Headingley CC did well to get four completed games this weekend after heavy overnight rain in Yorkshire.
Wins for the firsts got points on the board, while the second team continued their promising start, again bowling a team out for less than 100.
After a very disappointing performance in the opener, the first XI were keen to record their first win. An all-round improved bowling display saw Amaranth only reach 83 with good spells from Stephen Gilks, Tom Atkinson, Abid Hussain and Tom Lawson.
The green wicket helped the quickie’s early on with Atkinson (2-18) and Lawson (2-18) getting in the wickets early. Off-spinner Gilks finished with figures of 2.3–1–5–4, bowling solid lines and lengths and helped by an early contender for catch of the season from Tom Lawson with a full length diving grab on the long-on boundary.
Headingley were left with 61 overs to knock off the runs and the early run rate reflected that, as well as a very good opening display from the opposition bowlers.
Ted Rodgers (15) and Chris Dalby (7) stuck through the tough early period but fell as the openers finished their spells. Jack Mason batted carefully on his way to 14 before edging to second slip.
Charlie Baker took a different approach, offering a catch to all 11 opposition players, before finally being stumped on 35 with just seven more runs needed. Sandy Dutta (3 not out) and Matt Frosdick (3) carefully guided the team home with Frosdick unlucky to fall with just one to win.
The second XI came away deserved winners to put another six points on the board. It was great to get a game on after a wet end to the week.
With a few changes made to the team from the previous win, notably Nabi making his debut and Steve Costello returning after a season in the Bradford League.
Both Nabi (1-35) and Costello (3-9) bowled really well which was fantastic to see. Captain Mark Stelfox opened up with 3-24 and was backed up by Asif Sharif who chipped in with three for five, restricting Barwick in Elmet to just 76 on a tricky wicket.
In a strong winning position with only a modest total to chase, the seconds made it hard for themselves due to the clatter of four early wickets.
Ian Crutchley then calmed everything down with a well paced 32 not out in partnership with Stelfox (13) and Nabi (9) lower down the order.
A four-wicket win and six points on the board meant the end to a very good day for the seconds.
It was another frustrating loss for Headingley 3rd XI in another game that could have gone either way. It was a similar story to the first game of the season, where not enough runs were scored despite a valiant bowling effort.
A fall of early wickets left a tough job to a middle order of Rameez Khan, Mike Knight and Venkatesh Iyer.
They steadied the side and chipped in with some good runs, but Headingley still posted a disappointing score of 97. But with the wicket playing the way it was, there was still a chance of a win.
Rameez and Venkatesh then took five wickets between them as Kippax were made to work hard for the victory, knocking the runs off with three wickets in hand. It's clear that more runs are needed in the next match against Sherburn Eversley.
The Sunday Friendly XI, skippered by Matt Frosdick, saw an onslaught by the Cambridge Meths opener, Paddy Joglekar.
The right-handed biffer hit 151 not out in the first innings score of 242, which was aided by a fairly poor fielding display.
Half-centuries from opener Charlie Baker and Frosdick could not help see the Sunday side home as they fell 77 runs short.
A better week for Headingley, despite the weather. With big games for all teams over the Bank Holiday, Headingley will look to celebrate in style with an 18-point day on Saturday.
Onwards and Upwards...