Batsmen shine before Friendly abandoned

RESULT | Second XI Friendly (50 overs): Match abandoned. Durham Second XI v Leicestershire Second XI 245 for 3 (46 overs)


REPORT | By Pete Johnson

Well here we are then the 2018 cricket season underway for Leicestershire Second XI. After our first Second XI scheduled fixture of the season at Kibworth CC last week was a victim of the weather, we find ourselves at Brandon CC for a one-day Friendly against Durham Second XI.

Brandon is a village some 3 miles south west of Durham. Half a century ago it was a thriving coal mining area, mining coming to an end at Brandon Colliery in March 1968. That little nugget of local information completes my first historical snapshot of the season. 

I am sure everyone will join me in passing on every good wish to Tom Smith (ably supported by Dips Patel for our time in Durham) as he embarks on his first season as Second XI Coach at LCCC. Sincere good wishes too to Head Coach Paul Nixon on his return to LCCC, we wish him every success for the coming season. I am sure it will not be just Paul’s surname that contains the X-Factor! Very best wishes also to John Sadler, last season’s Second XI Coach, who has moved up to First XI coaching duties. Finally, further good wishes also go to Matt Mason who will be working alongside Paul, John and Matt. Last, but no means least, all good wishes, and welcome aboard to Ellie, our new Second XI physio.

The 2018 season has seen the introduction of new computer software for scorers on the county circuit. When I switch my lap top on I am greeted with something akin to the flight deck of the International Space Station. I can visualise sending myself towards Mars if I accidentally press the wrong key. Time will tell if yours truly, who is not at the cutting edge of IT, can take all this high tech software in his stride. However, it is all part of the rich tapestry of life for one of such advancing years! Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Long gone are the days when you could whistle up someone from down the pub, or a youngster from the local ‘Reccy’ to do the scoring, the only match day essentials, needed back in the day, being a pencil, a rubber, and the back of a fag packet readily available. Seriously, I would like to thank Dan (Nice) for all his help over the winter in helping me to download the scoring equivalent of the Encyclopedia Britanica. [Editor’s note: the pleasure was all mine!]

Our friendly with Durham CCC took the form of a 50 over a side match, but unfortunately play was abandoned for the day, due to rain, with only 46 overs being bowled. In the play that was possible Leicestershire racked up 245-3, with impressive knocks from Mark Pettini (78), Ateeq Javed (53*), and Zak Chappell (44*).

On a beautiful - but chilly - late April morning Tom Wells won the toss for Leicestershire, and elected to bat. At Brandon the scorers sit in the pavilion, side on to the square. In the far distance you can see traffic busily going up and down the A1, and in the valley trains rattle along the East Coast main line to and from Edinburgh, and Kings Cross.

Mark Pettini and Tom Wells opened up for County and built a solid partnership, Pettini being the aggressor, and Wells playing a firm supporting role. Pettini was particularly brutal behind square, and through mid-wicket. The 50 partnership came up after 12.3 overs. Wells (15, 48b) went caught at deep mid-wicket by Graham Clark off the bowling of spinner Ryan Pringle with the score on 59 from 15 overs. 

Aadil Ali joined Pettini, who stroked two crisp boundaries off Pringle, and soon afterwards brought up his 50 (8x4, 54b), when he dispatched seamer Gavin Main to the ropes. County brought up their 100 runs from 24 overs, and 9 runs later Pettini and Aadil shared a 50 partnership from 55 balls with the score on 109-1. 

When the score had reached 124, Aadil (22, 49b) was trapped in front by Pringle. The diminutive figure of Ateeq Javid joined Pettini. Javid egressed the dressing room in a ‘bouncy’ manner. The dressing rooms at Brandon CC are right next to Brandon Boxing Club. Even my searing eyesight could probably differentiate between the boxing AJ (Anthony Joshua of course), if he stood alongside his cricketing ‘initial namesake’ Ateeq Javid. Javid certainly did not pull any punches during his stay at the wicket, and certainly had Durham on the ropes, and took a unanimous points decision against the Durham attack. 

Pettini had cruised to 78 from 86 balls when he holed out to Cameron Steel at mid-wicket off the bowling of Josh Coughlin, County 154-3 from 34 overs. Zak Chappell joined Javid, and the ‘tall & small’ pair lit up what was fast becoming a grey afternoon weather-wise. They rattled up a 50 partnership from 46 balls when the score had reached 202-3 from 41.4 overs. 
Javid was rotating the strike well, taking a particular liking in despatching seamers Main and Coughlin to the ropes. Javid brought up his 50 (5x4, 56b) with the score on 231-3 from 45.1 overs. Chappell powered seamer Main to the ropes on three further occasions during their alliance. 

Light rain began to fall, and from the final ball before the Umpires took the players from the field Chappell deposited spinner Will Smith for the first maximum of the innings. The players came off at 1.48pm with County on 245-3 from 46 overs. Javid 53* (58b), Chappell 44* (36b). Lunch was taken but with no sign of the rain abating the Umpires abandoned the match at 3.50pm.

TEAM | Wells (capt), Pettini, Aadil, Javid, Chappell, Swindells (wk), Sayer, Taylor, Klein, Dickinson, Funnell.

* Leicestershire CCC Second XI are in action at the Fischer County Ground next Wednesday for a Trophy fixture against Northamptonshire CCC. Admission is free with the match due to start at 11am.