Leaders Durham land SEC victory

RESULT | Leicestershire Second XI 312 for 6 dec & 263 lost to Durham Second XI 410 for 7 dec & 226 for 0 dec


REPORT | By Pete Johnson

Another balmy summer day greeted us upon arrival at Kibworth today. The weather forecasters were predicting though that thunderstorms may break out later in the day.

We had an interesting day’s cricket that went into the last hour, the result being decided with 6.5 overs remaining. Durham CCC getting home by 61 runs, thanks mainly to an inspired spell of leg-spin bowling by Ben Whitehead, who returned figures of 6-77 from 19.1 overs.

The other four wickets captured by Durham CCC all fell to spinners too. Leicestershire CCC was bowled out for 263, but with 14 overs remaining were still in with a chance of winning. Aadil Ali (78) and Charlie Lowen (49) tried valiantly to get County close to the target.

However, County lost five wickets in the space of five overs at the end of their innings. It was a case of smelling the coffee, but not being able to get into the kitchen. (Editor’s note: not a problem you normally have around lunchtime, Pete!) All credit to the Durham bowlers, personally I felt it a case of holding your hands up, and saying well bowled.

A good number of spectators were present at the start again. The weather, well no need to explain it, same as, as per usual. Jack Nightingale had flown in to do 12th man duties as County were a man down as a result of Mo Ahmed’s injury on day one.

Durham CCC resumed from their overnight 60 without loss, a lead of 158 runs, Ross Greenwell 19* Michael Jones 35*. The pair posted an unbroken partnership of 226, before the visitors declared at 12.40pm.

Milestones along the way were: Jones 50 (84b, 8x4) 84b, 100 partnership from 190 balls, Greenwell 50 (113b, 8x4), 150 partnership from 221 balls, 200 partnership from 276 balls, coinciding with Jones 100 (128b, 13x4.)

Durham CCC declared on 226-0 from 50 overs at 12.40pm. Greenwell 98* (12x4) 157b, Jones 117*(15x4) 145b.  With the declaration coming with Greenwell on 98*, I am sure he has crossed someone off his Christmas Card list! To be fair word had gone out to the middle that the 50th over was to be the last of the innings, so I don’t reckon he will be saving himself a postage stamp.

Leicestershire CCC therefore set 325 to win from a minimum of 68 overs, a rate of 4.77 per over. Sam Evans and Harry Swindells had a tricky three overs to negotiate before Lunch, but took County in safely on 5-0.

Part of the Luncheon on offer was not to my liking, so the Kibworth Catering ‘Dream Team’, Jan & Ian, knocked me something up off their A La Carte menu, to accommodate my discerning pallet, and very nice it was too. Don’t be surprised if you see a Michelin Star on the Kibworth kitchen door in the not too distant future. (Editor’s note: see previous note about Pete and kitchens!)

Evans and Swindells took the score onto 25, when Evans (11) 24b was trapped in front by Whitehead. Aadil joined Swindells, and was to prove pivotal in County trying to chase down the target.

Swindells (27, 54b) was bowled round his legs by Whitehead. Lewis Hill joined Aadil, and the pair kept the board ticking over nicely. Aadil was hitting straight for a number of boundaries, plus a huge maximum. Hill was doing his trademark cuts, and also drilling the ball through the mid-wicket area. The duo brought up their 50 alliance from 93 balls, 100-2 off 25. It came somewhat of a surprise when Hill (30, 39b) was bowled by Liam Trevaskis. Hassan Azad joined Aadil, and the pair took County into Tea on 140-3, Aadil 44* Azad 16*. A further 185 needed from a minimum of 35 overs.

Aadil brought up his 50 (7x4, 1x6), with a boundary to long-on off Whitehead. Azad (17, 32b) went lbw to spinner Scott Steel attempting a sweep. Lowen joined Aadil, and the pair gave County more than a sniff of a victory. Aadil & Lowen were taking command, finding gaps in the field regularly. The partnership had added 38 when Aadil (78, 106b) was caught at wide mid-off by Gareth Harte off Whitehead, County now 190-5 from 48.2 overs.

Rob Sayer joined Lowen, and the pair gave County a more than decent scent of victory. They put on 50 for the sixth wicket, an alliance that included five penalty runs when the ball struck a helmet behind the keeper. Lowen was giving spinners Ryan Pringle, Whitehead, and Treviskas the treatment, taking five boundaries and a towering maximum.

The final hour was signaled at 5.06pm with County needing 116 off a minimum of 16 overs. The 54th over bowled by Pringle caused the Scorers a nightmare when the ball hit the keeper’s helmet.

With the Pro Scorer system being a bit like the Krypton Factor, when you experience an incident for the first time, you have to think things through. Just as we were doing so, we had a request to show the overs on the scoreboard in a different format. Spinners on at both ends, pace of the game like a T20, having to operate the console for the Scoreboard as well as the laptop.

It was like sitting at home watching TV, somebody knocking on the front door, at the same time someone was knocking on the back door, plus your land line telephone, and mobile ringing at the same time. What does one do first? I reckon both Scorers will be in the next series of Britain’s Got Talent as we were able to smile, and say ‘of course’ whilst steam was coming out of our ears. Also, people peering into their mobiles, and noticing that live scores were a little behind. Didn’t have such problems in the days of a Scorebook, and a pencil.

I would like to say a public personal thank you to Peter Connolly, the Durham Second XI Scorer, for his assistance during this passage of play. One person having to watch, and record the game, whilst the other attacked the keyboard. Teamwork personified.

Lowen and Sayer added 45 plus five penalty runs for the sixth wicket. Sayer (11, 14b) being bowled when he had a dip at Pringle. Leicestershire now 240-6, requiring 85 to win from a minimum of 12.5 overs. Game on! Unfortunately that was as good as it got for County, as the last four wickets went down for 23 in five overs.

Dieter Klein (17, 11b) was caught & bowled by Whitehead, and Lowen (49, 71b), went caught by keeper Ryan Davies off Whitehead. Great effort from Lowen who was the lynchpin for the innings after Aadil’s departure. With Lowen you get what it says on the tin, but knowing ‘Cheerful Charlie’ I would look to see what’s in the tin with a bit of trepidation #laughingemoji

James Dickinson (0, 4b) was bowled by Pringle, and Durham secured their victory when Ben Mike (2, 5b) was bowled by Whitehead. Ali Khan (0*, 1b). Leicestershire CCC all out for 263 from 60.1 overs with just 7.5 overs remaining, Durham CCC winning by 61 runs. Leicestershire CCC 7 points, Durham CCC 22 points.

This was Durham CCC’s final game in their 2018 SEC campaign. They have oh so nearly won the Northern Group as Lancashire CCC now need to take maximum points from their two remaining games to overhaul them. Slippers on, and a match at the ready to light the cigar.

Leicestershire CCC would like to offer sincere thanks to everyone at Kibworth CC for hosting our three-day game against Durham CCC. Special thanks to Jan who was there for every second of every day, and Chef, par excellence Ian.

Thanks also to Jan’s ‘Fab Four’ helpers, Alison, Chrissie, Natalie and Nicola, Steve Pollard Groundsman, for all his seen and unseen work, and his helpers Kevin & Len. The groundstaff were there until 10.30pm on Thursday night putting the ground safely to bed with heavy storms forecast overnight. Last, but by no means least, thanks to Steve Elwood, Kibworth CC Chairman. (Editor’s note: can I second that please, fantastic efforts all-round, as always at Kibworth CC.)

* Leicestershire Second XI now has a spell of playing away, with two days of T20 action, and three Championship fixtures. The team is next at home on Tuesday, August 28 for a 50-over friendly against Derbyshire Second XI at the Fischer County Ground.