Swindells makes sparkling 142

SCORE | Day 1, Second XI Friendly (3 days): Leicestershire Second XI 327 all out v Kent Second XI 51 for 0


REPORT | By Pete Johnson

Following on from yesterday’s one-day SEF against Kent, Leicestershire again took on Kent at Loughborough Town CC, this time in a three-day SEF.

Upon arrival at the ground I took the opportunity to look at a host of photographs of Loughborough Town CC from years past. Being a native of a village in the Loughborough area I then spent time talking to Paul the amiable Loughborough Town groundman, recalling names of Loughborough Town players from years gone by.

The game was evenly balanced after the first day’s play, Leicestershire making 327 all out, with Kent 51-0 in reply. Leicestershire’s innings was dominated by Harry Swindells who made 142, his third Second XI century of the season. Chesney Hughes, formerly of Derbyshire and Northamptonshire, provided valuable support with 66.

Aadil Ali skippered County again, Kent skipper Will Gidman called wrongly, and Leicestershire elected to bat.

A dull overcast morning greeted the players when they took to the field. There were a reasonable number of spectators present. However, spectators were attired in warm clothing unlike yesterday, when some chose to seek shelter from the mid-June sunshine.

Harry Swindells and Charlie Lowen opened up for County against an opening attack of Grant Stewart and Miles Richardson. The pair brought up a 50 partnership after 13.4 overs. Swindells took boundaries through the cover area with Lowen making sure that the straight drive found the ropes as well.

Lowen (26) went bowled by seamer Will MacVicar, Leicestershire on 81-1 from 20.2 overs. That fine man Paul the Groundsman then paid a visit asking if the scorers would like a cup of tea/coffee. Some 10 minutes later a spectator came up and apologised for the delay in our beverages arriving as he had kept Paul talking. Paul hit the jackpot though, returning with said beverages plus digestive biscuits. Regrettably Andy (Kent Scorer) devoured his biscuits, I was expecting to hoover them up as he had been enthusiastically talking to me earlier in the morning about his diet.

Back to the action, Aadil Ali joined Swindells. Just afterwards Swindells went to his 50 (7x4) from 71 balls. Aadil was paying the ball sweetly off the middle of the bat and piercing the field. Both batsmen had to deal with a number of short pitched balls, the diminutive Swindells electing to guide the ball upwards clear of the off-side field on a number of occasions. Swindells also took a liking for the vacant third man area from deliveries of a fuller length.

Just before lunch my scoring colleague Andy said that Gray was coming on. My mind immediately pictured the wing wizard standing alongside the Fourth Official at the KPS waiting to make his entrance! Jan Gray bowled a couple of the regulation overs of spin immediately before lunch, Leicestershire going in on 129-1 from 33, Swindells 79* Aadil 18*.

I noticed that those two ‘Media Moguls’ (Editor’s note: less of the inverted commas!) from the FCG Dan Nice and Harry Josephs turned up just before Lunch. A complete coincidence, of course, that excellent food is on offer at Park Road! (Editor’s note 2: we turned down lunch to allow our reporter seconds…)

Swindells and Aadil brought up their 50 partnership from the first ball after lunch when Swindells clipped seamer Richardson to the ropes. Swindells cruised through the nervous nineties taking seamer Richardson for four boundaries in the 36th over. Richardson no doubt Spitting Fire (come on think about it).

The Knight of Narborough, who has now become the Ivanhoe Impresario, went to his 100 when he steered a lifting delivery, the latter of the four boundaries, behind square to the ropes. Swindells 100 (15x4) from 120 balls. A third Second XI century this season for the ‘keeper/batsman. A great effort from one of such formative years. A very promising career in the game beckons.

Aadil (27) went caught behind by keeper Oliver Robinson off the bowling of MacVicar. Robinson, diving to his right, took the ball two-handed just above the ground. Aadil and Swindells were just one run short of a 100 partnership, County 180-2 from 41.2 overs.

Hughes took MacVicar for a couple of boundaries in an over, the game becoming more attritional with the batsmen mainly taking ones and twos. Swindells’ fine innings came to an end when he was on 142 when he gloved a ball to short backward square that was safely pouched by Oliver Hills off the bowling of Gidman. Hills certainly alive to the sound of music in seeing the back of Swindells.

Swindells 142 (20x4) from 176 balls, his highest score to date for the Second XI. During his innings Swindells must have seen more short stuff than Snow White, and more bumpers than you would get on an a card at Leicester Races, Leicestershire 227-3 from 55.5 overs.

Tom Wells joined Hughes, and had built a solid foundation to his innings, when he was run out. Wells (19) pushed seamer Richardson towards mid-on, went for a single, but Gidman threw down the stumps at the bowler’s end with Wells out of his ground.

County 269-4 from 67.4 overs. After this Leicestershire were only able to add a further 58 to their total. Hughes went to his 50 (6x4) from 78 balls, Lachlan Agnew stroked seamer Stewart through the covers for four, but edged a ball from Richardson to ‘keeper Robinson in the last over before tea.

Kent employed an all-spin attack after tea of Gray and Harry Came. Hughes took boundaries off both bowlers, but when on 66 was bowled by Gray. Hughes facing 96 balls (9x4). Chesney (Hughes) for once not being The One And Only to rack up a half-century as The Swindler had weighed in with a gross minus 2!

Ben Mike (2) went caught & bowled by Came, Don Butchart (2) suffered the same fate to Gray, and Ash Trusz (10) completed a trio of batsmen to depart in that manner when Came again administered the treatment.

James Dickinson (4) was last man out, caught at short backward square by Came off Gray. Harry Funnell, safely back in the harbour with 9 not out, including consecutive boundaries off Came in the penultimate over. Three wickets, but no hat-trick for Gray (Blue Army!), and a brace for Harry Came. Just hope a bloke with a similar sounding name delivers the same next Monday against Tunisia. County all out for 327 from 86.1 overs.

Kent had a minimum of 15 overs to face in what remained of the day's play. Mosun Hussain and Came opened up for Kent against an opening pace attack of Jacob Bailey and Ben Mike. The visitors ultimately negotiated the opening attack safely, having one scare when Wells, replacing Mike at the Pavilion End, had a confident caught behind shout against Hussain turned down. The Umpire indicating the ball had brushed the batsman’s leg.

Dickinson replaced Bailey at the Shelthorpe End with two overs of leg-spin while Aadil replaced Wells with a solitary over of off-spin from the Pavilion End. Kent closing on 51-0 from 15 overs, Hussain 26*, Came 24*. Kent trailing by 276 runs going into day two.

* We visit Loughborough Town CC again for the second day of the Friendly, admission is free and the bar will be open.