Fielding against Ambleside
Warwickshire Division 7
Barby 2nd XI 178-8 v
Ambleside 2nd XI 174ao
After losing the toss on an unusually dusty Barby wicket, stand-in captain Adam Shay took the bold decision to open the bowling with 15-year-old leg spinner Matthew Nobes.
With Dom Craven at the top end bowling consistent line and length Nobes was bamboozling batsmen from the bottom end.
The only surprise after 12 straight overs was that Nobes (27-2) had only picked up two wickets - the second of which was out of the top drawer, the batsmen leaving a googly after four straight orthodox leg-spin deliveries only to see his wickets spread.
With the runs dried up Shay opted for the gentle medium pace of Richard Tarrant, a decision justified with four canny wickets. Some great death bowling by Matthew James (10-2-4) left Ambleside with what looked like a meagre total of 174.
Another bold decision by captain Shay saw regular opener, 15-year-old Joe Hardbattle paired with firebrand batsmen Tarrant.
A typically bold innings followed and with Tarrant on 31 a loose shot found the fielder - enough however to justify a man of the match performance.
The Barby innings started to wobble when Charlie Seager and Matthew James fell cheaply but the maturing Hardbattle continued to play his role anchoring the innings.
A settling innings of 34 from Shay followed but when Hardbattle fell for 46, four short of his first 2nd XI 50 Shay was joined by Dom Craven.
After another solid innings of 34, Barby were in sight of victory. But as is often the case things weren’t running to script and as Craven and Shay fell quickly the ten-man Barby were in trouble.
With one wicket remaining and 11 runs from victory Matthew Beagley and Jonty Craven guided Barby home to the delight of the crowd and the relief of captain Shay.
PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER