Seconds edged out at Notts
Nottinghamshire v Leicestershire, Second XI Trophy
REPORT | By Pete Johnson
It was day four of our trip up the M1 or A46 to face Nottinghamshire, this time in a Second XI Trophy game. Nottinghamshire won a pulsating encounter off the penultimate ball of the game by a margin of two wickets. The mainstay of the Nottinghamshire innings was Will Root who hit a matchwinning innings of 123 in the final total of 258-8.
Before play commenced there was one of those ‘I was there moments’. That doyen and artisan of cricket spectators, Christopher J Stone Esq, was not in position at the side of one of the screens a full 25 minutes before the start of play.
I was informed by a certain lady (I am not letting the cat out of the bag by mentioning your name Rosemary as no one reads this), that he had gone for some car repairs. An empty chair was in pole position alongside one of the screens and remained empty for a good part of the first innings, nobody of course daring to encroach on his territorial domain. They say you cannot get quicker than a Kwik Fit Fitter, but that may now be open for debate…
Tom Wells won the toss for County and elected to bat. The innings got off to a blistering start thanks to Wells and Lewis Hill. The pair rattled up a 50 partnership from 8.5 overs, both taking maximums off seamer Dominic Brown along the way. Hill dismissively reverse swept spinner Matt Carter’s first delivery to the ropes.
The pair had added 75 when Hill (35) was run out at the bowler’s end, following a stop/start, are you/aren’t you interlude with Wells. Wells went to his 50 (5x4/2x6) from 52 balls. Aadil Ali had joined Wells, and had made 10 when he was bowled by seamer Louis Bhabra who conjured up a bit of magic, (Bhabra Cadabra), leaving County at 109-2 from 18.3 overs.
Trialist Michael Jones (6) added 26 with Wells before being caught and bowled by Root with the score at 135 from 27.6 overs. Wells was timing the ball sweetly, and began to look menacing. He was joined by Callum Parkinson who began to play some eye-catching shots, whilst also defending solidly.
Wells had advanced to 78 when he was bowled by spinner Liam Patterson-White from 97 deliveries, the skipper leading from the front. Harry Swindells (4) became another victim for the Patterson-White, going lbw. Parkinson meanwhile was going along at a run a ball, finding gaps in the field with detailed precision (that’s a tenner you owe me for those kind words, Parky).
Will Fazakerley joined Parkinson, and played a delightful cameo of an innings. He reverse swept spinner Carter for 4, did a scoop/ramp shot off seamer Brown that looped for a boundary. He also hit Brown for a massive maximum as well.
Fazakerley had added 46 with Parkinson from 6.4 overs when he tried another reverse sweep to Carter and was lbw, the lean mean Channel Island machine making a creditable 33 from 27 deliveries. County at 220-6 from 45.2 overs.
With the score on 231, Parkinson’s fine knock came to an end when he was caught at long-on by Patterson-White off Matt Milnes. James Sykes took one for the team having made 19 off 17 balls, County closed at 257-8 from their 50 overs with Ben Mike 4* and Dieter Klein 2*.
Towards the end of the Leicestershire innings I had a window of opportunity, of which you don’t get many in my arduous, and humble role, to cast a furtive glance in the direction of one of the sightscreens. There he was, back in pole position as if he had never been away. If you don’t know what I am on about, go back to the beginning of this esteemed literary masterpiece.
A rather splendid lunch was taken, involving two helpings of a crusty meat pie, which is somewhat of a challenge, in the limited period of time available, when one has a temporary top set of gnashers in place.
County struck an early blow when Klein trapped Chris Gibson (1) in front with the first ball of the second over. That brought Root to the wicket, and he played one of those innings. Tom Moores (15) went caught at cover by Sykes off Fazakerley. A very good catch from Sykes who took it two-handed, diving to his right. Somewhat ‘Kasperesque’.
Brendon Taylor joined Root and the pair prospered, adding 92 for the third wicket. Their 50 partnership came up from 66 balls, with the score at 83-2 from 15.2. Root brought up his half century (6x4) from 59 balls, with the score at 116-2 from 20.5.
We were then treated to Parkinson bowling at one end and Mike at the other, just in case anyone is old enough, like me, to remember Mike Parkinson. The innings then had a bit of a ‘wobble’ with Sykes picking up two wickets in quick succession. Taylor (44) went caught on the deep extra cover boundary by Fazakerley, and then Sykes trapped Dominic Brown (1) in front. Game in the balance with Notts at 130-4 from 27 overs.
Root and Tom Keast then put the game back in Notts favour with a partnership of 71. Their 50 alliance came up from 57 deliveries when the score reached 180-4 from 36.3. Root brought up his century (10x4/1x6) from 114 balls, a fine innings.
The partnership was broken when the returning Klein sent one of Keast’s stumps spiralling out of the ground. Keast going for 28 with the score at 201-5, Notts requiring 57 runs to win from 9.4 overs. Liam Patterson-White (3) went caught and bowled by Klein, from one that got big on him, and the left armer finished with fine figures of 3-48.
Every run was crucial now, and Fazakerely did an expert job of preventing Root adding six to his total. Root hit one to deep mid-wicket, the boy Faz propelled his 6’ 3’’ frame into an upward trajectory, palmed the ball from over his head, back into the field of play, restricting Root to just two runs from what he initially thought would have been a maximum.
Connor Marshall (16) went caught by Ali off Wells, Notts at 244-7 needing 14 off 13 balls. Root was finally dug out when he was caught on the cover boundary by Sykes off Parkinson for a magnificent 123 from 137 balls.
Carter joined Milnes, and Notts needed eight off the last over. It was bowled by Wells; it went one, dot, two, one, the fifth delivery going for four byes, and Nottinghamshire winning by two wickets. Milnes 3*, Carter 6*. A cracking game of cricket. Nottinghamshire 2 points, Leicestershire 0 points.
Before signing off for the evening, apologies for my report of the final day of the SEC being a day or so late, but it was due to events in Madrid. You may remember that in 1966 England supremo, Sir Alf, said that Martin Peters was 10 years ahead of his time, well in 2017 I am 24 hours behind mine!