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Penkridge CC Blog - 2nd June in Association with MA Lawyers

Penkridge CC Blog - 2nd June in Association with MA Lawyers
Penkridge CC Blog - 2nd June in Association with MA Lawyers
©Penkridge CC
 

Another gorgeous weekend of weather – having dodged the heavy thunderstorms in the surrounding area on Friday – and another full programme of cricket.

Saturday saw the first team go to the top of the league after a comprehensive win over visiting Pershore meant they maintained their good start to the season. Pershore somewhat surprisingly elected to bat after winning the toss in favourable bowling conditions and were dismissed for just 110 after a fine bowling display from the home side, Aatif Ali (4-39) and Aqab Ahmed (5-47) doing the damage with the ball. Despite losing both openers for ducks, Attiq Chishti (30) and Rana Hassan (64 not out) saw us to victory with little further alarm. Early days, but a promising start to the season this year.

It was a similar story for the second team who travelled to Pershore for the return fixture and dismissed their hosts for 74 after winning the toss. Michael Hartwell (2-31) and Callum Morrell       (3-12) both made early inroads into the home batting line up before captain Richard James (5-7) wrapped the innings up quickly. We then raced to victory in less than 10 overs as openers Kev Baker (27 not out) and Atta Chishti (41) punished some wayward bowling from the home side. Again, a promising start to the season from the seconds – the only disappointment being that we have lost two very tight games which could have gone either way.

There was also a comprehensive victory for the third team, who bowled their opponents Swindon out for 128 thanks to the efforts of Myles Davis (2-20), Nathan Taylor (2-17) and Oliver Deakin (3-23) with the ball. After a couple of early wickets, Sam Horobin (28 not out) and Mohammed Shafiq (55 not out) ensured an eight-wicket win for their team. Two wins, two draws, one defeat and an abandoned game represent a decent start to the season.

A largely youthful fourth team narrowly failed to make it a clean sweep of wins as they were beaten by five wickets by Coseley in a close game. Jay Schofield (27), Rob Baker (29) and Harry Turnbull (31) all made handy contributions with the bat as we were dismissed for 129. Despite the best efforts of Richard Birch (3-29), and handy spells from youngsters George Price, Corey Carter and Libby Price, Coseley reached their victory target in the 47th over. The fourth team have played two league games so far, winning one and losing one – both games being very close.

With Four Oaks conceding the second team fixture, the first team entertained Wishaw and recorded a crushing win by the huge margin of 275 runs. After the early loss of Ryan Ferguson, Callum Morrell and Ross Parker put together a fine partnership for the second wicket before Morrell fell agonisingly short of a first century for the club when he was dismissed for 94. Alfie Morris (32 not out) and Jack Pope (52) both played useful innings, but the star of the show was 15-year-old Parker, who recorded his maiden century before falling for an excellent 116. Our bowling attack made short work of the visitors batting, Joe Oakley (4-15) and Ben Marson (3-25) ensuring that Wishaw were dismissed for just 43.

Also on Sunday, we were fortunate enough to host the England Physical Disability squad for the second successive year as they finalise their preparations for a forthcoming tri-series. Two excellent T20 games involving all the squad, both very close and with some extremely high-quality cricket on show made for a fantastic afternoon for the club and the spectators who also enjoyed some fantastic weather. Hopefully we will be able to repeat this next year, and we wish the squad well for the remainder of the season. Thanks must go from us to Neil Davis who worked hard to get the ground and wicket into superb condition for the fixture, and to my Mum Kath Baker who prepared another barely adequate tea for the players and officials, aided by my brother Rob.

My weekend was playing in the second team on Saturday and helping to organise the game on Sunday. An early morning call from captain Rich James meant I had to wake son Josh up to travel with us in the second team (always a challenge waking a teenager up at 8:15am on a Saturday morning….), and another goal for me in the pre-match football as the “old” team continued our recent unbeaten run, helped no end this weekend by the fact two of our players were 22 or younger given the unusually youthful make up of our side! A couple of catches – one a decent diving effort down the legside – and two extremely harshly judged dropped catches (according to the fines committee) before making 20 odd not out opening the batting felt good as we continued our useful start to the season after promotion last year.

And, despite the 110 mile round trip and a 12:30pm start, the nature of our victory meant we were back at the club around 5:15pm which gave the young enthusiastic members of the team a chance to have a net, and the older more sensible ones amongst us the chance to enjoy a pint in the early evening sunshine! Another lengthy away trip awaits the second team this weekend, and with a full programme of senior, junior and ladies fixtures it promises to be another very busy week.

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