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Match Reports

Spinners shine at Desborough

Leicestershire v Lancashire, Second XI Championship, Day 1


REPORT | By Pete Johnson

Leicestershire took on Lancashire in a SEC match at the home of Desborough Town CC, the first of three matches that County have this season at this North Northamptonshire Nevada.

The Scorers are housed in a wooden structure at one end of the pavilion veranda. This was the Second XI’s first game for some two weeks or more. My lifestyle, of the past two weeks, not being conducive to prolonged sitting, I had to discipline myself to remain sitting with the minimum of movement for three two-and-a-quarter hour playing sessions. I hit the ground running and was an absolute role model for couch potatoes the length and breadth of the country.

One of the umpires for this match was again Ray Medland. My eyes lit up when I saw him approaching the scorebox laden with his customary bags of sweets, for the exclusive consumption of the scorers.

Lancashire finished Day 1 in the box seat, trailing by 16 runs with six second innings wickets in hand. County were bowled out for 164 with Matthew Parkinson claiming 6-49, Lancashire on 148-4 at stumps. On a day of searing heat an incredible 115.5 overs were bowled, with spinners from both sides having lengthy spells.

A minute’s silence was held before play commenced in memory of people that died in the Grenfell Tower tragedy last Wednesday. Players, coaches, umpires and scorers lined up in front of the pavilion, and all spectators stood in silence at 11.00am. The minute’s silence impeccably observed.

There was a reasonable cluster of spectators present when play commenced. They were all taking refuge from the searing heat and positioned themselves either under the trees at the Farm Park End or on the pavilion veranda. There were several familiar faces in attendance.

Tom Wells was skippering County, his opposite number Karl Brown called incorrectly, and Wells had no hesitation in electing to bat. The players took to the field in extremely hot and sunny weather.

Sam Evans returning to LCCC from Loughborough MCCU duties opened the batting with trialist Ben Curran, son of Kevin Curran. The pair added 29 for the first wicket, Evans (18) having glanced a no-ball for 4 off Liam Hurt, only to be bowled next ball from a delivery of fuller length.

Aadil Ali (0) only faced five balls before edging behind to keeper George Lavelle off seamer Toby Lester. It was literally ‘start the car’ for Aadil, as shortly after being dismissed he was summoned to Trent Bridge for twelfth man duties as the First XI had suffered an early injury to Ben Raine.

Wells joined Curran and the pair set about rebuilding the innings. They brought up a 50 partnership from 99 balls when the score had reached 99-2 from 25.5 overs.

Curran was playing an eye-catching knock, and looked set for a long stay at the crease. Unfortunately when he had made 37 (from 82 balls) he was adjudged lbw to Matthew Parkinson. Wells was grafting well, but with literally from the last ball before lunch he edged left arm spinner Simon Kerrigan into the gloves of Lavelle, Wells out for 24 from 78 deliveries. County went into lunch on 103-4 from 37 overs.

After lunch the County innings crumbled somewhat with the last six wickets falling for 61 runs in 24.5 overs. Rob Sayer (8) went lbw to Kerrigan, who had picked up both his wickets when changing to round the wicket. Kashif Ali (8) hit a couple of sweetly timed boundaries before holing out to Daniel Lamb at cover off Matthew Parkinson. Harry Swindells (6) was another lbw victim for Matthew Parkinson.

Any brotherly love then went out of the window when Callum Parkinson (12) went caught behind by Lavelle off his twin brother Matthew. I am sure Matthew will be reminding Callum of that one for many years to come. However, no doubt the Leicestershire ‘Parky’ has many centuries, and 5-fors to reflect upon from when they crossed swords in the back garden, of that north western metropolis that is Bolton, in their younger days.  

Richard Jones, who it was good to see back on the field after injury, made 19 from 20 balls perishing when he tried to a lusty blow to Matthew Parkinson, and was stumped by Lavelle. Last man out was Ben Mike, who made a patient 15 from 41 balls before being yet another lbw victim to Matthew Parkinson. Jacob Bailey was 0*. County all out for 164 from 61.5 overs at 3pm. Matthew Parkinson returning career best Second XI bowling figures of 17.5-3-49-6, eclipsing his 6-87 against Worcestershire last season.

In the post lunch session Parkinson and Simon Kerrigan reeled off 23.5 overs in 65 minutes. A fine effort. During the tropical conditions of the afternoon session, special mention to Mick of Desborough Town CC who ensured that the scorers were averaging two cans of ice cold Pepsi an hour. Top effort Mick, I hope you can maintain the standard on day two.

Lancashire had an hour to bat before tea, as the 32-over calculation was redundant in view of the ‘express over rate’ achieved by Lancashire. Karl Brown and Calum Turner opened the innings, but Turner (0) was on his way second ball when he edged Mike to keeper Swindells.

Jones had opened the bowling with Mike, and he looked to be running in comfortably, and was working up a good pace. Brooke Guest (should be in films with a name like that) joined Brown, and the pair took the Red Rose men into tea on 44-1 from 16 overs.

They further developed their alliance after tea, bringing up their 50 partnership from 125 balls when the score had reached 52-1 from 21.4 overs. Shortly afterwards Brown (30) went caught at slip by Wells. A delivery from Sayer found the edge, brushed Swindells’ gloves, and Wells took the catch low down, one-handed.

Guest and George Lavelle then brought up their 50 partnership from 114 balls with the score on 110-2 from 41.3. With the next ball Lavelle (33) went lbw to Wells. Soon afterwards Guest brought up his, and the first individual half-century of the match (7x4) from 128 balls, with the score on 133-3.

Daniel Lamb (13) popped one up to Richard Jones at mid wicket off the bowling of Mike to leave Lancashire on 139-4 from 50.3. Lancashire closed on 148-4 from 54 overs. Guest 52*, Breetzke 7*. Sayer and Callum Parkinson equalling Matthew Parkinson and Kerrigan’s express stint by rattling off 24 overs in 66 minutes either side of tea. This gave yours truly no chance whatsoever to catch up on his social media, and keep in touch with latest scores and world events.  

All five bowlers used by County returned tidy figures. Sayer bowling extremely miserly taking 1-28 from 16 overs. Callum Parkinson also bowling 16 overs for just 40 runs. Mike with 2-37 from 8, Wells with 1-18 from 6. Jones was wicketless, but returned figures of 0-25 from 8. Leicestershire 2 points, Lancashire 4 points.