Dearden & Hill help Seconds post 326

Nottinghamshire v Leicestershire, Second XI Championship, Day 1

SCORECARD

REPORT | By Pete Johnson

Well here we go again, the start of another cricket season. The first game of the new season sees the Second XI in action in a SEC game against Nottinghamshire. A very warm welcome to John Sadler who takes charge for his first game as Coach of Leicestershire Second XI. I am sure we all offer our sincere good wishes to John as he embarks on a new chapter of his career.

We find ourselves at Lady Bay, Nottingham at the Notts Sports Ground. Leicestershire also boasts an NSG, in the form of the Nanpantan Sports Ground at Loughborough, home of Loughborough Outwoods CC and Loughborough Dynamo FC.

The Notts Sports Ground, which is shared by Nottingham RFC, is in the shadow of the ground of Nottingham Forest FC. On a football theme I have had some delightful excursions following Leicester City over the past few months. These have included the usual away trips on the Premiership ‘treadmill’, plus having the opportunity to experience the wonderful architecture of Copenhagen and Seville, albeit looking out through the windows of various pubs and also whilst in transit between licensed premises.

Leicestershire posted what could be a challenging first innings score of 328 with Lewis Hill and Harry Dearden both getting into the 80s before being dismissed. Good support was offered by Neil Dexter and Rob Sayer both falling three runs short of a half-century. Nottinghamshire closed on 28-1, both sides having taken four points from the days play.

After humping an assortment of furniture items about, to turn The Whittaker Suite compatible to the requirements of the scorers, yours truly, a somewhat spritely upcoming septuagenarian settled back into his seat to observe the day’s proceedings, whilst intermittently wiping the sweat from his brow.

Oh yes, we have a cricket match on our hands. Following two days of lovely warm weather, a chilly morning greeted the players as they took to the field. Tom Wells was skippering County, his opposite number Will Root won the toss and elected to field.

Paul Horton and Dearden opened up for County, and had taken the score along to 26, when Horton (16) steered England seamer Jake Ball into the hands of Ben Kitt in the gully. Neil Dexter joined Dearden and the pair progressed the score nicely.

Their 50 partnership came up after 25.5 overs, the alliance spanning 106 deliveries, including Dearden striking a superb maximum behind square off seamer Kitt. Dexter meanwhile was delving into his ‘arsenal’ of delightful shots, finding the rope on four occasions (twice each off Ball and Kitt).

Dearden brought up his half century (4x4,1x6) from 104 balls, from the last ball before lunch. County going into lunch on 123-1 from 35 overs, Dearden 51*, Dexter 47*. Dexter departed from the second ball after lunch without adding to his score, caught behind by Tom Moores off Matt Milnes. ‘Dexy’ out for 47, much to the disappointment of the Midnight Runners.

Lewis Hill joined Dearden, with the 'Bury Bulldog’ being particularly brutal in the mid-wicket area. The pair had added 47, when Dearden departed for a battling 83, lbw to spinner Matthew Carter. County now at 170-3 after 49.2 overs.

Mark Pettini joined Hill but Pettini (10) went bowled by Kitt making the score on 203-4. Two wickets then fell in quick succession, Aadil Ali (7) expertly caught on the wide long-off boundary by Tom Keast off Carter. Wells (1) looped a catch to Will Root in the slip cordon off a short ball from Kitt, bagging his second wicket of the innings.

A solid partnership then developed between Hill and Rob Sayer. Hill brought up his 50 (4x4,1x6) from 94 balls. Hill’s innings including an array of mellifluous shots through the off side, County going in to tea on 239-6 from 72 overs.

In a period of play after tea, Hill and Sayer put the Notts bowling to the sword. Their 50 partnership came up from 103 deliveries with the score at 266-6. Notts took the new ball immediately (at the end of the 80th over), but could not initially dislodge this obdurate partnership, the pair having a vendetta to take the shine off the new ball.

Hill struck a four and a maximum off consecutive balls from Kitt, and Sayer deposited Hutton for a maximum. The pair had added 82 when Hill (87) was caught at slip by Carter off Kitt, bit of a tongue twister that one. The Lutterworth Legend had fallen 13 short of a century. County now 298-7 from 85.4 overs.

Callum Parkinson joined Sayer, and maximum batting points were posted when the 300 came up. Sayer (47) went caught on the cover boundary by Liam Patterson-White off Milnes. The innings soon folded with Will Fazackerley (4) being caught at cover by Patterson-White off Milnes, and Parkinson (10) being caught by Connor Marshall off Brett Hutton. County were all out for 328 from 92.5 overs.

Nottinghamshire had nine overs to face before the close, and County were successful in picking up a wicket in the penultimate over of the day, Keast (5) bowled by Richard Jones. At the close Nottinghamshire were 28-1, with Chris Gibson 18*, and nightwatchman Carter 0*.

A special mention for the ‘hardy’ band of spectators that had travelled across from Leicestershire, assembled in a little huddle alongside the sightscreen, rather like a group of penguins standing around in the Antarctic in the face of a chilly and biting temperature.

One comment on our first day of the new season, with Sadler as Coach, and Wells as Captain, is this a ready made recipe for keeping everyone on their toes? Sadler’s Wells...

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