Seconds lose double-header to Northants

Leicestershire v Northamptonshire, Second XI T20:

SCORECARD – Game 1

SCORECARD – Game 2

REPORT | By Pete Johnson

The South Leicestershire cricketing oasis of Lutterworth played host to Leicestershire Second XI for their SET20 match against Northamptonshire on Tuesday, July 18. This was the third Second XI one-day match that Lutterworth have hosted for Leicestershire this season. 

I was working the scoreboard for the latest double-header. It is neatly and discreetly tucked away in the corner of the ground, backing up to the church yard. If that Quasimodo chappie felt he had his hands full pulling all those ropes in Notre Dame Cathedral he wants to get himself over to the scorebox at Lutterworth CC to find out what hard work is really all about!

As is the format for SET20, two games are played on the day. Northamptonshire had comfortable victories in both games, winning by 38 runs and 106 runs respectively. In game one Aadil Ali returned career best SET20 bowling figures of 5-22. 

Special mention also to 16-year-old wicket keeper Richard Bell, who was making his County Second XI debut. Bell kept a clean sheet in both innings, not conceding any byes. This was complemented also by two catches and one stumping across both games.

Aadil skippered County, won the toss, and decided to bat. There were some 50 or so spectators sitting around the boundary edge on a hot summer morning when play commenced.  Richard Levi (21) from 13 balls got the innings off to a rapid start. 

The highlight of the Northamptonshire innings though was 45 runs (5x4, 2x6) by Saif Zaib from 26 balls. He shared a partnership of 61 for the fifth wicket with Tom Sole. Both batsmen were victims of Aadil. 

Zaib was well-caught in the deep by Jacob Bailey, and Sole had his chips when bowled by Aadil. Aadil’s other three victims were Michael Pepper (7), well caught by Dom Butchart, Laurence Perry (2), caught by keeper Bell, and ex-County player Atif Sheikh (4), stumped by Bell. Nathan Buck was undefeated on 19.  

A fine effort with the ball from Aadil, who finished with 5-22 from 3.4 overs. The Steelbacks 50 came up from 4.6 overs, their 100 from 11.1 overs, and their 150 from 16.5 overs. Northamptonshire were all out for 174 from 19.4 overs. 

County never rally threatened the target set although Harry Dearden (35 from 28), with three maximums, took on the Northamptonshire bowling.

Lewis Hill weighed in with 23 from 21 balls. County’s 50 came up after 7.3 overs, and their 100 from 16.5 overs. County finishing on 136-9 from their allotted 20 overs, losing by 38 runs. Sole returning figures of 3-21 from his 4 overs. Leicestershire 0 points, Northamptonshire 2 points.

In game two, Northamptonshire won the toss, and elected to bat. County brought in Dominic Manthorpe for Hill, and Northamptonshire replaced Perry with David Murphy. Levi was ‘at it again’, rattling off 35 from 22 balls at the top of the order. 

Zaib, who top scored in game one proceeded to do so again in game two, making a match-winning 76 from 47 balls. His 50 (4x4, 2x6) from 31 balls. Zaib shared in a partnership of 74 for the sixth wicket with Aneesh Kapil. 

Apart from Zaib (76), Kapil (17), and Levi, only one other Northamptonshire batsmen reached double figures, Hamish Kingston (17*). Northamptonshire closed on 179-7 from their 20 overs. 

The County reply got off to a reasonable start with Aadil and Dearden putting on  33 for the first wicket, but only three batsmen reached double figures: Aadil (25), Dearden (14), and Richard Jones (11). 

County were dismissed for 73 in 14.2 overs.  Sole again caught the eye with the ball taking 4-17 from his 4 overs, match figures of 7-38 from eight for the spinner. Nobody out fishing outside the off stump though. County losing by 106 runs, Leicestershire 0 points, Northamptonshire 2 points.

I gave a huge sigh of relief at the conclusion of the day’s play: there must be more strings in there than you would see in the orchestra at the Last Night of the Proms. Katie Derham would have been very impressed with me, up and down more than a fiddler’s elbow. I was pulling more strings than a Puppeteer working a centipede. 

Only maiden overs (and there was only one of them, sincere thanks to Dominic Manthorpe in game two, you were my saviour today, three minutes without having to get off my chair!) giving me brief respite. I am off to lie down in a hot bath after finishing my epistle. Aching, tell me about it!

As ever, I sincerely hope that the good people of Lutterworth CC have taken my tongue in cheek comments about the scorebox with the right spirit, as I am sure they have. It was extremely good of you all to accommodate LCCC again, and we do very much appreciate all the hard work that you put in to host our games. Also, please accept our commiserations for the vandalism done to your covers a few days earlier. Thanks to Katherine, and the Watts family for preparing and serving the food.

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