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June 18th and 19th Update

22nd June 2011

Last weekend’s official result was Blind Cricket 3, Rain 1! Metro v Sussex was postponed but the remaining three fixtures all took place.

BCEW League
Saturday
South Wales Dragons v Warwickshire Bears
Dragons were without Damion Corrigan but Howard Greenhill and Brian Davies made first appearances of the season and Darren Sullivan made his competitive debut. For Bears Luke Sugg and Aiden Reilly were absent, whilst Anthony Turnham and Daniel Brotherton played their first matches of 2011.

Warwickshire won the toss and chose to bat first. This looked like a bad decision as Dragons strike bowlers Howard Greenhill and Mike Harrison struck early to leave the away team 26/2. With only 9 players Bears Captain Nathan Foy knew they needed to get runs on the board early in the innings and with help from Justin Hollingsworth he set about doing this. The pair added a rapid 60 before a stunning catch from Howard Greenhill removed Foy for 32 from 16 balls.

Dave Ellingham was the bowler for Foy’s wicket and he quickly grabbed another dismissing Aurangzeb Khan for 7 with the score at 104/4. After that the Bears tail put up little resistance as Darren Sullivan took his first competitive wicket before Mark Dodsworth swept away the remaining batsmen with 3 wickets in 4 balls to end with career best figures of 3-24. Justin Hollingsworth was stranded on 41 not out as his side were All Out for 119.

Dragons openers Toby Warren (22) and Mike Harrison (8) quickly brought the score to 39 before Warren was run out. This didn’t stop the Welshmen’s scoring and their total quickly advanced to 54 before Nathan Foy threatened to turn the game on its head. He bowled Adrian Snelgrove and Dave Wood in successive balls before catching Mike Harrison just 6 runs later. At 60/4 the game was in the balance but Howard Greenhill (27) and Brian Davies (14 not out) steered South Wales to safety. Foy took an excellent catch to dismiss Greenhill but with just 3 needed and 5 wickets left there was only going to be one winner.

This game did feature quite a lot of extras which were not helped by the extremely windy conditions. Dave Ellingham took his total for the season to 17 wickets and with no other bowler in double figures he looks a sure thing for top wicket taker.

Sunday
Northants Steelbacks v Hampshire VICC
Both teams had players drop out within 24 hours of the match so played with 6 partials each instead of 7. Northants were missing Ian Goodearl and Eddy Claridge where as Hampshire were without Lawrence Graham, Ian Morris and David Knott.
Northants put Hampshire in to bat and although the south coast side started fast they did lose two relatively early wickets. David Keeling bowled Ryan West for 22 before Dave Gavrilovic had Danny Miles caught for a duck. Aaron Fowler played his best innings to date and didn’t give a single chance until Alastair Provan had him out LBW for a career best 76. At the other end Andy Powers gave a number of half chances on the way to his first century of the season. Powers was joined by Matt Page and once he reached triple figures the Hampshire captain smashed the ball to all parts of the ground. Powers did eventually declare after 30 overs with himself on 172, Matt Page on 21 and his side on a massive 343/3.

Powers 172 not out came from 73 balls and included 25 fours and 7 sixes and left him just shy of a thousand runs since he was last dismissed in competitive cricket. The partnership between Powers and Aaron Fowler was an impressive 154.

In reply Northants looked comfortable at 28/0 near the end of the fifth over, but as we’ve seen this season a collapse is never far away for Steelbacks and on this occasion it saw 5 wickets fall for just 15 runs. When Rob Whittle sent Matt Ringland and Dave Gavrilovic back to the pavilion in successive overs whatever hope Northants had of saving the draw was gone at 60/7. Mark Provan (14) and Elliot Stonhill (0 not out) did delay the inevitable for 26 minutes and almost earned a second batting point, but when Andy Powers blasted the ball under Provan’s bat it was all over for 91 and Hampshire had won by 252 runs.

Andy Powers finished with 3-19 as his side moved to second in the table.

Metro v Metro Devils
The Devils gave debuts to Sarah Claire and Becky Sanbrook but only fielded 4 partials along with their 3 low partials and 4 b1’s. Metro won the toss and chose to bat first.

Devils got off to a dream start with Metro skipper Rory Field run out by his opposite number Dave Samuels for just 2. That was as good as it got for blind cricket’s newest side though as Matt Dean and Steve Humphreys put on 158 for the second wicket. Devils did stage a brief fight back thanks to Ryan Jones who had Steve Humphreys caught and bowled for 46 before bowling Shakir Iqbal in the same over. Matt Dean was still at the crease and Abdul Sattar joined him for the innings’ second century partnership, this one contributing an unbeaten 139. Sattar ended 27 not out, but it was Matt Dean who made the headlines with a new BCEW record score of 188 not out. Dean’s monster score came from just 65 balls and included 27 fours and 9 sixes. Metro declared on 305/3 after 19 overs, meaning Devils would have to survive 41 overs if they were to earn a draw.

After an early wicket Dave Samuels (10) and Ryan Jones (14) showed good fight for Devils sharing a second wicket partnership of 43 to give their side hope. However when Rory Field removed Samuels thanks to a Steve Humphreys catch, Devils went from 45/1 to 48/4.

Theresa Robberts continued to battle for her side but when the score reached 52/4 Heindrich Swanepoel and Rory Field blew away the middle order with the score plunging to 53/7. Robberts was one of two wickets to fall with the score on 64 and Heindrich Swanepoel finished off the innings having Sarah Claire caught by Mark Bond for 2.

Although Devils only scored 67 they did bat for 27.1 overs and it took two of the best bowlers in the league to dismiss them. Rory Field finished with 4-12 and Heindrich Swanepoel with 4-15.

South Wales Dragons now have a 39 point advantage over Hampshire at the top of the table, but third placed Sussex still look the most likely to stop the Welshmen claiming a fourth consecutive league title.

Next weekend is England training and half the teams now have a three week break as the first weekend of July is the Cup semi finals.