CRICKET: Losing draw but leaders Barby prevent rivals from closing gap

2nds captain Rob Field surprised everyone - not least himself -with his excellent bowing on Saturday!
2nds captain Rob Field surprised everyone - not least himself -with his excellent bowing on Saturday!

Great display as young 2nds show huge determination to prevent defeat

Warwickshire Cricket League Division 1

Barby 1sts 138-7 (9 points)

Standard 1sts 176-10 (16 points)

Standard 1sts winning draw

Barby earned a losing draw against promotion rivals Standard, after winning the toss and putting Standard in to bat first on a day of rain showers and strong winds. Standard lost wickets at regular intervals as James Wynn Evans once again was the leading wicket taker with 5-40 and found themselves struggling at 110-8. It took a hard-hitting 41 from Liam Windridge to rescue the innings and post a competitive all out score of 176.

Barby struggled from the start of their innings as wickets were lost and it was left to James Wynn Evans with 38 and Joel Gleghorn 28 to stabilise the innings and make sure with Will Sinclair 16 not out that Standard did not gain a win that would have closed the gap on promotion rivals Barby, who finished on 136-7. Steve Hormantschulk 3-32 and Ben Ohara 3-11 were the pick of the Standard bowlers.

Warwickshire Cricket League Division 7

Barby 2nds v

Thimblemill 1sts

After the previous week’s heroics under the inspirational leadership of Adam Shay, a youthful Barby showed similar character in securing a valuable draw against table topping Thimblemill 1sts.

With a number of senior players including Shay on holiday, returning skipper Rob Field took the field with six players aged 15 and below.  Thimblemill arrived off the back of a series of victories, and it was soon clear that they are the form side of the division.

The Barby Cricket Ground is one of the finest venues in the Midlands, with uninterrupted views stretching some 40 miles across to the Malvern Hills, but the price for such an exposed setting can be the elements, as was the case on Saturday with 35-mile-an-hour gusts blowing down the ground, making bowling a huge challenge.

Fifteen-year-old pace bowlers Jonty Craven and Angus Robinson were first to step into the wind tunnel, with the talented Craven generating real pace with the elements at his back whilst Robinson, bowling up the slope into the gale struggled to make it to the crease.

After the loss of an early wicket Javed (55) and Garala set about the Barby attack with the in-form Garala particularly savage on anything off line. All of Barby’s bowlers stuck to their task manfully in these trying conditions with Dom Craven, Ben Harris, Joe Hardbattle, Matty Nobes and Under 13s skipper Alex Watson all bowling accurately with little reward. With Garala passing 150 and a number of bowlers exhausted from running into the wind, skipper Field, to groans from around the ground ran out of options and brought himself on to bowl.

Once a quick bowler before a serious back injury, Field has been afflicted by an attack of the bowling yips that has lasted some 20 years. Onlookers at the BCG held their breath taking solace only from the fact that the inevitable disaster would hasten the Thimblemill declaration.

What followed, however, was nothing of the sort as to everyone’s, not least his own surprise, Field bowled beautifully taking three wickets, including Garala, for an excellent 188. Thimblemill closed their innings on 332 leaving Barby with the challenge of batting out the draw.

Openers Jack Bennett and Joe Hardbattle both stuck to their tasks manfully, battling their way through the new ball before 15-year-old Hardbattle was felled by a bouncer and forced to retire hurt. Matt Beagley joined Bennett for another telling half hour before two quick wickets saw the aptly named Hardbattle re-enter the fray. The openers quickly reestablished their partnership and it was not until the 30th over that a wicket was lost with Hardbattle run out for a brave 26. Bennett soldiered on, savage on anything loose, before being unfortunately dismissed eight short of what would have been a well deserved century. As light faded Barby still had a job to do and this was left to Damon Golding who had earlier kept wicket superbly, together with young Alex Watson. Both battled their way though the final five overs without alarm, Watson smashing the final ball over the boundary to see Barby through to a draw and an extra batting point in the process.

Overall a tremendous performance with a lot of character shown by all involved. Whilst not a victory, the determination and resolve shown in not losing, notably from the youngsters, augers well for the future.