It had been an interesting morning!  The “sub-sub” captain Boyo had lost a player at the last minute and, despite numerous texts, seemed no closer to a number 11 as we pulled up outside Victoria Park, home of Calverley Cricket Club.

Luckily at that point, Will Watson was being dropped off and some pleading meant we either had;  Andrew (Will’s Dad) who had never played the game before or his brother James who was nursing a broken toe!  After some discussion, it was James Watson who took the field, primarily because he had his whites with him!

Bennett won the toss and having watched his bowlers in the warm-up, chose to put Calverley in to bat.  KECC openers Adam Hussain and Teo Nistri (making his debut) bowled briskly with Adam taking the opening 2 wickets;  Anthony Jones was caught at slip by Paul off the gloves of Tom Mileham and Chris Randall quickly followed, caught at mid-off by Will Watson to reduce Calverley to 31-2 in the 7th over.

After a “cat-like” dive in the 12th over, wicket-keeper Tom Mileham’s injury (caused by the parried catch for the 1st wicket) forced him to hand over the gloves to Sam Dobson.  Calverley’s captain Chris West and Andrew Wilson now dug in with Steve Watkins and James “I’m on 1 leg” Watson unable to dislodge either batsman, despite appeals for LBW and a stumping against West in the 16th over.  However, Chris twisted his ankle as he avoided the stumping and was forced to retire hurt on 27.

This brought Jimmy Lee to the wicket to be double-teamed by the Watson brothers with young Will dismissing him in the 29th over for 21 with the score at 135-3.  This kick-started the KECC bowling machine back into action with batsmen 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 out for a combined total of 19 runs.  Andrew Wilson made a valiant 67 before becoming the 1st senior wicket for debutant Teo Nistri.  The brief re-appearance of Chris West saw him move to 40 before being bowled by Will Watson.

Calverley finished on 190 all out from 42.5 overs.  Our junior bowlers had done themselves proud with Adam taking 4-44 off 10.5 overs, Teo Nistri 3-39 off 12 overs and Will Watson 3-24 off 5 overs to give him the best bowling average of the day.  James bowled valiantly with his broken toe but went wicketless with 0-38 off 9 overs, Watty finished on 0-33 off 6 overs.  Had Adam not taken the last wicket when he did, Pierce Clarkson (another promising KECC youngster) was next up to bowl.

(Tea was delicious – bacon and egg mayonnaise sandwiches mmmmmmm!!)

Boyo named his top 6 batting order:  ET, 1D, Boyo, Dobby, Pierce and Milo in the hope that no-one else would be needed!  Ed and Adam settled in nicely with an opening partnership of 78 until Adam threw his wicket away (and he knows it!) by charging down the pitch to Brian Wilson and was stumped for 42.  (A little too much haste considering KECC had 57 overs to score the runs!)  Boyo joined Ed before Ed was caught behind (not stumped – but there was only 1 real umpire on the pitch! (Excuses, excuses!! PB)) for 39 to leave KECC on 103-2.

Sam Dobson joined Paul at the wicket with 88 still required for victory.  Between Sam’s efforts to maintain the wicket with regular gardening, he scored a rapid 49* off 44 balls in an unbroken

partnership of 89 to see KECC to victory by 8 wickets.  It’s not often that Paul (who finished on 47* off 57 balls) is out-scored in a significant partnership!

A good fielding performance in the 1st innings set up the victory with Ed Thirlwell and Chris Durrans as notable performers in the field;  Ed gained ANOTHER fielding point from the Umpire Brian Townsend and must be in with a shout of the fielding award for Division 2!

A great performance which should see the junior coaches jumping for joy at the way their prodigies are performing in senior cricket.  It’s nice to see experience and youth blending seamlessly into an effective team.


An excellent all-round team performance on the day.  With the emergence of yet more bowling talent from the U17s team, the future for KECC senior cricketlooks very bright.

Paul Bennett (Captain for the day)