Weather frustrates Foxes and Kent

SECOND XI FRIENDLY | Leicestershire CCC v Kent CCC

SCORE | Leicestershire CCC 116 for four v Kent CCC 207

SCORECARD | Available HERE

REPORT | By Pete Johnson

Upon arrival at Kibworth CC for the second day of the SEF against Kent, I was greeted by John Wakefield, the PA Announcer at the Emirates Riverside home of Durham CCC, and native of Leicestershire. John is a resident in the Newcastle area, but still has a country retreat in the Leicestershire area.

I have struck up a friendship with John over the past few seasons, as he has scored on occasions for Durham 2s. He had called in to see me at Kibworth, to discuss matters LCFC, and get opinions from the horse’s mouth on events of last season. Upon entering the scorebox my colleague Andy, and I found it warmer outside than in, as a result of the holes in the scorebox that caused us to be in a constant cold, and biting draft.

Rain again curtailed the day’s play, putting an end to proceedings at 3.13pm, and ultimately leading to play being abandoned for the day at 5.10pm. 46 overs lost to the elements today, a minimum of 86.5 overs lost in the match so far.

On day two, Kent CCC were ultimately dismissed for 207, Leicestershire CCC posting 116-4, trailing by 91 runs, before the elements intervened.

The visitors resumed on their overnight 157-8, Ben Manenti 29* Justin Watson 10*. James Graham had five balls remaining of an unfinished over. There were some half-dozen spectators present when play commenced on a very chill late May morning. The vast majority of Second XI regular spectators no doubt being at the FCG for the First XI game.

Manenti and Watson brought up their 50 partnership from 69 balls, in the sixth over of the morning. Kent CCC on 180-8. Leicestershire made a breakthrough when Watson (26, 46b) was caught in the short mid-wicket area by Arron Lilley off the bowling of Callum Parkinson. 

Hugh Scott was last man in for Kent, and had added 14 for the last wicket with Manenti, when he was caught by Graham at cover, again off the bowling of Parkinson. Scott (0, 13b). Manenti (63*, 87b). Kent all out for 207 from 75.4 overs at 11.41am. Parkinson picking up both wickets in the morning, and returning figures for the innings of 3-56 from 18.4 overs. I was constantly nervously peering at my phone to check on the developing situation at the FCG.

During the days play, loyal Second XI follower Phil of Dunton Bassett fame, was changing the overs on the scoreboard after every over, and fetching hot drinks from the Pavilion for the ‘Dutiful Duo’ within the wooden super structure. In the break between innings I had a somewhat anxious moment as someone had inadvertently (I will give them the benefit of the doubt on that one) locked the scoreboard from the outside, and we were unable to escape. A good Samaritan nearby came to our aid. (Editor’s note – sure it was an accident Pete…)

Harry Swindells and Sam Bates opened the innings for the Foxes against an opening attack of  right arm seamer Grant Stewart, from the Pavilion End, and left arm seamer Frederick Klaassen from the Field End.

Swindells and Bates were developing a good foundation to the innings. Klaassen’s run up, to the naked eye, has a slight affinity to the deportment of a horse at a dressage event. Upon approach to his delivery stride his knees coming up quite high, in a somewhat regimental, and synchronised fashion. My scoring colleague Andy said it was not the first time he had heard that comparison made.

Bates finding the ropes on three occasions, twice from Klaassen, and once from Stewart. Stewart probably reflecting that The First Cut Is The Deepest when Bates pierced the off-side field in sending the ball sailing to the ropes.

The pair had added 35 when Bates (19, 33b) was cruelly run out. Swindells played a ball from Klaassen into the covers and called for a run. Bates accepted the invitation but was well short of his ground when Isaac Dilkes made a direct hit on the stumps. Dilkes living up to his IVA initials, which when fully spelt out are a mirror version of the great man’s Christian names.

As Bates ruefully trudged back to the pavilion he probably noticed Stewart, who was standing in the slips in his eyeline, no doubt one of Rod’s songs, I Dont Want To Talk About It going through his mind.

Far be it from me to apportion blame for a run out, but I suspect that tonight Batesy may be thinking long and hard as to whether or not to retain the name of one HJ Swindells Esq on his Christmas Card List. The Swindler cutting a forlorn figure as he surveyed the damage from the comfort of the other end! Leicestershire CCC 35-1 from 11.1 overs.

Neil Dexter joined Swindells. Dexter played out three maidens, two from Klaassen, and one from Watson. Watson appearing quite rapid from the bowels of the Scorebox. Swindells meanwhile found the ropes from a delivery from Stewart. Off-spinner Hugh Scott had replaced Stewart at the Pavilion End, and got the wicket of Dexter (2, 25b) in his third over. Dexter caught by Dilkes at short-leg.

Leicestershire CCC 44-2 from 20.1 overs. Aadil Ali joined Swindells and the pair safely took Leicestershire into lunch on 49-2 from 23 overs. After Lunch it was cold, very cold. Kent’s Calum Haggett was fielding in a woolly hat.

It is 1 June on Saturday, the temperature was more in keeping with January. In the 3rd over after Lunch Swindells (25 79b) was caught behind by keeper Jordan Cox off the bowling of Grant Stewart. Leicestershire 50-3 from 25.4 overs.

Parkinson joined Aadil, and the pair took on the Kent attack. Stewart, Scott, Klaassen and Manenti, all being on the end of some attacking stokes from the pair. Aadil posted a maximum off Scott, also dispatching him for two boundaries. Aadil also took fours off Klaassen and Manenti. The majority of Aadil’s boundaries arrowing across the ropes at speed.

Parkinson drilled Klaassen through the covers for two boundaries in an over. The pair brought up their 50 partnership from 75 balls when the score reached 101-3 from 38. Watson was reintroduced to the attack from the Field End, and Aadil took him for two boundaries in his first over.

However, in Watson’s next over, an edge was enticed from Parkinson (19, 39b), who was caught behind by Cox. Leicestershire 116-3 from 43.3 overs. Arron Lilley safely dealt with the three remaining balls of the over, which was played out in very gloomy conditions, with light drizzle falling.

At the end of the over, the Umpires took the players from the field. The match being suspended due to rain at 3.13pm. Leicestershire CCC 116-3 from 44 overs, Aadil (47*, 86b) and Lilley (0*, 3b).

Tea was taken at 3.40pm. The weather subsequently closed in, and with no sign of a let-up in the precipitation, the umpires abandoned play for the day at 5.10pm. I am off for home for a hot bath to combat the effects of hypothermia, and to ensure that the old grey matter is firing on all cylinders for the weekly Wednesday Night Quiz at the pub.

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