his 2nd over sent back Williams for 18, a couple of overs later Dan Holmes fell to Gilks too, bowled for 4, Tom Ryszkowski was keeping things moving for Sicklinghall with resolute defence and some good running, Gilks claimed his 3rd victim bowling Adam Ryszkowski for 9 which left Sicklinghall on 77-7.
Tom Ryszkowski & Phil Wood showed great composure for Sicklinghall, upping the tempo looking for singles, and trying to punish the occasional bad ball, John Myers was performing heroics on the pavilion side boundary to restrict runs, but Headingley couldn’t shift Ryszkowski and Wood who took the visitors to a 3 wicket victory.
A decent team effort with everyone contributing, a few points for everyone to learn from but a team effort to be proud of, and one that can be built upon.