It was a top versus bottom clash and according to the AWSCL League Table on the website that morning – we were bottom!
Dare we say it felt that summer cricket weather had returned? The sun was shining, the pitch was hard and the gloves (both literally and metaphorically) were off. KECC were determined to dig in and cement their place at the bottom, sorry – top, of the table.
Ed Thirwell (temporarily mistaken for Mark Deighton – grow your beard!) opened the batting with Sam ‘Joffrey’ Winter, but was caught at cover for 6. This brought in Paul Bennett (on a high from his 100* last week at Illingworth) who added 38 with Winter (who scored 7 runs) before Sam was caught at square leg. Will Herrington joined the fray briefly before being bowled for 8 and replaced by captain Liam Mulligan. After only 37 minutes of play with KECC 63 for 3 from 11 overs, the team were navigating choppy waters.
The stormy sea calmed at this point with the captain at the helm. His partnership with Boyo was 120 although it nearly stopped at 100 when Mullers got the luckiest 4 going, created by a drop then a misfield! This set the tone for the next batsman Sam Dobson whose 108* made a solid 115 partnership with Bennett before the Welshman was bowled by Brian Wilson for 158. This was a career best score for Paul and saw Ed Thirwell and Jamie Hinchcliffe requesting ‘ some of whatever he’s being fed’!
Dobson stayed until the end; adding a further 60 with Mark Deighton (who made a swift 43 off 23 balls) and 28 with Adam Hussain (2*) who came in during the 48th over. Dobson nearly missed his 100 after giving the strike to Hussain with the 1st ball of the last over but managed to wrest it back after a 2nd single to then score 18 off the last 4 balls.
Calverley started their innings positively and were ahead at 10 overs on 57 for 3, KECC had been 55 for 2. Their 4th wicket partnership was the highest of the innings at 67 but once M. Smedley was caught by Will Herrington at slip off Sam Winter for 49 in the 19th over, their innings collapsed – the final 6 wickets falling for only 3 runs. This included a deflection of the ball on to the wickets by Sam Winter to run out non-striker Wasim Tariq, who departed for a Diamond Duck. The young medium paced bowler finished with 4 for 19 off 6.2 overs, with 2 each for Hussain and Herrington and 1 for Hinchcliffe (who nearly had 2 more with what he thought was a caught behind and a drop, both in the same over). All of which kept the scorers very busy and at times somewhat confused – it doesn’t take much! With the last 7 wickets falling in just 6.2 overs we didn’t get the chance to see the Silver Fox (Steve Watkins) or the Young Pretender (Tom Garman) bowl.
KECC 2nd XI won by 285 runs (without getting to drinks – although the alcoholic kind were broken out soon after!) to maintain their unbeaten start to the season and retain their top spot in the table.