Zak Chappell batting SCC
Match Reports

Chappell keeps Seconds in control

MCC Young Cricketers v Leicestershire, Second XI Championship, Day 2:


REPORT | By Pete Johnson

Upon arrival at High Wycombe CC for day two of the SEC match between MCC YC and Leicestershire, there was a noticeable absence of red kites hovering in the morning sky but there were several aeroplanes passing high overhead as they departed Heathrow Airport.

Today, 16 August, marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley in 1977. It is one of those ’moments in time’ and I remember exactly where I was when I heard of the news of Elvis’ death. I was on a coach from Grace Road travelling down to Swansea for a Gillette Cup semi-final tie against Glamorgan.

I even had to take a day’s holiday from work! I may throw in the odd reference or two to Mr Presley as I meander through the day’s events.

Here we go then, another day of words of wisdom from Wycombe. There were six spectators present when the players took to the field on a sunny, but somewhat fresh feeling morning. The dynamic duo aka the travelling army were in situ alongside you know what.

Leicestershire resumed on their overnight 201-2, trailing MCC YCs by 26 runs. Harry Dearden 125*, Ben Raine 4*. Dearden and Raine both found the ropes with nicely timed cover drives early doors.

The score had progressed to 224 when Dearden (141) was the victim of a catch down the leg-side by keeper Saf Imtiaz off the bowling off left arm seamer Oli Smithson. I am fairly certain Dearden’s 141 is his highest Second XI Championship score, but I am sure he will correct me if I am wrong.

Raine was joined by Zak Chappell. Raine would have been very unpopular with any Flying Pickets in the area as he was not involved with much of the strike, facing only 12 balls in the first 10 overs of the day.

Raine (20) went caught by Ben Brookes at mid wicket off leg spinner Luke Jones. Raine’s shot taking the high aerial route to Brookes’ eager hands, County now on 244-4 from 61.6.

Chappell was joined by Will Fazakerley. The pair looked almost identical, similar height, and build, green helmets, matching short sleeved shirts, numbers that looked very similar 32 and 35. I had a vision in my mind of those two blokes who do the 118 adverts. You know the ones, dressed the same, running around in white vests, with the number 118 on, red shorts etc.

The pair rattled up a 50 partnership from 45 balls having taken the score to 294-4 from 69.1 overs. Four balls later Fazakerley (30 from 28 balls, including 4x4 plus a maximum) was caught at deep cover by Matt Cross off spinner Ashley Sivarajah.

Chappell was then joined by Rob Sayer, and the pair developed what was to become the highest partnership of the match so far. Chappell was playing some ferocious blistering on, and off drives, dealing nonchalantly with seamer Andrew Hazeldine, who though small in stature, looked the quickest bowler in the YC’s attack.

County went to 300 - and maximum batting points - after 70.2 overs. Chappell went to his 50 (10x4) from 73 balls, with the score on 340-5 from 79 overs. Just afterwards the 50 partnership between Chappell and Sayer came up from 63 balls.

Leicestershire went into lunch on 362-5 from 85 overs. Chappell 61* Sayer 31*. Toad in the Hole was the lunchtime offering, and after the break, Sayer took seamer Oli Smithson for a huge straight maximum, hitting the roof of a car in the car park at the Pavilion End.

Chappell meanwhile got my ‘Champagne Moment’ of the day with an audacious reverse sweep for four from a quicker ball, delivered by spinner Sivarajah. Sayer went to his 50 (8x4,1x6) with the score on 395-5 from 90.4. Immediately afterwards the 100 partnership came up between Chappell and Sayer from 126 balls.

During the afternoon session ‘Titchmarsh Towers’ had separate visits from two ladies. First was Sue, who scores for High Wycombe, and had scored a WWC game at the FCG (don’t forget initials are the order of the day in these parts). Sue commented that she was in awe of LCCC’s very own Paul Rogers’ digestion capacity when she scored with him at the FCG!

Jan also paid a visit whilst walking her dog around the ground. Two Leicestershire 2s away games on the bounce for Jan, as she also graced us with her presence at Beckenham a couple of weeks ago. On the Elvis theme, got to be Hound Dog for you Jan as she accompanies her faithful hound around the ground. No Elvis song for PJ Rogers Esq, but how about Quiche Lorraine by the B52s or Vindaloo by Fat Les.

During the visits by these ladies I felt a bit like a Catholic Priest in a confession booth (remember that sketch Dave Allen used to do?) as they leant against the open shed window chatting away. Rest assured your secrets are safe with me girls! Oh my goodness cricket match going on, back to the day job.

A Little Less Conversation A Little More Action, if you don’t mind Mr Johnson.

Chappell and Sayer had added 137 for the sixth wicket when Sayer (80) was caught in the deep by Hazeldine off Sivarajah. Sayer’s busily compiled 80 runs coming from just 76 balls. Harry Swindells (2) was caught at slip by Finn Allen again off Sivarajah.

A splendid innings by Chappell cruelly came to an end when he was on 99. He got a ball from Allen that kept indecently low and bowled him. Chappell’s 99 coming from 151 balls, 15x4.

As it is the 40th anniversary of the passing of Elvis, three of his songs spring to mind for Zak as he trudged back to the Pavilion, dismissed for 99. Heartbreak Hotel, Don’t Be Cruel, and Crying in the Chapel, answers on a postcard please for which one you feel most applies. County 465-8 from 106.1 overs.

One piece of absolutely scintillating (or useless) information from Chappell’s fine innings, an absolute statistical nugget, was that from the 79th to the 102nd  over he faced the first ball of every over except for over 92 and 96. They reckon if you spend enough time doing this scoring lark you will become like one. Is there any hope for me, or have I gone over to the dark side?

The innings soon folded afterwards. Ben Mike (13) was excellently caught one handed by Hazeldine off Sivarajah, and Dominic Manthorpe (0) was bowled by Sivarajah. County all out for 469 from 108 overs, a lead of 242 runs. Ashley Sivarajah 5-78 from 24. Back to Elvis, 469 all out. That’s All Right (I know my Elvis songs).

MCC YC had 9 overs to bat before Tea. Ben Curran and Joe Barrett rattled up a 50 partnership after 7 overs. Just before tea Barrett (23) was caught behind by Swindells off Ajmal Shahzad. MCC YC went into tea on 54-1 from 9. Curran 30* Lezar 0*.

Eighteen runs had been added after tea when a mini hurricane was experienced in High Wycombe. Manthorpe found the edge of Curran’s bat, and a somewhat regulation slip catch was put down by a gentleman who originates from the Greater Manchester area.

Very next ball Manthorpe bowled Curran (31). The expulsion of air in the sigh of relief from the gentleman at second slip caused aforementioned mini hurricane. However, with him having racked up 141 we will not be too severe on him. MCC YC 68-2 from 12.4.

The YCs then made inroads into the run deficit. Marc Lezar and Saf Imtiaz posted a 50 partnership from 86 balls with the score on 118-2 from 27 overs. Imtiaz went to his 50 (8x4) from 73 balls with the score on 158-2 from 34.2.

Four balls later Lezar went to his 50 (11x4) from 75 balls, and 8 runs later their 100 alliance came up. With just 2.1 overs of the day remaining County struck a late blow when Shahzad bowled Lezar (58) with a ball of full length.

MCC YC closed on 177-3 from 41 over’s. Imtiaz 62* Cross 1*, trailing Leicestershire by 65 runs. MCC YC 5 points, Leicestershire 8 points.

Day 2’s despatches at an end, with the Elvis theme I could not leave myself out of the equation. It’s got to be A Fool Such As I or for your nomad of the numbers The Wonder of You. I will leave you to make your mind up on that one. I know which one I would choose…