British Police CC Mens Tour 2021
Men's Touring Squad
Mick MARTIN (Capt) - Gwent Shaun SMITH (v/c) - Northumbria Mitchell HARRIS - Gwent Will EVANS - N. Wales Stuart DRAKELEY - Kent Craig GRIMLEY - Staffs Gary KNIGHT - GMP Lewis STANIFORTH - Derbyshire Mike HARLING - MODP Dominic MANTHORPE - Suffolk Tom KNIGHT - Derbyshire Ben ELLIS - Gloucs Harry POWELL - Gwent Matt SISSON - Notts Eddie WALMSLEY (W. Yorks) Josh GILLIES (Humberside)
British Police went in for a major overhaul in 2021 with 10 players to make their debut.
The planned Sunday warm up game was cancelled due to the weather, so the traditional team meeting was back on the agenda.
Monday saw captain Mick Martin arrive at Grantham with 8 making their first appearance. The weather was cloudy and worth a double sweater as Lincolnshire won the toss & decided to bat. BP opened up with the left arm pace of Dominic Manthorpe of Suffolk and the first representative of the ‘MOD’ Police in Mike Harling. The tone for the week was set in the first over with Dominic Manthorpe disturbing the bails, soon followed when Gary Knight held on to a fine catch in the slips from an edge off Mike Harling. The young Lincolnshire side were blown away, with a total of 126 all out in just short of 30 overs. The seamers Manthorpe (2) & Harling (3) took care of the early and middle order, with the spinners Ben Ellis (4) and Mitchell Harris (1) seeing off the tail.
The reply was steady and measured with 5 stands getting into double figures but only one exceeding 30. Stuart Drakeley - BP’s first boundary of the week with a pull over mid-wicket. Tom Knight top scoring with 35 not out, ensuring a 5 wicket win from a committed team effort.
Mick Martin won the toss at Oakham in England’s smallest county Rutland and had no hesitation in putting the Army in to face his potent opening attack. He was not disappointed with the Army in disarray and out gunned at 29-6 by BP’s heavy artillery. A backs to the wall struggle, including a dogged 54 for the final wicket, saw a respectable but under par Army total of 151 all out. Dominic Manthorpe (4-28) & Mike Harling (3-53) were almost unplayable on a ‘green un’ giving excessive movement and encouragement on an overcast day. It’s been a long time since the BP seam attack looked as lethal, with support from the spinners and fielding unit.
BP replied by coasting through to an 8 wicket win, with the highlight an unbeaten, 3rd wicket, 95 run stand between top scorer Shaun Smith (69*) and Tom Knight (30*).
Momentum was building in a confident squad.
After two excellent results chasing, Mick Martin won the toss against the Club Cricket Conference at Uppingham and chose to bat. An opening stand of 118 was the result, with Matt Sisson hitting a rapid 78, with 66 of those runs in boundaries (9x4, 5x6), reaching his 50 in 53 minutes, from 39 balls. His partner Will Evans making 48 (7x4). This was the first BP 100 run stand in four years, when Alan Davidson of Scotland (79*) & James Adkins of Surrey (58) put on 105 for the 6th wicket against the Royal Navy at Sunbury in 2017. After this fine start the innings stuttered along to a final 279-7, when 300 plus looked well on the cards.
How would BP do without the strike force from the first two days? Very nicely thank you!
The Conference were sent spinning to defeat with Stuart Drakeley (4), Mitchell Harris (3) & Eddie Walmsley (2) doing the damage. Only one wicket, the first went to the seamers as the total finished on 149 all out for a 130 run winning margin.
Judging by the previous BP encounters with the National Asian Cricket Conference, on paper this should prove to be the toughest fixture of the week. The Asian Conference won the toss and decided the Police would bat. At 50-3 BP were wobbling, thankfully the next two stands turned the game round. First Gary Knight partnered by Tom Knight put on 72 for the 4th wicket, the total 122-4. Captain Mick Martin joined Gary Knight at the crease, putting together a stand of 118 for the 5th wicket, the total 240, Martin (51) was then caught & bowled, with Knight (106) soon following LBW. Mick Martin’s 51 came in 70 minutes, with 6x4’s. Gary Knight’s century (106) came in 151 minutes, from 115 balls, with 6x4’s & 5x6’s. It was 6 years ago in 2015 when you will find the last BP centurion when North Wales Will Evans posted 138* against the RAF at Uxbridge.
There followed a complete collapse as 240-5 became 269 all out.
The BP attack once again got off to a flier with the first 3 wickets falling to the opening combination of Manthorpe & Harling leaving the score at 34-3. BP kept up continual pressure with wickets falling at regular intervals leaving a total of 187 all out.
This was BP’s 4th consecutive success with a resounding 82 run margin. The last time BP posted 4 consecutive wins was 6 on the trot starting in 2011, with a 5 game haul under three captains, Graham Shaw, Steve Greig & Gareth Morris, overlapping into 2013.
The last day was dull and cloudy with heavy rain forecast with the RAF the opposition at Ockbrook & Brrowash CC in Derbyshire. Mick Martin made it 3-2 in wins with the toss & inserted the RAF. He was intent on a bowl out and run chase for the coveted 5 wins in a week, the game due to the forecast immediately reduced to 40 overs.
Unfortunately for the police it was not to be as the opposition reached 144-3 on a weather effected on off day. The highlight was the two wickets taken by Mike Harling giving him 10 wickets in the week, joining an illustrious group and led only by Tony Smith, Gareth Morris, Peter Davey & Mark Davies. A final delay due to heavy rain led to handshakes and the abandonment of the last match
This was perhaps the best all round weekly performance by a BP squad for many years. The inclusion of 10 new players added an all-round fresh commitment and dedication to the mix. The group were strong and balanced in every department.
Captain Mick Martin (Gwent) 166 led from the front but we shouldn’t forget his on the field contribution. After 2021 he moved above Roger Cruttenden in the list of total run scorers with 717. He has also passed Mark Davies in the batting averages with 35.85
Scorer & Stato