Seconds declare on day two

SECOND XI CHAMPIONSHIP | Warwickshire CCC v Leicestershire CCC

SCORE | Warwickshire CCC 290 and 104 for one, Leicestershire CCC 162 for three declared

SCORECARD | Available HERE

REPORT | By Pete Johnson

We arrived at the Edgbaston Foundation Sports Ground (EFSG) for day two of the SEC between Warwickshire CCC and Leicestershire CCC to find that heavy overnight rain had left its toll on the ground. The outfield was extremely wet. The groundstaff having admirably been at the ground since 7.00am this morning. The Umpires carried out an early inspection, after which they decided there would be no play before lunch.

Around 10.30am the sun came out, so hopefully it would have the desired effect, and dry up the outfield. The Scorebox at the EFSG is in quiet solitude some 70 or so yards from the Pavilion. In the stillness of the morning you could hear tannoy announcements from the distant Edgbaston ground that was hosting New Zealand v South Africa in the World Cup today.

I heard an announcement that there was to be a delayed start there too, due to a wet outfield. An inspection was carried out after the luncheon interval, which resulted in play being scheduled to start at 2.30pm, with a minimum of 75 overs remaining in the day. Tea to be taken at 4.50pm, irrespective of overs remaining. The ‘Golden Hour’ had kicked in so no overs were lost for the first 60 minutes of lost time.

There were a handful of spectators present at the ground at around 10.30am, who heard the news that there would be no play before lunch, they loyally stuck it out for four hours until play began.

In the 75 overs of play Leicestershire CCC declared their innings on 162-3 trailing by 128 runs. The total was achieved thanks to a solid opening partnership between Ateeq Javid and Sam Evans, and a terrific half-century from Tom Taylor. Warwickshire CCC posted 104-1 from 27, Daniel Mousley with a fifty. Warwickshire CCC held a lead of 232 runs going into the final day.

Javid and Evans opened the innings for Leicestershire against an opening attack of the Olly Stone and Ethan Brookes. Stone was working up a very rapid pace from the Montague End but Javid and Evans provided solid resistance. Javid particularly taking a liking for the third man boundary, interspersed with guiding the ball behind square on the leg side.

Evans played a number of strokes into the cover area for singles and twos. The pair posted a 50-run partnership after 18.1 overs. Stone and Brookes were seen off, to be replaced by George Panayi and George Garrett. It is amazing the things you learn from an idle comment.

I had a squint in my Second XI Annual to look at the details on Panayi and Garrett, and remarked that they both went to Shrewsbury School (a top of the range seat of learning). Clair (remember her from yesterday?) retorted in a flash that Gary Barlow’s son went to Shrewsbury School. You learn something new every day! After delivering that little nugget of information Clair dutifully went in search of a cup of tea for me, I expected her to say Take That when she returned with my richly deserved cuppa, but she didn’t!

County were getting on the right route but when the score was on 66, Javid (44, 77b) went caught behind by keeper Michael Burgess, chasing a ball from seamer Bailey Wightman. Aadil Ali joined Evans. Aadil taking a liking for seamer Panayi, despatching him for three boundaries. The pair had been together for two balls short of 10 overs when Evans (26, 86b) played at a delivery from Wightman, and was caught at first slip by Alex Mellor. Leicestershire CCC 89-2 from 32.2 overs.

Harry Swindells took a single from the first ball he received, meaning Aadil was on strike. Aadil received two consecutive balls from Wightman that were signalled as wides, with the next ball Aadil (19, 32b) was bowled. Wightman’s over, the 33rd of the innings, yielded two wickets, two wides, a single and three dots. Leicestershire CCC 92-3 from 32.4 overs.

Swindells (1*) and Taylor (16*) took County into tea on 112-3 from 37 overs. In the final over before tea, Taylor took Wightman for three boundaries all in the area of square-leg, or just behind square.

In the first over after tea, Taylor was hit on the helmet, the ball ricocheting for a leg bye, by Stone who was bowling very rapidly from the City End. Taylor received some on field treatment from the physio, and after a thorough check, and a change of helmet continued.

I observed the hiatus in proceedings through my binoculars. I noticed Taylor and Stone having a chat after the physio had given Taylor a check. There appeared to be no ill feeling at all between Taylor and Stone, two accomplished gladiators with much respect for each other. This blow did not phase Taylor at all, as he went on to play a commanding innings taking the attack to Stone.

The duo brought up their 50-run partnership when Taylor deposited spinner Alex Thomson for a huge maximum over long-on, out of the ground, and a lost ball. Swindells contributed four runs to the alliance against Taylor’s 38, along with ten extras. A rare occurrence to see the hustling, bustling Swindler come third in a two-horse race. The Narborough Nobleman knew which side his bread was buttered as the skipper, was his partner during the partnership. Discretion always the best part of valour, Harry boy.

In the next over from Stone, Taylor deposited the first ball for a boundary, the third ball went over mid-wicket for a maximum, and another lost ball. Taylor then absolutely lambasted the fourth ball straight back over Stone’s head for another maximum, this bringing up Taylor’s 50 (49b, 5x4, 4x6).

A gutsy, dominant, ‘have a bit of that’ reply from Taylor to being struck by Stone some eight overs earlier. At the end of the over Leicestershire declared their innings on 162-3 from 46 overs at 5.53pm, trailing by 128 runs. Swindells (5*, 30b) and Taylor (56*, 51b).

Warwickshire CCC had 27 overs to bat in what remained of the day. Liam Banks and Mousley opened the innings, Gavin Griffiths and Uday Modhwadia taking the new ball. Banks and Mousley posted a 50 partnership after 9.2 overs. Mousley went to his 50 (51b, 11x4) after 15 overs with the score on 77-0.

County finally got a breakthrough in the 19th over when Mousley (54) was caught at deep square-leg by Andy Jones off Callum Parkinson. Another good innings from Mousley to go with his fine knock of 122 in the first innings. Warwickshire CCC 85-1 in their second innings.

Alex Thomson joined Banks, and the pair safely saw the hosts into stumps on 104-1 from 27 overs, a lead of 232 runs. Banks (32*, 76b) and Thomson (9*, 29b). Banks not bitter today having been dismissed for eight yesterday.

Parkinson and Lilley bowled the final 13 overs in tandem, rattling through them in a sterling effort to ensure that the players did not leave the field to the sound of the Dawn Chorus. The day’s play ending at 7.41pm. I must ask that Dan Nice chappie if one gets overtime after 6.30pm, or time off for good behaviour (Editor’s note: no on both counts, sorry Pete). Warwickshire CCC 4 points, Leicestershire CCC 5 points.

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