The British Police Cricket Club's first tour of the East Midlands saw them come through a tough set of fixtures when they played five games in as many days in June and July.
They played the Midlands Club Cricket Conference, the Army, the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy and a Nottinghamshire Development XI between 30th June and 4th July.
30th June - BPCC beat Midlands Club Conference by seven wickets
Over to Penkridge CC via Cannock Chase to play the Midlands Club Cricket Conference on a warm but dull day. All the new caps were included with Russ Bryan winning the toss and putting the hosts in to bat.
Graeme Moore and Russ Bryan opened up and both were doing a bit with good line and length before the skipper swung one through Middleton’s defence - four for one. The other opener Jones was put down on two in the slips off Bryan before he had Wright (0) lbw - 8-2.
Andy Sidgreaves joined the attack and settled into a fluid rhythm and immediately had Williams put down at mid-wicket. After a stand of 62 Sidgreaves became the first debutant to make his mark, trapping Jones (25) lbw 70-3. That was as good as it got for the home side.
Richard Jackson became the 6th to enter the attack and in his first over he got Williams (38) missing a sweep to upset the furniture 88-4! Khalid (15) was next man out caught by Greg Gillespie diving forward at short cover off Mick Martin 110-5. Captain Chishti (6) was cleaned up by Jackson 137-6, with Jackman (5) following on 151, stumped by Will Evans after leaving his crease in an attempt to put Jackson over the top.
Top scorer Markham (41) who had strived to hold things together showed his frustration by hitting a return catch to Mick Martin 151-8. Mick Martin then saw off the tail Windler (4) caught by Gillespie and finally Jeavons (1) held by Bryan. Final score 162 all out.
In reply BP reached 32 after 6 overs with no cause for concern, with Greg Gillespie timing a sweet drive for 4 through extra cover and Will Evans putting Markham over mid-wicket for 6.
They then both fell to the persevering opening attack with Evans (16) caught by a diving slip catch and Gillespie (11) lbw. This left Ryan Watkins and Mick Martin to repair the damage, which they did accumulating 49.
Martin picked up a 4 past fine leg with a flick off his toes, with Watkins pulling one between mid-on and mid-wicket. Watkins then had a delivery ‘stop’ on him and the ball spooned up to be taken at point. His 28 runs were made up almost entirely of boundaries, with 5x4’s and a 6, in 40 minutes from 29 balls! Mick Martin continued a trade mark patient innings (32 not out) with his nose over the ball, picking off 6x4’s along the way.
His partner in a match-winning unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 84 runs was Ray Doyle who wasted no time in posting the 1st BP 50 of the week with 56 not out from 54 balls in 67 minutes. His total was a punishing boundary led assault containing 4x4’s and 5x6’s, one clearing the score-box.
As an aside Ray was now on 964 BP runs, within touching distance of entering the 7 man ‘1000 run club’!
A good BP performance on a pitch that helped the bowlers with the new boys all contributing.
It was wonderful to see John Giffard a former BP Chairman and Chief Constable of Staffordshire in good form and enjoying the match. He kindly presented the ‘Man of the Match’ award on behalf of the sponsors Stuart Canvas to BP’s Mick Martin following his 4-27 with the ball and 32 not out with the bat.
1st July - BPCC beat The Army by five wickets, Sandiacre
A fine and sunny day by the canal at the picturesque tree circled Sandiacre CC ground greeted BP and the Army.
The Army won the toss and elected to bat in this strangest of 50 over games – with the Army in almost T20 mode. First blood went to the Police with Russ Bryan getting a nick off his 2nd ball and Will Evans taking a fine diving keepers catch in front of 1st slip 2-1.
Graeme Moore then joined the party with an edge from Varley, also caught behind 13-2. The score then raced along at an average of 6 until Wiseman (36) was held in the deep thanks to a well- judged catch by Ted Roe off Mick Martin 74-3.
There was no let- up in the Army rations as they sped along at a rapid rate. Dixon (25) chopped on from Nigel Fretwell 88-4. Richard Jackson then had Boynton (9) lbw 104-5. Next to go was Redfern (1) to another superb catch behind from Will Evans taking off to his left off of Nigel Fretwell 106-6. Without addition Richard Jackson bowled Robinson and then finished off the innings, bowling Simon (5) round his legs trapping Kyan Gungu (0) and his 5th disturbing Ollenshaw’s bails.
Jacksons figures - 3.4 overs, no maidens, 13 runs for 5 wickets put him in a select BP list, so early in his BP career. The Army totalled just 116 all out in only 21 of the 50 designated overs!
BP had a disastrous start to their reply with Ted Roe (1) castled by the pacey Simon off his pads from the 1st ball of the 2nd over. Phil Gray was never at ease scoring 4 in 22 balls before edging to keeper Wiseman off Robinson with the total on 3.
Duncan Midgley (27) was out 2 runs later lbw for a typical extravagant cameo including 5x4’s. Another 2 runs and BP were in all sorts of trouble at 35-4 with Richard Jackson bowled round his legs by Prinsloo.
Lunch was taken early due to the short first ‘dig’ after 18 overs at 2pm with BP 50-4. The middle order shudders continued with a 5th wicket going down on 51 with Will Evans (16) held at 2nd slip by Green off Simon.
At the other end Mick Martin had dug himself in refusing to budge, at one stage playing 32 consecutive dots – ‘Dot Martin’. Ray Doyle went to the middle requiring 36 runs for a personal milestone of 1000 BP runs, he settled in before he typically tore into the attack with a 6 and 5x4’s which left him on 32 or 996!
The 1000th run came courtesy of a boundary from a late cut wide of 3rd man off of Kyan Gungu. Mick Martin who had been at the crease for 51 balls, scoring just 5 runs, then weighed in with 3 boundaries in an over, leaving a Ray Doyle single to win the match in the 31st over. Martin 17 not out and Doyle 41 not out had seen BP through with an unbroken stand of 66.
It was hot and sunny as the teams warmed up for the historic 200th BP ODR fixture, to be the first of two BP matches to be held at the hospitable Derbyshire venue of Ockbrook & Borrowash CC.
BP won the toss and chose to bat with Greg Gillespie and Will Evans doing the honours. The pair took the score to 33 in the 10th over before Gillespie (7) who never settled, was bowled by Binns. Evans made a slow start before launching a towering 6, followed by 3x4’s before he was adjudged lbw 39-2.
The next two, in Ryan Watkins and Ted Roe, also look to have forged a partnership before Roe (11) was bowled by Watson, followed shortly by Watkins (13) caught behind, leaving the score 70-4 after 24 overs.
The next pair to line up were Duncan Midgley and Ray Doyle and they put on 51 before Doyle (9) had to leave the arena. A middle order collapse was signalled with Midgley (44) bowled by Mirner and Phil Gray (8) lbw to the same bowler 133-7. 36 overs had gone and BP were left staring down the barrel.
Richard Jackson and skipper Russ Bryan now had it all to do. In the next 12 overs they put on a splendid 77 runs, with measured defence and selective shots to reach 210. Russ Bryan was the first to go bowled by Mirner having totalled 42 in 39 balls and 45 minutes, 38 coming in boundaries with 5x4’s and 3x6’s, with a massive 6 over long on and two sweeps for 4 back of square off Watson’s slow left arm.
The resilient Jackson was finally out for 27 (3x4’s) in the final over. Andy Sidgreaves (5 not out) and Nigel Fretwell (1 not out) ushered the total through to 222 for 9.
The RAF reply stuttered initially with openers Pearce (7) lbw to Bryan and Oliver (14) caught at short cover by Jackson off Fretwell leaving the total 31-2. 46 runs from Fisher and Watson stabilised the reply with the latter bowled by Andy Sidgreaves 77-3.
Hill (3) hung around before he was caught and bowled by Richard Jackson. At 102-4 the game was in the balance. Fisher was joined by McGeorge (35) and they sensibly and patiently accrued 85 runs, until McGeorge was lbw to Duncan Midgley’s first ball of the innings 187-5. The RAF never gave BP a sniff and passed the required score with 5 wickets intact in the 47th over.
It was fitting that MOM Fisher should hit the winning runs a 4 off Roe, that also brought up his 100 not out. His efforts achieved in 162 minutes from 121 balls, including 15x4’s and 2x6’s.
His final partner Bloor made 19 not out with 3x4’s and 1x6 and seemed almost intent on preventing a deserved ton.
The RAF always had the edge in this encounter.
The MOM award was presented on behalf of the sponsors George Burrows by the Andy Orpe Chairman of Ockbrook & Borrowash CC.
3rd July - BPCC beat Royal Navy by 87 runs, Ockbrook & Borrowash CC
A cloudy, humid morning had Russ Bryan calling correctly for the third time out of four and selecting the batting option.
Mick Martin and Ray Doyle took guard and after a first over maiden they soon had the board rattling along at 6’s. Ray Doyle hit a massive hit back over the bowlers head in the 2nd over, was then dropped at deep point in the 4th over only to strike consecutive fours.
They became the first opening pair of the week to pass the 50 mark, before Doyle clubbed another maximum, giving him a total of 38, before being bowled by Pollard who had gone for 42 in 5 overs 53-1.
With just 3 added Greg Gillespie became the first BP duck of the week also bowled by Pollard. Phil Gray (5) helped add 7 before he was trapped in the headlights by Parker. 50-0 had become 63-3.
Thankfully the Welsh led a spirited response with a stand of 67 runs for the 4th wicket before Mick Martin’s patient innings of 30, with 5x4’s, ended caught behind. Ryan Watkins was on 45 5x4’s, 1x6, when he was held in the slips at the 3rd attempt off the spin of Power 170-5 in the 28th over still going at a respectable rate of 6. It was 35 runs later when Will Evans on 34 4x4’s 2x6’s presented a return catch to Power.
Richard Jackson then responsibly held the tail together with 3 x double figure stands to leave a final total of 282-9. Russ Bryan with 12 added 24. Graeme Moore with 3 added 17 and Andy Sidgreaves with 8 put on 31 for the 9th wicket with Richard Jackson scoring his maiden BP half century run out on 51 7x4’s, in 68 balls in 77 minutes.
Seven of the first eight Navy batsmen got in and reached double figures, but not one made it to 30!
The BP seamers steadily chipped away. Graeme Moore drew first blood with Shapland giving him the charge to be held by Greg Gillespie from a skier 24-1. Nigel Fretwell induced to Riley to drag one on 53-2.
Andy Sidgreaves sent back No’s 3&4 both caught behind by Mick Martin 84-4. Ryan Watkins came into the attack and proceeded to become the 16th member of the BP 5 wicket innings club. He had Pollard (18) lbw, Power (7) stumped by Mick Martin 137-6. The Navy captain Toogood (29) the innings top scorer was then caught by Will Evans.
The Watkins wicket flow was interrupted by Russ Bryan, clean bowling Franklyn (6) 159-8. It soon continued however with Bishop (17) held by Richard Jackson and the 5th came with a spectacular Greg Gillespie overhead catch.
A convincing win but not without the far too regular batting hiccups.
4th July - Nottinghamshire Development XI beat BPCC by 10 wickets - Lady Bay Sports Ground
It was a weary outfit that trudged into the former Boots company sports ground at Lady Bay, Nottingham for the last of the 5 games.
Nottinghamshire won the toss and inserted the Police who stuttered painfully to 63-6, only openers Will Evans 22 and Mick Martin 19 reached double figures. Thankfully Greg Gillespie 34 and Ted Roe 32 put on 70 for the 7th wicket and thanks to skipper Russ Bryan’s 15 the final total of 176 would be something to bowl at, or would it?
Notts found a jaded BP attack to their liking and never troubled the wickets column. Azad 81 not out and Libby 73 not out doing a professional number on a team with an eye on the motorway!
A 10 wicket loss providing a cruel but predictable end to a tough week. It also signalled the highest ever wicket loss by a BP side.
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