Alex Evans bowling
Match Reports

Seconds move into commanding position

SECOND XI CHAMPIONSHIP | Leicestershire CCC v Derbyshire CCC

SCORE | Leicestershire CCC 176 for two v Derbyshire 200


REPORT | By Pete Johnson

After the elements had severely curtailed play on day one, we arrived at Loughborough Town CC for the second day of the SEC encounter between Leicestershire and Derbyshire, with the weather forecast encouraging, and the prospect of a full days play on the agenda.

Leicestershire CCC had a solid day, dismissing Derbyshire CCC for 200, and in reply posting at total of 176-2. 18-year-old Academy seamer Alex Evans posted his best Second XI figures to date of five for 50 in what was a terrific bowling performance by the Barnstorming Bedfordian.

The name Evans was to become somewhat of a constant throughout the day’s proceedings. Ateeq Javid, and Sam Evans sharing an opening partnership of 158 before Evans was dismissed for 70. The ‘pocket rocket’ Javid remaining at the crease for a most impressive unbeaten 75.

There were a good number of spectators present for a Second XI game when the players took to the field. Good support being shown by people from the Loughborough area and surrounding villages. It was a slightly warmer morning than day one, but there was still a distinct chill in the air. A gentleman sitting at the far end of the ground in a short sleeve shirt and shorts really going the extra mile to show that a bit of a chill in the air held no fears for him. It made me feel cold looking at him through my binoculars as all the people around him had coats on, fully buttoned to the collar, a few of them  even wearing hats.

Derbyshire CCC resumed from their overnight 98-6 with Daryn Smit 32* and Connor Marshall 17*. In the second over of the morning the pair posted their 50 partnership from 113 balls, with the score on 103 for six. The stubborn partnership was finally broken five overs later when the score had reached 115. Marshall (24, 66b) was bowled by Ben Mike, the pair having added 65 for the 7th wicket.

Alfie Gleadall joined his skipper. Smit went to his 50 (123b, 4x4) after 54, the score on 144-7. A gentleman then came into the pavilion, humbly and most respectfully, asked me for a scorecard. Upon engaging in conversation with him, I established that he had travelled up from London, to do a bit of ‘Ground Hopping’. An A4 sheet of paper, that shows the players names of both teams is valuably currency in the world of the ‘National Treasure’ that is the cricket anorak. Good effort Sir, and I sincerely hope you have a safe journey home. 

Gleadall (15, 46b) became Alex Evans’ fourth victim of the innings when he edged a delivery to second slip and was caught by Louis Kimber. Derbyshire 151-8 from 56.5 overs. The Peak County had no more alarms before lunch, and went to the interval on 183-8 from 69, Smit 84*, Sam Connors 3*. 

With the last ball of the first over after lunch Connors (3 46b) was caught by Arron Lilley at mid-wicket off the bowling of Mike. Game, set, and match to Mike on that one! Derbyshire 184-9  from 69.6. James Taylor, a younger brother of Leicestershire’s Tom Taylor, joined Smit offering valuable support in an attempt to see Smit to a century. It wasn’t to be however as Smit (92, 179b) went caught by Lilley at mid-wicket off Evans. A gritty innings from Smit who entered the fray with Derbyshire in disarray on 40-5, that soon afterwards became 50-6.

The prized wicket of Smit completed a five-wicket haul for Alex ‘the ball’ Evans. A great effort from the Academy prospect who returned figures of 19.5-6-50-5. Derbyshire CCC all out for 200 from 72.5 at 2.13pm, Taylor (5* 6b). Other wicket-takers for Leicestershire CCC: Mike 3-50 from 14, and Griffiths 2-41 from 18.

Javid and Sam Evans opened the innings for Leicestershire CCC, and were to post a formidable opening partnership for the Foxes. The Durable Duo were very watchful, and patient, taking no chances as they built a solid foundation to the innings. Seamer Dustin Melton who had featured for Leicestershire 2s a couple of seasons back was bowling good areas. Melton not providing any pies for the batsmen to feast on.

Connors bowled three no-balls in his first four overs, all foot faults spotted by the Umpire, adopting the role of a human Hawkeye. Connors, no doubt, having his mind on a media role in the upcoming Wimbledon tournament.

Openers Javid and Evans posted a 50 partnership after 15.5 overs. The pair safely took County into tea on 96-0 from 34 overs with Javid 38*, Evans 42*. Talking of tea, a fine performance today by several members of the Leicestershire CCC team and support staff who regularly enquired as to whether the Scorers needed liquid refreshment. Much appreciated, keep it up chaps!

The 100-run partnership between Javid and Evans came up in the first over after tea. In the fourth over after the interval, Evans  went to his 50 (103b, 6x4) when he glanced Connors down to long-leg for a boundary. Three overs later Javid posted his 50 (142b, 6x4) when he pulled a short ball from Melton through mid wicket for four.

Both batsmen were playing some lovely shots to all parts of the ground, and had done a good job in laying a rock solid foundation to the innings. Their partnership was broken when Evans (70, 150b) edged leg spinner Marshall to first slip, and was caught by Tom Wood. A fine innings from Sam ‘the bat’ Evans, coming immediately after his last knock for the 2s of 146 at Kibworth CC a couple of weeks back. Evans growing in stature as time goes on.

Kimber joined Javid. The pair had added just 13 for the second wicket when Kimber (7, 32b) was trapped in front by seamer Gleadall. Aadil Ali joined Javid, and the pair safely took County into Stumps on 176-2 from 66 overs.  Javid 75* (211b) and Aadil 2* (14b). Leicestershire CCC trailing by 24 runs on first innings with eight wickets in hand.

A fine innings from Javid, which will give him much renewed confidence going forward. Wicket-takers for Derbyshire, Marshall 1-27 from 15, and Gleadall 1-35 from 13. Play finished somewhat late at 7.14pm, giving certain people a challenge to get home in time for Love Island, which hits the TV screens at 9pm tonight - so I am told (Editor’s note: I know you’re a big fan Pete). Quiz night for me at the pub (Editor’s note: yeah, yeah), it’s all go in my rock n roll lifestyle.