2nd XI Make Hard Work of Victory
Chasing 183 to win, the 2nd Team endured a nervy finish after losing several quick wickets
The 2nds hosted Sprotbrough and were looking to bounce back from losing to Hallam the previous week. There were 3 changes to the line-up which saw Jack Roberts welcomed back from his brief stint being a tail-ender in the 1st team, Kevin Roe promoted from the 3rd team, and a return for Kristian Lee-Green from the wilderness.
The weather was bright and blowy, helping to dry out the pitch which had been underwater a couple of days earlier. Sprotbrough won the toss and decided to bat 1st.
1st Innings- Sprotbrough CC
After Captain Cooper had extolled the necessity to reduce the amount of extras the team were giving the opposition, Adam Smith decided to rebel and bowled a wide with the 1st delivery of the match! Senior bowler Kevin Roe was given the task of opening the bowling instead of Haribo this week. He too struggled for a good line, bowling a 9 ball 1st over (no change from if Dan had bowled really). It obivously too its toll on the senior statesmen, as in the 1st ball of his 2nd over, he pulled-up lame, citing that his hamstring had gone. No-one knows where it had gone, but it was missing and so Danny Harrison replaced him. That meant normal service was resumed, with the Sprotbrough opening pair passing the 50 partnership in quick time. Smiggy finally made the breakthrough as Jimmy got down well to his right at mid-off to take the catch (57-1). Danny got a wicket when his" hair-cut" managed to distract the batsmen just long enough to send a catch to Coops (73-2).
From those initial breakthroughs the wickets began to tumble with regularity. Paul Melia was bamboozling the batters with his tried and tested swing bowling, whilst Isaac was troubling the batsmen at the other end with some real pace. Jimmy picked up the other opener for 48 when he couldn't resist a slog-sweep to KLG on the boundary (88-3) and then he had the no.4 caught after he skied a ball to Kev Roe's chest (107-4). Izzy was having no-luck from the other end, having Jack "Symbols" Roberts drop 3 catches behind the sticks; his spell of 7 overs finishing wicketless, but for a miserly 22 runs.
Fielding for the 2nd team hasn't always been of the highest quality and this was on display in full force. Jack Eggleston let a ball trickle over his hand & the boundary by not bending his back, much to the Skipper's disgust and Eggy recieved some verbals and a menacing death stare. However, no-one is infallible, as Coops dropped a dolly off Shep 2 balls later. Fortunately KLG could field, and he produced an excellent run-out after the non-striker got over excited in trying to push for a single (126-5).
As mentioned, Tom Shepard was now into the attack, bowling just a tad quicker than Jimmy. That said, he picked up 2 wickets in 3 balls with 2 yorkers (159-7). Jimmy struck in the next over taking a caught & bowled (159-8). As the 2nds sensed that they had a chance of bowling the opposition out, and cheaply the Sprotbrough batsmen tried to hit out. In doing so, Paul Melia claimed his 4th wicket, trapping then no.9 chest-before-wicket (178-9). With just 4 overs remaining Smiggy was brought into the attack to finish the job. It took 2 delivers before the no.10 picked out Shep who stuck out his right go-go-gadget arm to pluck the catch (182ao).
Sprotbrough CC 182ao P.Melia 4-51, T.Shepard 2-24, A.Smith 2-29
Tea: Solid as per ususal. Roast Potatoes were at the perfect temperature (7/10)
2nd Innings- WOVCC
In a shock to the natural order of things, WOVCC had the same opening pair of Jonesy & Coops for the 3rd consecutive week. After watching Carl playing out a maiden in the 1st over, Kevin Coper decided to get on with proceedings, producing an extravagant drive for 6 over cover with his 1st ball. He continued in the same vein, racing to his 50 from 39 balls, (including 10 x 4's & 1 x 6), before being removed the very next delivery (72-1). Jack Roberts was back in his usual position of no.3 and he and Carl both looked assured at the crease. Unfortunately Jack then snicked-off for just 7 (92-2) whilst Carl Jones was moving towards his 3rd consecutive half-century. Jack Eggleston was struggling to score at the other end, finally dismissed for 2 (117-3) and then Carl went for 43 when bowled by a good delivery (117-4).
At the crease now were the Double-Barrelled Duo of Kristian Lee-Green & Isaac Spencer-jones. KLG got a shocker, when triggered LBW to a delivery that looked very high (119-5). The team were wobbling and still needed a further 64 runs to win. Shep was in and looked to be aggressive but was bowled for 9, after trying to curb his attacking game mid-shot and ended up in an awkward position (133-6). Isaac and Kevin Roe were potentially the last real hope for the side and began to build a solid partnership. Kev was running hard, despite his missing ham-string whilst Isaac looked relatively composed for such a youngster. Eventually the partnership of 35 was broken, with the finish line in sight; Isaac going for an important 20 (168-7).
When news of the 1st team's demise at Treeton filtered through, many people on the side became confident of victory as we all know the rule is that if the 2nds do the opposite of the 1sts! But there was still work to be done.
Adam Smith came in and looked to blast the winning runs in quick time, however, he was bowled and now Sprotbrough really fancied their chances of victory (170-8). Danny Harrison was next in, now this season he had garnered the reputation of scoring 8 off 2 balls then getting out. The players on the sidelines were not particularly confident of him lasting the 3 balls but they needed have been worried. He played a majestic late-cut for 4 off his 1st delivery and then showed a solid defensive technique, supporting Kev in the quest for the remaining 9 runs. Kev ensured victory with a few singles and then he dispatched the bowler back over his head for the final 4 runs needed. That secured the full 7 points for he team.
WOVCC 183-8 K.Cooper 52, .Jones 43, K.Roe 26no