Essex CCC Academy v BPCC - BP Skittled by Essex
The only way was Essex as far as BP sat navs were concerned as they guided a squad of 16 to their Sunday meeting at Basildon. Three new caps were introduced, 189 Matt Storey (Northumberland), 190 Mitchell Harris (Gwent) and 191 Dean Skelton the first ever BTP representative. Back into the fold came 130 Ben Dowling (Lancashire) having had the longest ever BP lay off between appearances – 8 years!
On a red hot day with a heat wave forecast for the week BP headed into Billericay for the match with the Essex CCC Academy. A scan at the Essex team list revealed 6 contracted players and two Young England players a formidable line up even for a County 2nd XI. Mick MARTIN won the toss and chose to bat.
It took the pros 3 balls to break through with Adam Phillips (0) caught low down at second slip by Paul Walter from the bowling of Jack Plom. Jon Cumberbatch another returning ‘old boy’ came to the middle and together with Alan Davidson put on what was to be the highest stand for BP, with 42 scored in almost an hour.
Davidson (18) again held by Walter at slip this time at a stretch off Shane Snater. Ryan WATKINS (6) helped put on 19 for the 3rd wicket before he followed the theme of nicking to the safe hands of Walter at slip, the total 61-3. BP only scored a further 44 runs in a total 105 all out collapse against their county opponents.
Jon Cumberbatch (21) top scored and was the 5th wicket to fall on 79 when he nicked one to keeper Chris Benjamin. His defiant knock lasted 114 minutes from 73 balls faced. Mitchell Harris (0) joined the ranks of ‘debut lows’ with the other two ‘newbies’ getting off the mark. Shane Snater 3-23 and Matt Dixon 4-19 took the bowling honours.
Following an early stutter at 40-3 Essex eased to 107-3 inside 20 overs. The start saw Ben Dowling claim two wickets and Mitchell Harris get himself his first ever scalp.
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