Academy bowlers shine at Lancashire

RESULT | Second XI Trophy (50 overs): Lancashire Second XI 218 for 8 beat Leicestershire Second XI 101 by 117 runs


REPORT | By Pete Johnson

Leicestershire took on Lancashire at Northern CC in the sixth and final match of their 2018 Second XI Trophy campaign. Of their previous 5 matches, County had won 2, lost 2, and 1 no result. Northern CC are based at Crosby, North Merseyside, some seven miles north of Liverpool. Northern CC are members of the Liverpool & District premier League. Stephen Parry of Lancashire, and who has made ODI and International T20 appearances is a former Northern CC player.

On our journey to the ground we witnessed many flags and banners in the Liverpool area that had been positioned before last Saturday’s Champions League Final, fluttering from houses, and many other buildings. They looked somewhat forlorn following last Saturday’s result.

Prior to the start of play it was good to meet up again with Christina Carr, the former Physio Intern at Leicestershire CCC in 2014, who is now Physio for Lancashire Second XI. At Northern CC the scorers are situated in the bar area within the clubhouse, and are situated at long-on when bowling to a right hander from the Pavilion End.

On a sunny and warm Lancashire morning Haseeb Hameed, skippering Lancashire, won the toss and elected to bat.

Lancashire fielded three players with International experience in their team Hameed, Shiv Chanderpaul, and Stephen Parry. Leicestershire fielding a very young side, including four players from the Academy. The Red Rose County ran out comfortable winners by 117 runs.

However, Leicestershire had the host County at 100-6 before a partnership of 86 for the seventh wicket moved Lancashire to an improved score of 218-8 from their 50-over allocation. Rob Jones carried his bat for 108*. Hishaam Khan was County’s leading wicket taker with 3 for 40 from 9 overs. Tom Bailey ripped out the top of the county order reducing them to 18-4, brief resistance came from Harry Dearden, and Sam Evans, the only Leicestershire players to make it into double figures. Leicestershire all out for 101 from 34.3 overs.

There was a large crowd in attendance by Second XI standards when the players took to the field. The vast majority of spectators sitting at the Pavilion End.

Hasseed Hameed and Rob Jones opened up for Lancashire against an opening attack of Tom Taylor and Hishaam Khan. Leicestershire soon had Lancashire under pressure on 22-3 from 7.4 overs. Jones was spilled second ball, when on 0, by the diving ‘keeper Harry Swindells off Taylor. A difficult one-handed chance.

Hameed (6) who was displaying a perfect template for the forward defensive stroke went lbw to left arm seamer Khan. A great effort from the youngster to trap a player who has made three test match appearances for England in recent times. At this juncture the Umpires informed the Scorers that they could not see the acknowledgement signal due to reflection of sunlight from the Clubhouse windows. A number of people tried in vain to open the offending window, but without success. After a five-minute delay the match resumed when the Scorers were provided with a high viz vest to wave to signify acknowledgment.

Danny Lamb (1) went lbw to Taylor, and then Josh Bohannon (0) was caught down the leg-side by Swindells off Khan. There was then a mini panic between the scorers as the internet connection went down. After a few muted expletives, and mouse frenzy, normal service was resumed. One Scorer having been watching the match, and recording the action, the other attending to IT matters. I took on responsibility for the latter option as I was doing the ‘live scores’. I managed to regain the internet connection more by luck than judgement as my internet skills are not at the cutting edge.

Chanderpaul strode to the wicket, and I just wondered to myself how many cricket grounds around the world he must have played on. Chanderpaul, you may recall, has a very side-on stance, but gets into position immediately the ball is delivered. Chanderpaul (9) went lbw to Academy Member Ben Mike. A real feather in the cap for Mike, not every day an Academy member dismisses an International cricketer of the highest standing, who has repelled and dispatched attacks from around the world in many test matches. I am sure Ben will relay that victim to his grandchildren in the distant future. Lancashire 49-4 from 16.3.  

Lancashire’s 50 came up from 16.3 (50-4). Aaron Lilley (9) went caught by Dearden at short backward square off Aadil Ali. Jones went to his 50 (6x4) from 67 balls when the score reached 86-5 from 23 overs. The 100 came up after 26.1 overs. Soon afterwards Stephen Parry (11) went lbw to leg-spinner James Dickinson, the third Academy player to pick up the wicket of a player who has made International appearances. Lancashire 100-6 from 26.3 overs.

The Scorers’ view of proceedings was then briefly interrupted when a gentleman decided to fetch out his steps, and suspend a couple of hanging baskets from the pavilion roof just in front of us. He then proceeded to shepherd a number of spectators to view, and admire his horticultural displays. I was bobbing and weaving like a flyweight boxer, obviously very proud of his floral displays.

A partnership of 86 then developed between Jones and Bailey. Their 50 alliance came up from 85 balls when the score reached 150 for 6 from 40.3. Bailey (36) went brilliantly caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary by Dickinson off Khan. 186-7 from 46.5 overs. Jones went to his 100 (8x4) from 143 balls when the scorer reached 205-7. Brad Yates (11) was bowled by Mike by the second ball of the final over. Lancashire closing on 218-8. Jones a magnificent 108* from 146 balls. Toby Lester 1*. Tom Taylor having taken 1-22 from 6 overs, Aadil and Dickinson also combined well to deliver 20 overs of spin for just 64 runs between them.

I mentioned earlier that the Scorers were positioned in the bar area. The Lancashire innings was played throughout to a backdrop of conversation between a number of gentlemen taking liquid refreshment, and having an in depth post mortem on Liverpool FC’s Champions League Final game last Saturday, their opinions of Sam Allardyce’s performance at Everton last season, and his likely replacement, plus the logistics of their upcoming train journey from Liverpool to Oakham School on Thursday for the Royal London One-Day Cup game. Tranmere Rovers also got a ten minute slot having returned to the Football League. All part of the rich tapestry of life.

Lancashire soon had Leicestershire in trouble as paceman Bailey dismissed the first four Leicestershire batsmen with just 18 on the board. Swindells (0) played on to Bailey, Aadil (8) went caught at second slip by Lilley, Lewis Hill (0) was caught at third slip by Jones, and Mark Pettini (7) went lbw. At this point Bailey having 4-11 from his 4 overs.

Dearden and Evans then offered some brief resistance adding 33 for the fifth wicket. Dearden played the shot of Leicestershire’s innings caressing Bailey through the covers for a boundary. Evans on leave from MCCU duties, and in unfamiliar territory at number six, was helping Dearden repel the pace barrage.

When the score reached 61 Evans (15) was bowled by Liam Hurt. Just afterwards Dearden (26) was another victim for Hurt, caught behind by ‘keeper Yates. Taylor (2) was then another victim to the Hurt/Yates combination. At this stage Hurt having claimed 3-5 from 4.2. I am sure no one would begrudge Liam Hurt these figures. A player who has been rewarded with a two-year contract by Lancashire after much effort and application around the County circuit, having trialled for a number of Counties, including a number of games for Leicestershire. I am pleased to see someone get just rewards for their hard work.

The Leicestershire innings came to a close after a further 12.1 overs when Mike (0) was run out by Chanderpaul throwing in to Parry at the bowler’s end. Dickinson (9) went caught behind by Yates off left arm seamer Lester. Last pair, both left-handers, Khan and Mo Ahmed soaked up 9 overs before Ahmed (3) was trapped lbw by the returning Bailey. Khan 8 not out. Leicestershire all out for 101 from 34.3 overs. Lancashire winning by 117 runs. Lancashire 2 points, Leicestershire 0 points.

That completes Leicestershire Second XI’s Trophy 50-over campaign for 2018. Their record being: Won 2, Lost 3, 1 No Result.

* Leicestershire Second XI is next in action in a four-day friendly against Kent at Loughborough Town CC on Monday, June 11. Admission is free for all four days.