Kitt bags five for Seconds

SECOND XI CHAMPIONSHIP | Leicestershire CCC v Northamptonshire CCC

SCORE | Leicestershire CCC 39 for none v Northamptonshire 314 for eight declared

SCORECARD | Available HERE

REPORT | By Pete Johnson

Loughborough Town CC were the hosts for the penultimate game of Leicestershire’s SEC 2019 campaign, Northamptonshire CCC the visitors. Leicestershire CCC fielded a side including five members of their Academy and four triallists. Charlie Home and Nick Welch made their debuts for Leicestershire Second XI.

Leicestershire had the better of the morning session, claiming four wickets, and the final session, where they claimed a further four wickets. Northamptonshire CCC took the honours in the afternoon session, going from lunch to tea without losing a wicket.

Towards the end of the day Northamptonshire CCC declared on 314-8. Right arm seamer Ben Kitt picking up 5-77. Leicestershire successfully negotiated a tricky nine overs at the end of the day, closing on 39-0, trailing by 275 runs.

The scorers had somewhat of a challenging morning before play commenced. The couple of times Leicestershire CCC have played at Loughborough Town CC recently, the scorers have been able to sit in comfort in the Club Lounge. However, this time the sightscreen at the Pavilion End totally obscured the view.

Dips Patel very kindly set up some sun umbrellas, and a table on the patio for us, but the glare from the sun prevented us from seeing the screens of our laptops. We had to revert to the scorebox, which is a little snug, to say the least, when you have laptops, printers, linear sheets, and a scoring console to accommodate.

A hot summer morning greeted the players as they took to the field, the people of Loughborough, surrounding villages, and some from further afield showing good support for a Second XI fixture by their attendance. Ateeq Javid skippered Leicestershire, but his opposite number Ben Curran called correctly, and elected to bat.

Curran and Emilio Gray opened the innings for Northamptonshire CCC, Alex Evans, Pavilion End and Brinder Phagura, Shelthorpe End, opening the attack for Leicestershire CCC. Phagura struck in the 12th over of the morning when he had Gray (23, 41b) caught at third slip by Kitt.

After Evans and Phagura had bowled seven overs each they were replaced by Ben Kitt and Uday Modhwadia respectively. In Kitt’s fourth over he had Ben Claydon (19, 28b) caught behind by ‘keeper Sam Bates.

Kitt then struck again, a few overs later, when he trapped Sam Dutton (7) 25b in front. Northants 83-3 from 27 overs. Evans replaced Kitt at the Pavilion End, and with the second ball of his returning spell, bowled Andrew Bramley (0, 2b). Bramley shouldering arms to a ball that clipped the top of off stump, Evans ‘scrumping’ a wicket. Northamptonshire CCC now 87-4 from 28.2 overs.

The Steelbacks went into Lunch on 100-4 (34) Curran (42*) 95b, Simon Kerrigan (3*) 14b. Curran and Kerrigan then stayed together for the entire afternoon session of play. Curran went to his 50 (128b, 7x4) when the score reached 123-4 (43.5), and the 50 alliance between the pair came up after 131 balls when the score reached 138-4 (50.1).

Their 100 partnership came up from 217 balls, 189-4 (64.3). The left-handed Curran went to his 100 (200b, 12x4), the score on 199-4 (66). A couple of overs later, Kerrigan went to his 50 (108b, 6x4, 1x6), the score 206-4 (68.2).

Northamptonshire CCC went into tea on 212-4 (72) with Curran 105* and Kerrigan 52*. The pair added 112 runs in the session from 38 overs.

During the afternoon session I received a text from a spectator asking me to ask Q if he knew which Shipping Forecast area is bounded by Plymouth to the north, and Fitzroy to the west. After scratching his chin for a few seconds ‘Biscay’ was the reply from Q. Correct, never in doubt! You may remember, or there again you may not, Q is the chap that can rattle off all Shipping Forecast areas around the UK in order, going in a clockwise direction. Simon Cowell and Britain’s Got Talent are waiting in the wings!

Leicestershire CCC took the new ball immediately it was due, and after a barren afternoon Kitt and Evans soon made further inroads into the Northamptonshire CCC innings. In his second over with the new ball, Kitt had Curran (131, 254b) caught behind by Bates. Next ball Kitt pinned Tom Sole (0) lbw. Sole having made 110 in yesterday’s SET20 Game 2, and being a bit of a ‘special’, was only briefly on the menu for Leicestershire today. Northamptonshire CCC now 264-6 from 83 overs.

Kerrigan (81, 159b) soon afterwards went caught at mid-wicket by Welch, again off the bowling of Kitt, who was bagging a five-for. The hard-working Evans then had the left-handed Adam King (0, 10b) caught by ‘keeper Bates, who took a really good catch down the leg-side diving to his right.

Liam Grey (12*, 13b) and Ben Bhabra (32*, 26b) then posted an unbroken partnership of 45 for the ninth wicket. Bhabra playing some shots more associated with batsmen towards the top of the order, rather than those of a number 10.

Northamptonshire CCC declared on 314-8. Wicket-takers for Leicestershire: Kitt 5-77 (19), Evans 2-72 (22), and Phagura 1-51 (14). Nat Bowley bowled a tidy 13 overs of off spin for just 27 runs, but was wicketless.

Leicestershire had nine overs to bat in what remained of the day in rather dull conditions, the light not good at all, but playable. Javid (24*, 22b) and Sam Evans (13*, 33b) stood firm, and successfully repelled the Northamptonshire CCC pace attack of Harry Bates and Grey. Kerrigan bowled a solitary over of spin for the last over of the day.

County closing on 39-0, trailing by 275 runs. Leicestershire CCC 3 points, Northamptonshire CCC 4 points.

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