Play abandoned in second day of three for the Seconds

SECOND XI CHAMPIONSHIP | Nottinghamshire CCC v Leicestershire CCC

SCORE | Leicestershire CCC 94 for three

SCORECARD | Available HERE

REPORT | By Pete Johnson

Leicestershire arrived at Notts Sports Club, Lady Bay, in the West Bridgford area of Nottingham for the first match of their 2019 SEC campaign. Notts Sports Club is in the shadow of the Brian Clough Stand of the nearby Nottingham Forest FC, the ground standing the far side of the nearby Lady Bay Road that borders one side of the ground.

The ground is referred to locally as ‘the Old Boots Ground’, as in Boots the Chemist. The Pavilion stands midway between the cricket field, and the rugby field used by Nottingham RFC. The Pavilion doubles as a Rugby Clubhouse as well as a Cricket Pavilion. The Scorers have a side on view, and are housed in an upstairs room within the Pavilion, the Committee Room of Nottingham RFC.

There was no play possible on the first day due to rain, an early lunch was taken at 12 noon, after which play was abandoned for the day. On day two, play was able to start on time, but only 36 overs were possible, during which time Leicestershire made 94 for three, before rain brought an end to the day’s proceedings.

After recent  Headline newsdays of a Royal birth, and amazing Champions League comebacks, we have a cricket match on our hands. Hassan Azad skippered the side, his opposite number Lyndon James won the toss, and elected to field. Triallist Musa Ahmad was making his debut for Leicestershire Second XI.

Ahmad, a left-handed batsman, and right arm leg-spinner, plays his club cricket in Amsterdam. After Wednesday night’s events in Amsterdam it would be a bit cruel of me to say that he was hoping to earn his Spurs.

There were half a dozen spectators present when play commenced, on a bitterly cold, and cloudy morning. A few minutes after the start of play I had my inaugural seasonal sighting of a gentleman from the Leicestershire area in a brown cap, fully suited and booted, carrying his state of the art luggage (Sainsbury’s plastic bag). No prizes for guessing who!

Ateeq Javid and Harry Swindells opened up for Leicestershire against an opening pace attack of left armer Luke Wood and right armer Jack Blatherwick. The outfield was somewhat slow, but this did not prevent Swindells from despatching Wood to the boundary in the fifth over of the morning.

Soon afterwards Javid took a quick single to square leg. Jordan Cook fielding in that area swooped on the ball, and threw in, making a direct hit on the stumps with surely only one stump to aim. Swindells, legs going like bees wings, just made his ground. All in the Line of Duty for H! (Editor’s note: no TV drama puns allowed Pete, as you well know)

In the 12th over of the morning, Swindells (13, 30b) was well caught by keeper Sam Hall diving low to his right. County 22-1 off 11.3. Azad joined Javid. At this juncture Javid was mainly dealing in dots and singles, as the bowling was very tight. On this extremely cold morning Umpire Paul Baldwin was resplendent in a striking pair of black gloves.

A double bowling changed ensued with former Fox Zak Chappell, and left arm seamer Mark Footitt being introduced to the attack. Chappell was taken for a boundary by both Javid and Azad in the 20th over. Javid (25, 91b) went caught at second slip by James off Chappell. Leicestershire 59-2 off 28.3.

Aadil joined Azad, and the pair took Leicestershire into lunch on 67-2 from 32. Only four overs were possible after lunch before the rain came. Aadil took 11 runs off Wood from the first four balls of the afternoon session, including two boundaries.

Seamer Wood had his revenge from the last ball of what was to be the penultimate over of the day when he pinned Aadil (16, 21b) in front from a full delivery.

Ahmad came to the crease, but after one further over rain forced the players from the field at 2.18pm with Leicestershire on 94 for three from 36 overs. Azad 25* (73b), Ahmad 4* (3b). Azad, displaying the patience of a saint as he assessed, evaluated, and treated each ball as if his life depended on it. The Duke digging in!

Spare a thought for two intrepid spectators who had travelled up from the Leicester area, arriving during the Luncheon Interval, and subsequently only witnessing four overs of play. Tea was taken at 4.10pm, and play was abandoned for the day at 4.44pm with the weather closing in.

Wicket-takers for Notts: Blatherwick 1-20 from 9, Wood 1-31 from 9 and Chappell 1-15 from 5. Nottinghamshire picked up one bowling point.

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